Ambit of inherent powers conferred upon High Courts: Not limited to the specific cases laid down under criminal and civil laws

Jammu & Kashmir High Court: A Single Judge Bench of M.K. Hanjura, J., allowed a petition under Section 561-A of CrPC, 1989 [Jammu & Kashmir], whereby petitioner sought quashing of FIR against him.

The main question that arose for consideration was whether a High Court exercising its inherent powers can quash an FIR without conducting a proper trial.

The Court observed that a High Court is entitled to quash a proceeding if it comes to the conclusion that allowing the proceeding to continue would amount to abuse of the process of the Court or that the ends of justice require that the proceeding ought to be quashed. Further, the Court referred to the decision of the Supreme Court in the case of State of Haryana v. Bhajan Lal, 1992 Supp (1) SCC 335, wherein the Supreme Court elaborately considered the scope of Section 482 Cr. P.C. In that case, the Supreme Court held that inherent powers can be used by the High Courts to prevent the abuse of process of the Court and to secure the ends of justice.

The Court held that the list of cases where a High Court can exercise inherent powers under both civil and criminal laws is not exhaustive in nature. The Courts have the inherent powers apart from express provisions of law which are necessary for proper discharge of functions and duties imposed upon them by law. The Court concluded by holding that Courts are invested with all such powers as are necessary to do right and to undo a wrong in the course of administration of justice on the principle of “Quando lex aliquid alicui concedit, conceditur et id Sine quo res ipsa esse non protest” (When the law gives the person anything, it gives him that without which it cannot exist). The petition was allowed and the impugned FIR was quashed.[Nisar Ahmad v. State of J&K,2018 SCC OnLine J&K 516, order dated 24-08-2018]

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