Overview of quashing of FIR
The prevailing laws in India have been enacted to protect the rights of people and prevent misuse of the law. Even though there are a lot of people who misuse the available remedies with malafied intention to harass innocent people. The motive behind doing so involves blackmailing the innocent for money, fame or asking the innocent to perform an act as informed by the party.
To ensure that the rights of innocent people are protected, such people can approach the competent court for quashing of FIR filed against them. The provision related to quashing of FIR was mentioned in the Act for safeguarding the rights and interests of innocent individuals. The legislature while making the law enacted such provisions to stop the people from filing a frivolous FIR by misusing the rights available to them by the prevailing Acts in India.
Therefore, an individual has the right to approach the High Court for quashing an FIR filed against him under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. The High Court needs to be fully satisfied that there exists no prima facie case made against the accused person and such a person has been falsely accused of an offence which he/she has not committed.
Where can an FIR be Quashed?
The process for quashing an FIR begins at the High Court having competent jurisdiction of the state where such FIR was filed, and the trial is pending under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. The Supreme Court has the power and supervisory jurisdiction to quash an FIR when the matter is related to a Special Leave Petition defined under Articles 136 and 142 of the Constitution of India.
Who can quash the FIR?
As per the prevailing law related to quashing an FIR, a petition for quashing an FIR and related proceedings against the accused must be filed before the respective High Court having competent jurisdiction. It is made under Article 482 of the Code. An FIR which has been filed can be quashed by the High Court if the court concludes that the accusations made against the accused are frivolous and made with malafied intentions. The power to quash an FIR is an inherent power of a High Court for preventing the misuse of the available remedies to each person in the country.
Inherent powers of the High Court
The Code of Criminal Procedure contains a provision which provides inherent powers to the High Court under Section 482. The Section lays duty and provides power to the High Court to take steps to meet the ends of justice. The High Court has the authority to quash an FIR through this section. The court is expected to consider the facts and information which is prima facie visible in the FIR and find out the real nature of the FIR. After considering the details mentioned in the FIR, if the court finds out that the FIR has been filed with the sole intention of harassing the accused for taking undue advantage of legal remedies, it may quash the FIR.
The approach of both the High Court and the Supreme Court is strict with regard to the quashing of FIR. The burden of proving that the nature of FIR is completely ill-natured, and the FIR lacks the main ingredients to prove that an offence has been committed lies with the applicant who wishes to quash the FIR.
Various grounds for quashing an FIR
Below-mentioned are the grounds on which an application for quashing an FIR can be filed before the competent court. These are:
It is mandatory for the court to carefully deal whenever the matter with regard to quashing FIR comes into the picture. It should be done with the help of a professional following the strict guidelines formulated to solve such matters.
Quashing of FIR in the event of a compromise between the parties
There are many instances where the complainant wishes to withdraw his/her complaint after entering into a settlement with the accused. It is not easy when the settlement is being made in cases of criminal offences. If the parties to a criminal case wish to enter into a settlement, they need to approach the High Court for the quashing the FIR. There are a few points which should be kept in mind while applying to quash the FIR. These are as follows:
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Filing of FIR quashing application before the High Court
The person willing to file an application for quashing the FIR needs to approach the High Court as per the prescribed format under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. The party needs to provide all the necessary details of the FIR along with allegations, the details of the complainant and the accused and the pleadings to convince the court that the FIR has been filed with the intention to misuse the available legal remedy for people whose rights have been violated.
Following are some different scenarios:
Interim orders in quashing petitions
In a landmark judgement passed by the Supreme Court, it was held that the High Court needs to apply the same procedure used in the quashing of FIR for passing an interim order for restraining the further investigation before passing the same.
Quashing of FIR after conviction:
A court can quash the FIR even after the accused has been convicted and a compromise has been entered between the parties. Parties can only do this in cases of non-heinous offences only as even after the conviction, the accused has the right to approach the court by filing an appeal challenging the order of conviction.
Quashing of FIR in Matrimonial Cases:
There are instances where parties to a marriage file an FIR in the anger of the moment with malafied intention under Sections 498A and 406 of the Indian Penal Code usually. Later on, the parties amicably solve the dispute and decide to apply for quashing the FIR. In situations like this, the High Court accepts the petition and quashes the FIR.
Frequently Asked Questions
The required documents for quashing of an FIR are as follows:
- Certified copy of FIR.
- Typed set containing relevant documents mentioned in the petition for quashing the FIR with a clean copy of the FIR.
- A memo of Appearance.
- Required court fee.