Welcome to the official blog of the Law Offices of Kr. Vivek Tanwar Advocate and Associates, where we are dedicated to providing litigation support services for matters related to the Inherent Powers of the Criminal Justice System. In today’s blog post, we aim to shed light on the prevailing issues surrounding the Inherent Powers, the legal framework in place for their protection, and the steps we can take as a society to combat these acts. Join us as we explore this critical subject and empower you with the knowledge to protect your rights and safety.

Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) grants the High Courts of India unique and powerful inherent powers within criminal jurisprudence. These powers are exclusive to the High Courts and cannot be taken away by superior authorities. The section allows the High Courts to make necessary orders to give effect to any CrPC order, prevent abuse of the court process, and secure justice. The High Courts can utilize these powers to ensure complete and fair justice between parties and prevent misuse of the court system. These inherent powers were introduced in 1923 to address cases with apparent illegality, where the High Courts couldn’t deliver complete justice. The section identifies three circumstances under which these powers may be exercised: to prevent abuse of the court process, secure justice, and give effect to CrPC orders. Section 482 serves as a potent tool to maintain the integrity of criminal proceedings and is exclusive to the High Courts in each state.


In the case of D. Devaraja v. Owais Sabeer Hussain 458 Crl Appl 2020, which pertains to the application of Section 482 of the CrPC for quashing criminal proceedings due to the lack of sanction. In the case, the complainant accused police officers of misconduct during his custody and subsequent investigation. The Metropolitan Magistrate took cognizance of the private complaint, but the High Court refused to quash the proceedings, instead remitting the case to the Magistrate with the option for the accused to file a discharge application. The Supreme Court observed that the High Court erred in not exercising its inherent powers under Section 482 to quash the complaint. The Court emphasized the importance of obtaining the sanction from the government to protect police officers from frivolous or retaliatory proceedings. The Court also clarified the circumstances in which sanction is necessary, highlighting the reasonable connection between the alleged act and the discharge of official duties. The Court further discussed the limitations and requirements of Section 197 of the CrPC and Section 170 of the Karnataka Police Act. Overall, the case reaffirms the need for sanction when an act is reasonably connected to the discharge of official duties and emphasizes the protection of police officers in the performance of their duties.

Key Principles

In the case of Parbatbhai Ahir v. State of Gujarat (4 October 2017), the Supreme Court summarized key principles governing the High Court’s power under Section 482 of the CrPC as follows:

  1. Section 482 preserves the inherent powers of the High Court to prevent abuse of the court process or secure justice, without conferring new powers.
  2. Invoking Section 482 to quash a First Information Report (FIR) or criminal proceeding due to a settlement between the offender and victim is different from compounding an offence under Section 320 of the CrPC. The power to quash under Section 482 applies even to non-compoundable offences.
  3. The High Court must consider whether the ends of justice justify exercising inherent power when deciding to quash a criminal proceeding or complaint.
  4. The inherent power of the High Court is exercised to secure the ends of justice and prevent abuse of the court process.
  5. Whether a complaint or FIR should be quashed based on a settlement depends on the facts and circumstances of each case; no exhaustive principles can be formulated.
  6. Serious offences like murder, rape, and dacoity, involving a grave impact on society, cannot be quashed based on a settlement, considering the public interest in punishing offenders.
  7. Criminal cases with a predominant civil dispute element, such as commercial or financial transactions, may be quashed if the parties have settled, and conviction seems unlikely.
  8. In cases involving economic offences affecting the state’s financial or economic well-being, the High Court may decline to quash, considering broader implications beyond a private dispute.

The Court emphasized that these principles guide the exercise of inherent power under Section 482, and the decision to quash criminal proceedings must be made thoughtfully, taking into account the nature of the offence and public interest.

The Essence of Section 482

 Section 482 of the CrPC is a manifestation of the age-old legal principle that justice should not only be done but should also be seen to be done. This section grants inherent powers to the High Courts to quash criminal proceedings or FIRs (First Information Reports) in appropriate cases where it is necessary to prevent abuse of the legal process or to secure the ends of justice. Essentially, these inherent powers act as a safety valve, enabling the courts to rectify any injustices or misuse of the legal machinery that may occur during the course of a criminal case.

The Scope and Application

 The scope of Section 482 is quite extensive, and the High Courts can exercise these inherent powers in diverse situations. Some of the common scenarios where this section is invoked include cases where:

  1. The FIR is frivolous or filed with mala fide intentions to harass the accused without any substantive evidence.
  2. The criminal proceedings are vexatious and initiated solely to settle personal scores or private disputes.
  3. The FIR or chargesheet suffers from material discrepancies or legal defects that render the prosecution unsustainable.
  4. The continuation of criminal proceedings would be an abuse of the process of the court and serve no public interest.

Judicial Prudence and Section 482

 While the inherent powers granted under Section 482 provide the judiciary with flexibility, their exercise is not unfettered. Courts are cautious to ensure that these powers are not used as a tool to circumvent the ordinary course of law or to override other provisions of the CrPC. The courts have consistently emphasized that the exercise of inherent powers must be sparing, judicious, and only in extraordinary situations where it is imperative to meet the ends of justice.

Balancing Justice and Fairness:

The CrPC, including Section 482, seeks to strike a balance between justice and fairness. While the section empowers the courts to intervene when injustice is apparent, it also recognizes the importance of allowing the legal process to run its course without undue interference. The courts are mindful of not unduly interfering with ongoing investigations or undermining the role of the police and prosecuting agencies in the criminal justice system.


 Section 482 of the CrPC is an essential tool in the hands of the judiciary to uphold the principles of fairness and justice. By vesting the High Courts with inherent powers, the law acknowledges the need for flexibility in dealing with complex and extraordinary situations that may arise during the course of criminal proceedings. However, these powers come with great responsibility and are exercised with caution to ensure that the spirit of the law is upheld and that justice is served without compromising the integrity of the legal process.

In a vast and diverse country like India, where the criminal justice system is constantly evolving, the inherent powers under Section 482 play a pivotal role in maintaining public confidence in the administration of justice. As we move forward, it is crucial to strike a harmonious balance between preserving the sanctity of the legal process and providing swift and equitable justice to all.

We are a law firm in the name and style of Law Offices of Kr. Vivek Tanwar Advocate and Associates at Gurugram and Rewari. We are providing litigation support services for matters related to the Inherent Powers of the Criminal Justice System (CrPC).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This field is required.

This field is required.


The following disclaimer governs the use of this website (“Website”) and the services provided by the Law offices of Kr. Vivek Tanwar Advocate & Associates in accordance with the laws of India. By accessing or using this Website, you acknowledge and agree to the terms and conditions stated in this disclaimer.

The information provided on this Website is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered as legal advice or relied upon as such. The content of this Website is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship between you and the Law Firm. Any reliance on the information provided on this Website is done at your own risk.

The Law Firm makes no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, regarding the accuracy, completeness, reliability, or suitability of the information contained on this Website.

The Law Firm disclaims all liability for any errors or omissions in the content of this Website or for any actions taken in reliance on the information provided herein. The information contained in this website, should not be construed as an act of solicitation of work or advertisement in any manner.