What Is Quashing And How It Affects A Case

What Is Quashing And How It Affects A Case

“Quashing” is a legal term, the meaning of quashing is disposed of or finish a criminal case before the ending of the trial or passing judgment.  When a criminal case is registered against someone in the court either by the police or a person, the case must be proved by the complainant against the accused person and alleged accused person try to prove innocent to him before the trial court.

Our criminal legal procedure runs on the basis of two Pillars:

1. Indian Penal Code (I.P.C)

Our Indian Penal code describes, when a crime is committed by a person under what section he will be arrested i.e. given the name of the crime, how much the sentenced can be awarded to the offender, offense is cognizable or non-cognizable, before which court is tri-able and last is offense is compoundable or not compoundable.

2. Code of Criminal Procedure (Cr.P.C)

Our Criminal Procedure Code describes how the police and Court deal with a criminal case, and describe the power of the police and court.

Power to quash a Criminal Case

In our penal code offence divided into two categories compoundable and Non-Compoundable. 

What is compoundable? In simple meaning, cases that can be quashed by the trial court, for example when the parties of the case have settled the matter amicably or by the compromise. If the offence is compoundable then the trial court has power to quash the case but when the case is non-compoundable then only the High Court of the state and Supreme Court of India has the power to quash the case.

When the party wants to quash the case on merit then it doesn’t matter offence is compoundable or not, power is only given to the High Court and Supreme Court of India.

Difference between the Quashing and Appeal or Revision

The Process of quashing is different from an appeal and revision case. The main difference is there no provision laid down in the Cr.p.c (Criminal Procedure Code of India) of quashing a case. Section 482 of the Cr.p.c give the inherent power to the Hon’ble High court and using of this inherent power, High court can quash the criminal case. For filing an appeal or revision petitioner have to wait for a specific stage of the case but as compared to appeal or revision, the petitioner can file the quashing petition before the Hon’ble High Court at any stage of the case if he has sufficient ground to file.

Quashing of FIR ( Article 498-A)

Nowadays, it is very easy for women to file FIR on the allegation of cruelty, and the husband and his family have to go through all the harassment and torture. To save themselves from all the torture the FIR can be quashed under Article 498-A. 

The case of 498- A can be quashed when there are vague allegations in the FIR. An FIR is a document for getting evidence against the accused. It must contain all the specific data required to satisfy an offence, and also must include material through which investigation may proceed.

If an FIR misses facts then it is a vague FIR which can be quashed by invoking the jurisdiction of 482 CrPC.

Section 482 o Cr.P.C says,

“Saving of inherent powers of High Court Nothing in this Code shall be deemed to limit or affect the inherent powers of the High Court to make such orders as may be necessary to give effect to any order under this Code, or to prevent abuse of the process of any Court or otherwise to secure the ends of justice.”

Some believe that if an FIR satisfies all the facts of an offence it is not the case for being fit for quashing but this proposition is untrue, there are categories of cases where inherent power can be exercised to quash the proceedings. 

  1. Where it manifestly seems that there is a legal bar against the institution.
  2. Where the allegations in the FIR or complaint was taken at its face value and accepted in their entirety do not constitute the offence alleged.
  3. Where the allegations constitute an offence, but there is no legal evidence adduced or the evidence adduced clearly or manifestly fails to prove the charge. so lack of evidence is another ground for quashing proceedings.

The Supreme Court follows these broad principles in relation to Section 482 for quashing FIRs

  • The jurisdiction of the High Court to quash an FIR or a criminal proceeding on the ground that a settlement has been done between the offender and the victim is not the same as for compounding an offence.
  • The High Court must evaluate whether the ends of justice would justify the exercise of the inherent power. 
  • The decision to quash an FIR depends on the facts and circumstances of each case and no exhaustive elaboration of principles can be formulated
  • Criminal cases from a commercial, financial, mercantile, partnership or similar transactions disputes fall for quashing where parties have settled the dispute;
  • The High Court exercising its power under Section 482 and dealing with a plea that the dispute has been settled must have due regard to the nature and gravity of the Offence.

No Side Effect of quashing petition

No doubt, every case will not reach on a positive result. Sometimes petitioner doest gain a positive result in his case and quashing is also not a mandatory or law bound process like the appeal or revision for the petitioner. It is purely a choice of a petitioner if he believed that the present case is false or has some legal loop and he will not need to wait till the end of the trial. If the petitioner file a quashing petition before the Hon’ble Court and succeeds, the case will be quashed against him with all subsequent proceeding and if not, then it does not give any bad effect. To the merit of his case before the trial court and he gains proper opportunity to prove innocent to himself.

Advocate in Chandigarh has successfully dealt with many quashing of FIR matters on behalf of their clients. While it is ensured that some amount of justice is meted out to a person making a mistake if there are other ways of resolving the dispute, the special team of Advocate in Chandigarh has successfully managed to bring about such agreements too.

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