2017 ALL MR (Cri) 46
IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT BOMBAY
A. S. OKA AND P. D. NAIK, JJ.
Tanaji @ Tillya Dinkar Walgude & Ors. Vs. The State of Maharashtra & Anr.
Criminal Application No.289 of 2016
28th March, 2016.
Petitioner Counsel: Mr. SATYAVRAT JOSHI
Respondent Counsel: Dr. F.R. SHAIKH, A.P.P., Mr. BALWANT V. SALUNKHE
Criminal P.C. (1973), Ss.482, 320 - Quashing of proceedings - Compounding of offence in case of extortion and criminal intimidation - Permissibility - FIR alleging that applicants-accused visited house of complainant and intimidated him and his wife and also demanded money as he had secured a contract of repairs from Gram Panchayat - Complainant and his family members were threatened of dire consequences with a view to extort money - Allegations made in complaint are of very serious nature - Complaint cannot be quashed on ground that dispute has been amicably settled between parties since offences alleged are against society at large - Quashing declined.(Paras 14, 20)
Gian Singh Vs. State of Punjab, 2013 ALL SCR 171=(2012) 10 SCC 303 [Para 7,19]
Jitendra Raghuvanshi and Ors. Vs. Babita Raghuvanshi and Anr., 2013 ALL SCR 1542=(2013) 4 SCC 58 [Para 8]
Narinder Singh and Ors. Vs. State of Punjab and Anr., 2014 ALL MR (Cri) 1886 (S.C.)=(2014) 6 SCC 466 [Para 9,15]
State of Madhya Pradesh Vs. Deepak and Ors., 2014 ALL SCR 3579=(2014) 10 SCC 285 [Para 10]
State of Haryana and Ors. Vs. Ch.Bhajan Lal and Ors., 2013 ALL SCR (O.C.C.) 1=AIR 1992 SC 604 [Para 11]
Inder Mohan Goswami and Anr. Vs. State of Uttaranchal and Ors., 2007 ALL MR (Cri) 3302 (S.C.)=AIR 2008 SC 251 [Para 11]
Indian Oil Corporation Vs. NEPC India Limited and Ors., (2006) 6 SCC 736 [Para 11]
State of Andhra Pradesh Vs. Golconda Linga Swamy and Anr., 2004 ALL MR (Cri) 2857 (S.C.)=(2004) 6 SCC 522 [Para 17]
Madhu Limaye Vs. State of Maharashtra, 2007 ALL SCR (O.C.C.) 191=(1977) 4 SCC 551 [Para 18]
Raj Kapoor Vs. State, (1980) 1 SCC 43 [Para 19]
2. The Applicants have preferred this application under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 ('Code') and sought quashing of the proceedings in RCC No.3212 of 2015. The said proceedings are arising out of CR No.32 of 2014 registered with Velha Police Station, Pune Rural. The Second Respondent is the first informant who had lodged the first information report ('FIR') for the offences punishable under Sections 386, 387, 447, 506, 109 read with Section 34 of Indian Penal Code ('IPC'). On the basis of the registration of FIR, investigation was completed by the Police and charge sheet has been filed before the Court of Judicial Magistrate, First Class, Pune.
(a) The Complainant-Respondent no.2 herein left his house for work. His wife was alone at home. When he returned home for lunch, he was informed by his wife that at about 9.30 a.m; the Applicant no.1 had visited the house and was inquiring about the whereabouts of the complainant. The Applicant no.1 had further stated that he wants to recover 'Hafta' (extortion) from the second Respondent-complainant. The Applicant no.1-accused had also warned that in the event the complainant is not found at home, he will be traced and killed. The Applicant no.1 was accompanied by Applicant no.5 and two to three other unknown persons.
(b) On 4th April 2014, the Applicant no.1 and other accused had again visited the house of the second Respondent at about 9.00 p.m. The second Respondent was at home at that point of time. The accused stated that as the complainant has been allotted a contract of repairs by Gram Panchayat, the complainant has not yet paid the money to the Sarpanch of Wangani namely Bapu @ Rohidas Choraghe (Applicant no.1). The Applicant no.1 then gave a call from his mobile and handed over the mobile phone to the second Respondent (complainant). The person on the line was Applicant no.4. While having conversation, the Applicant no.2 intimidated and abused the second Respondent. He also stated that the second Respondent should hand over an amount of Rs.5,000/- immediately to Applicant no.1. He was also threatened that he will have to face dire consequences and it will be difficult for him to live his life. The Applicant no.4 also threatened that the accused who had visited his house, would kill him if he did not part with the amount to them. The accused also warned the second Respondent that his house is situated in a lonely place wherein his wife and children are residing and in other way threatened the entire family of dire consequences. In view of the threats, the second Respondent handed over a sum of Rs.5,000/- to the accused persons, who had visited his house. On apprehending the danger at the instance of the said accused persons, the second Respondent lodged an FIR with Velha Police Station on 5th April 2014 and on the basis of his statement, the FIR was registered for the aforesaid offences.
4. The Applicants have submitted before this Court that the dispute between them and the second Respondent has been amicably settled and on that ground, the subject criminal proceedings may be quashed. The prayer for quashing in the application is also supported by the second Respondent by tendering an affidavit dated 28th March 2016 before this Court. In the said affidavit dated 28th March 2016, the second Respondent has mentioned that he is the first informant in connection with CR No.32 of 2014. The dispute has been amicably settled amongst themselves and that he do not wish to pursue the criminal prosecution which has been instituted as against the Applicants. It is also stated that the second Respondent does not have any objection if the prosecution as against the Applicants is quashed and set aside. He further stated that in view of the amicable settlement arrived at between the Applicants and the second Respondent, the proceedings may be quashed in order to save the valuable and precious time of the Court in connection with the aforesaid case. He also stated that no useful purpose would be served in the event prosecution as against the Applicants is continued further and, therefore, he has no objection for quashing the proceedings against the Applicants.
5. It was submitted by the advocate for the Applicants and the second Respondent that since the dispute between the Applicants and the second Respondent has been amicably settled, criminal proceedings may be quashed. It was also submitted that the dispute is of individual nature and public at large has no concern. It is submitted that in view of the affidavit being filed by the second Respondent stating that the parties have arrived at amicable settlement, the proceedings may be quashed. The advocate for the second Respondent submitted that the second Respondent-complainant is not interested in pursuing the complaint and the proceedings against the Applicants on the account of settlement arrived at between them. He further stated that the first informant has no objection for quashing the proceedings and thereby allowing the application preferred by the Applicants.
"S.386 - Extortion by putting a person in fear of death or grievous hurt -
Whoever commits extortion by putting any person in fear of death or of grievous hurt to that person or to any other, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.
S.387 - Putting person in fear of death or of grievous hurt, in order to commit extortion -
Whoever, in order to the committing of extortion, puts or attempts to put any person in fear of death or of grievous hurt to that person or to any other, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine."
On perusal of the aforesaid penal provisions, it is apparent that the offences contemplated under the said provisions are in relation to extortion by putting any person in fear of death or of grievous hurt. From the facts as stated in the FIR, it is clear that the accused had visited the house of the complainant and had intimidated the wife of the complainant as well as the complainant. It is apparent that the accused were demanding money from the complainant as he had secured a contract of repairs from the concerned Gram Panchayat. It is apparent that the accused had warned the complainant that he should part with the amount or else he would be required to face dire consequences. They had also threatened him that he would be killed. The intimidation was also meted out to the entire family by stating that the house is situated at a lonely place where his family is residing. In view of the seriousness of the charges, we are not inclined to exercise power under Section 482 of the Code.
7. In the case of Gian Singh Vs. State of Punjab and another, (2012)10-SCC-303 : [2013 ALL SCR 171], the Apex Court has observed that Section 482 of the Code, as its very language suggests, saves the inherent power of the High Court which it has by virtue of it being a superior Court to prevent abuse of the process of any Court or otherwise to secure the ends of justice. It begins with the words "nothing in this Code" which means that the provision is an overriding provision. These words leave no manner of doubt that none of the provisions of the Code limit or restrict the inherent powers. The guidelines for exercise of such power is provided in Section 482 itself i.e. to prevent abuse of the process of any Court or otherwise to secure the ends of justice. It is further observed by the Apex Court that this power should be exercised very sparingly and it should not be exercised as against the express bar of law engrafted in any other provision of the Code. Such power should be exercised with great caution and circumspection. In paragraph 58 of the judgment, the Apex Court has laid down guidelines for exercising the power under Section 482 of the Code in the cases where parties have arrived at amicable settlement. The said paragraph reads as follows :
"58. Where the High Court quashes a criminal proceeding having regard to the fact that the dispute between the offender and the victim has been settled although the offences are not compoundable, it does so as in its opinion, continuation of criminal proceedings will be an exercise in futility and justice in the case demands that the dispute between the parties is put to an end and peace is restored; securing the ends of justice being the ultimate guiding factor. No doubt, crimes are acts which have harmful effect on the public and consist in wrongdoing that seriously endangers and threatens the well being of the society and it is not safe to leave the crime-doer only because he and the victim have settled the dispute amicably or that the victim has been paid compensation, yet certain crimes have been made compoundable in law, with or without the permission of the Court. In respect of serious offences like murder, rape, dacoity etc. or other offences of mental depravity under IPC or offences of moral turpitude under special statutes, like the Prevention of Corruption Act or the offences committed by public servants while working in that capacity, the settlement between the offender and the victim can have no legal sanction at all. However, certain offences which overwhelmingly and predominantly bear civil flavour having arisen out of civil, mercantile, commercial, financial, partnership or such like transactions or the offences arising out of matrimony, particularly relating to dowry etc. or the family dispute, where the wrong is basically to the victim and the offender and the victim have settled all disputes between them amicably, irrespective of the fact that such offences have not been made compoundable, the High Court may within the framework of its inherent power, quash the criminal proceeding or criminal complaint or FIR if it is satisfied that on the face of such settlement, there is hardly any likelihood of the offender being convicted and by not quashing the criminal proceedings justice shall be casualty and ends of justice shall be defeated. The above list is illustrative and not exhaustive. Each case will depend on its own facts and no hard-and-fast category can be prescribed." (emphasis supplied)
Similarly in paragraph 61 of the said decision, the Apex Court has observed that before exercising the power, High Court must have due regard to the nature and gravity of the crime. Heinous and serious offences of mental depravity or offences like murder, rape, dacoity etc. cannot be fittingly quashed even though the victim or victim's family and the offender have settled the dispute. Such offences are not private in nature and have a serious impact on society. It is further observed by the Apex Court that inherent power can be exercised in the event of settlement in commercial, financial, mercantile, civil, partnership or such like transactions or the offences arising out of matrimony relating to dowry etc or the family disputes where the wrong is basically private or personal in nature and the parties have resolved their entire dispute. The said paragraph reads thus :
"61. The position that emerges from the above discussion can be summarised thus; the power of the High Court in quashing a criminal proceeding or FIR or complaint in exercise of its inherent jurisdiction is distinct and different from the power given to a criminal Court for compounding the offences under Section 320 of the Code. Inherent power is of wide plenitude with no statutory limitation but it has to be exercised in accord with the guideline engrafted in such power viz. : (i) to secure the ends of justice, or (ii) to prevent abuse of the process of any Court. In what cases power to quash the criminal proceeding or complaint or FIR may be exercised where the offender and the victim have settled their dispute would depend on the facts and circumstances of each case and no category can be prescribed. However, before exercise of such power, the High Court must have due regard to the nature and gravity of the crime. Heinous and serious offences of mental depravity or offences like murder, rape, dacoity etc. cannot be fittingly quashed even though the victim or victim's family and the offender have settled the dispute. Such offences are not private in nature and have a serious impact on society. Similarly, any compromise between the victim and the offender in relation to the offences under special statutes like the Prevention of Corruption Act or the offences committed by public servants while working in that capacity, etc; cannot provide for any basis for quashing criminal proceedings involving such offences. But the criminal cases having overwhelmingly and predominatingly civil flavour stand on a different footing for the purposes of quashing, particularly the offences arising from commercial, financial, mercantile, civil, partnership or such like transactions or the offences arising out of matrimony relating to dowry etc. or the family disputes where the wrong is basically private or personal in nature and the parties have resolved their entire dispute. In this category of cases the High Court may quash the criminal proceedings if in its view, because of the compromise between the offender and the victim, the possibility of conviction is remote and bleak and continuation of the criminal case would put the accused to great oppression and prejudice and extreme injustice would be caused to him by not quashing the criminal case despite full and complete settlement and compromise with the victim. In other words, the High Court must consider whether it would be unfair or contrary to the interest of justice to continue with the criminal proceeding or continuation of the criminal proceeding would tantamount to abuse of process of law despite settlement and compromise between the victim and the wrongdoer and whether to secure the ends of justice, it is appropriate that the criminal case is put to an end and if the answer to the above question(s) is in the affirmative, the High Court shall be well within its jurisdiction to quash the criminal proceeding." (emphasis supplied)
8. In case of Jitendra Raghuvanshi and others Vs. Babita Raghuvanshi and another, (2013)4-SCC-58 : [2013 ALL SCR 1542], the Apex Court was considering invocation of the power on account of amicable settlement between the parties. In the said decision, the Apex Court had considered quashing of the dispute which was of matrimonial nature. In paragraph 15 of the said decision, the Court has observed that it is the duty of the Courts to encourage genuine settlements of matrimonial disputes, particularly, when the same are on considerable increase. It is also observed that the power under Section 482 of the Code should be exercised sparingly and with circumspection only when the Court is convinced, on the basis of material on record, that allowing the proceedings to continue would be an abuse of process of Court or that the ends of justice require that the proceedings ought to be quashed. It is also observed that exercise of such power would depend upon the facts and circumstances of each case and it has to be exercised in appropriate cases in order to do real and substantial justice.
9. In another decision of the Apex Court in case of Narinder Singh and others Vs. State of Punjab and another, (2014)6-SCC-466 : [2014 ALL MR (Cri) 1886 (S.C.)], the Apex Court had considered whether prosecution initiated under Section 307 of IPC can be quashed and set aside on the ground of amicable settlement arrived at between the parties. The Apex Court was pleased to observe that what is required to be seen is whether a prima facie offence under Section 307 of IPC is made out in the case. In paragraph 13 of the said decision, the Apex Court has observed that the charge against the accused therein was that he had attempted to take the life of another person. On this touchstone, whether the crime should be treated as of serious nature so as to fall in the category of heinous crime is the poser. If it is heinous crime of serious nature, then it should be treated as a crime against the society and not against individual alone. Then it becomes the solemn duty of the State to punish the crime-doer. Even if there is a settlement/compromise between the perpetrator of crime and the victim, that is of no consequence. It is further observed that the offences which are treated as offences against society, it becomes the duty of the State to punish such offenders. Thus, even when there is settlement between the offender and the victim, their will would not prevail as in such cases, the matter is in public domain. The offender should be punished in order to deter other effectively as it amounts to greatest good of the greatest number of persons in a society.
10. In another decision of Apex Court in case of State of Madhya Pradesh Vs. Deepak and others, (2014)10-SCC-285 : [2014 ALL SCR 3579], the Apex Court had considered the similar issue of quashing proceeding on account of amicable settlement. In the factual matrix of the said case, the accused was charged with an offence under Section 307 of IPC. In paragraph 10 of the said decision, the Apex Court was pleased to observe that the crime alleged to have been committed by the accused persons was a crime against the society at large. It is further observed that Criminal Law is designed as a mechanism for achieving social control and its purpose is the regulation of conduct and activities, within the society. It is also observed that the High Court was not right in thinking that it was only an injury to the person and since the accused persons had received the monetary compensation and settled the matter, the crime as against them was wiped off. Criminal justice system has a larger objective to achieve, that is, safety and protection of the people at large and it would be a lesson not only to the offender, but to the individuals at large so that such crimes would not be committed by anyone and money would not be a substitute for the crime committed against the society. Taking a lenient view on a serious offence like the present one, will leave a wrong impression about the criminal justice system and will encourage further criminal acts, which will endanger the peaceful coexistence and welfare of the society at large.
11. From a catena of decisions of the Apex Court from time to time, it has been reiterated that power under Section 482 of the Code to quash FIR/complaint/criminal proceedings should not be exercised mechanically but it should be exercised with great caution and circumspection. Such power is to be exercised when a clear case for quashing is made out. The inherent jurisdiction may be used in the cases to give effect to an order under the Code, to prevent abuse of the process of law or to secure the ends of justice. These principles have been enunciated from time to time, as stated above, in several decisions of Apex Court including:
(i) State of Haryana and others Vs. Ch.Bhajan Lal and others - AIR-1992-SC-604 : [2013 ALL SCR (O.C.C.) 1];
(ii) Inder Mohan Goswami and another Vs. State of Uttaranchal and others - AIR-2008-SC-251 : [2007 ALL MR (Cri) 3302 (S.C.)];
(iii) Indian Oil Corporation Vs. NEPC India Limited and others - (2006)6-SCC-736.
12. In the present case, the facts narrated in the complaint are of serious nature. The dispute obviously is not of private nature. The offence made out in the FIR is of alleged extortion committed by the Applicants-accused. It is pertinent to note that the accused had threatened the complainant as well as his family members of dire consequences with a view to extort money from the complainant. The learned Additional Public Prosecutor had also pointed out that some of the accused have antecedents as several crimes are registered against them. From the factual matrix of the prosecution case, it can be seen that the allegation is that the accused indulged in the acts of extortion, as the complainant had secured a contract of repairs from the Gram Panchayat and had not paid money to the Applicant no.1 who was a Sarpnch. The first informant was threatened that he will have to face dire consequences and that he will be killed in the event he does not pay the amount demanded by them. It is also necessary to note that the accused persons visited the house of the complainant when his wife was alone at home and she was threatened that in the event the complainant does not remain at home, he will be traced out and killed by them. It may be noted that the offences registered against the accused are cognizable, non-bailable and non-compoundable. Section 320 of Code stipulates public policy with regard to the compounding of offences punishable under the Penal Code, which may be compounded by the parties. No doubt, Section 482 of the Code saves the inherent power of the High Court to prevent abuse of process of any Court or otherwise to secure the ends of justice. Thus, emphasis is that the power of quashing the proceedings on the ground of settlement has to be exercised to prevent abuse of process of any Court or to secure the ends of justice.
13. In the present case, as the magnitude and gravity of the offence is very serious, we are not inclined to exercise inherent power under Section 482 of the Code in favour of Applicants. From the documents on record it is also apparent that there is a recovery at the instance of accused which is conducted by Police by recording Panchanama. The prosecution case is further supported by the statement of the wife of second Respondent-complainant. In the charge sheet submitted against the Applicants, certain documents have been annexed including other complaints/FIR registered against the accused. On perusal of said complaints/FIR, it is revealed that FIR bearing CR No.31/2013 has been registered at Velhe Police Station, Pune Rural on 16th June 2013 for offences punishable under Sections 447, 452, 143, 147, 148, 323, 504, 506 of IPC. The said FIR has been registered against Applicant nos.2 and 4. Similarly, FIR bearing CR No.6 of 2015 has been registered with the same Police Station on 5th February 2015 for offences under Sections 395, 427 of IPC. The said FIR has been registered against Applicant nos.2, 3 and 4. The said FIR relates to the offences of decoity. It is also apparent that the Applicants are indulging into criminal activities in connivance with each other. It also appears that the Applicants are the members of crime syndicate who are indulging into offences repeatedly. The learned Prosecutor has also submitted a report which is addressed by the concerned Police Station to the Prosecutor, wherein the details of antecedents of the Applicants have been set out. The said report is taken on record and marked "X-1" for identification.
14. On going through the FIR, the statements of witnesses, the recovery panchanama etc; it is crystal clear that prima facie the offence alleged against the Applicants is made out. The allegations made in the complaint are of very serious nature and the complainant cannot be allowed to withdraw the said allegations by submitting an affidavit stating that the dispute has been amicably settled between the parties. It is necessary to consider that the offences alleged are against the society at large. The subject of the prosecution does not give rise to the right in persona but the right in rem. The criminals are required to be punished for the crimes committed by them not only in the interest of the complainant but it is in the interest of public at large.
15. In the decision referred to hereinabove in the case of Narinder Singh and others, [2014 ALL MR (Cri) 1886 (S.C.)] (supra), it has been observed that any person committing criminal acts, is subject to penal schemes, which may be of various kinds. Mostly punishment is either of imprisonment or monetary or both. Imprisonment can be rigorous or simple in nature. Why are those persons who commit offences subjected to penal consequences? There are many philosophies behind such sentencing justifying these penal consequences. The philosophical/jurisprudential justification can be retribution, incapacitation, specific deterrence, general deterrence, rehabilitation, or restoration. Any of the above or a combination thereof can be the goal of sentencing. The Apex Court in the said decision has further observed that in various countries, sentencing guidelines are provided, statutorily or otherwise, which may guide Judges for awarding specific sentence. In India, we do not have any such sentencing policy till date. The prevalence of such guidelines may not only aim at achieving consistencies in awarding sentences in different cases, such guidelines normally prescribe the sentencing policy as well, namely, whether the purpose of awarding punishment in a particular case is more of a deterrence or retribution or rehabilitation etc. In the absence of such guidelines in India, the Courts go by their own perception about the philosophy behind the prescription of certain specified penal consequences for particular nature of crime. For some deterrence and/or vengeance becomes more important whereas another Judge may be more influenced by rehabilitation or restoration as the goal of sentencing. Sometimes, it would be a combination of both which would weigh in the mind of the Court in awarding a particular sentence. However, that may be a question of quantum. It is further observed by the Apex Court that what follows from the discussion behind the purpose of sentencing is that if a particular crime is to be treated as crime against the society and/or heinous crime, then the deterrence theory as a rationale for punishing the offender becomes more relevant, to be applied in such cases. Therefore, in respect of such offences which are treated against the society, it becomes the duty of the State to punish the offender.
16. In the present case, it can be seen that the accused were charged for the offences under Sections 386 and 387 of IPC. These offences are included in Chapter-XVII of IPC. In the said chapter, the offence relating to the extortion are incorporated from Sections 383 to 389 of IPC. Section 383 defines extortion as follows :
"S.383 - Extortion : Whoever intentionally puts any person in fear of any injury to that person, or to any other, and thereby dishonestly induces the person so put in fear to deliver to any person any property or valuable security, or anything signed or sealed which may be converted into a valuable security, commits "extortion".
The punishment for extortion is being provided under Section 384 of IPC. The further penal provisions relating to the act of extortion are based upon the manner in which the said offence is committed. Section 386 relates to the extortion by putting a person in fear of death or grievous hurt and Section 387 relates to putting any person in fear of death or of grievous hurt, in order to commit extortion. It is also important to note that offence under Section 386 is a non-compoundable offence punishable with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years and Section 387 is punishable with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years. The whole purpose of imposing stringent punishment for commission of this crime enumerated in the penal provisions is based upon the fact that the offences are of serious nature. Act of extortion has become a regular feature in the society. The Applicants are required to be subjected to prosecution and penalty by the Court of law. The accused cannot be permitted to adopt means of settlement with the complainant and seek quashing the proceedings. The manner in which the crime which is subject matter of the present complaint has been committed by the Applicants, shows that the accused have no regard for law. Their antecedents raise a doubt whether the alleged settlement is really voluntary on the part of the complainant. It is to be noted that by settling the dispute with the complainant, the proceedings will come to an end thereby there would not be any deterrent effect upon the accused who have committed the said crime. It can be also seen that the Applicants have acted in connivance with each other in committing other crimes also. In view of the aforesaid circumstances, we are of the view that the inherent power under Section 482 of the Code should not be exercised for quashing the proceedings on the ground that dispute has been amicably settled.
"S.482 - Saving of inherent power 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."
On reading the said provision, it can be seen that the Legislature has intentionally legislated the said provision to prevent the abuse of process of law or to secure the ends of justice. The Apex Court in the case of State of Andhra Pradesh Vs. Golconda Linga Swamy and another, (2004)6-SCC-522 : [2004 ALL MR (Cri) 2857 (S.C.)], has reiterated the scope of inherent power of High Court and stated that they are to be exercised sparingly, carefully and with caution. The Apex Court in paragraph 5 has observed as follows :
"5. Exercise of power under Section 482 of the code in a case of this nature is the exception and not the rule. The section does not confer any new powers on the High Court. It only saves the inherent power which the Court possessed before the enactment of the Code. It envisages three circumstances under which the inherent jurisdiction may be exercised, namely : (i) to give effect to an order under the Code, (ii) to prevent abuse of the process of Court, and (iii) to otherwise secure the ends of justice. It is neither possible nor desirable to lay down any inflexible rule which would govern the exercise of inherent jurisdiction. No legislative enactment dealing with procedure can provide for all cases that may possibly arise. Courts, therefore, have inherent powers apart from express provisions of law which are necessary for proper discharge of functions and duties imposed upon them by law. That is the doctrine which finds expression in the section which merely recognises and preserves inherent powers of the High Courts. All Courts, whether civil or criminal, possess in the absence of any express provision, as inherent in their constitution, all such powers as are necessary to do the right and to undo a wrong in course of administration of justice on the principle quando lex aliquid alique concedit, conceditur et id sine quo res ipsa esse non potest (when the law gives a person anything, it gives him that without which it cannot exist). While exercising powers under the section, the Court does not function as a Court of appeal or revision. Inherent jurisdiction under the section though wide has to be exercised sparingly, carefully and with caution and only when such exercise is justified by the tests specifically laid down in the section itself. It is to be exercised ex debito justitiae to do real and substantial justice for the administration of which alone Courts exist. Authority of the Court exists for advancement of justice and if any attempt is made to abuse that authority so as to produce injustice, the Court has power to prevent such abuse. It would be an abuse of the process of the Court to allow any action which would result in injustice and prevent promotion of justice. In exercise of the powers Court would be justified to quash any proceeding if it finds that initiation or continuance of it amounts to abuse of the process of Court, or quashing of these proceedings would otherwise serve the ends of justice. When no offence is disclosed by the complaint, the Court may examine the question of fact. When a complaint is sought to be quashed, it is permissible to look into the materials to assess what the complainant has alleged and whether any offence is made out even if the allegations are accepted in toto."
18. From the aforesaid observations it can be seen that the powers under Section 482 of the Code are required to be exercised with great caution. In the case of Madhu Limaye Vs. State of Maharashtra, (1977)4-SCC-551 : [2007 ALL SCR (O.C.C.) 191], a three Judge Bench of Apex Court has dealt with invocation of inherent power by High Court under Section 482 of the Code for quashing the proceedings. The Apex Court spelt out the principles in relation to the exercise of inherent power of the High Court as under :
"(1) that the power is not to be resorted to if there is a specific provision in the Code for the redress of the grievance of the aggrieved party;
(2) that it should be exercised very sparingly to prevent abuse of process of any Court or otherwise to secure the ends of justice;
(3) that it should not be exercised as against the express bar of law engrafted in any other provision of the Code."
19. In Raj Kapoor Vs. State, (1980)1-SCC-43, the Supreme Court has explained the amplitude of the inherent power of the High Court under Section 482 of the Code. It is pertinent to note that the offences alleged against the Applicants-accused are not compoundable in nature. An exception for quashing such proceeding can be made only in the circumstances laid down by various decisions of the Apex Court. The Apex Court in case of Gian Singh (supra) (2012)10-SCC-303 : [2013 ALL SCR 171], has held that the disputes which are not of private nature and have a serious impact on society, cannot be quashed in exercise of powers under Section 482 of the Code.
20. In view of the law laid down in various decisions referred to hereinabove and on considering the factual aspects of the present case, we are not inclined to exercise inherent power under Section 482 of the Code. We have noted that the Applicants-accused have committed a serious crime against the society. The dispute is not of private nature. The offence, as submitted by learned counsel for the Applicants, is not only between two individuals. The complainant cannot settle the dispute by filing an affidavit, which is in respect to a crime which is against the society at large. In such crime, he is not only an aggrieved party but the entire society is concerned with such crime. The Applicants-accused, if exonerated in a particular crime, may resort to similar crime with other members of the society. Therefore, no leniency can be shown to such accused accused who have indulged into crimes of serious nature. Hence, we are not inclined to interfere in the proceedings which are initiated against the Applicants. The application preferred by the Applicants deserves to be dismissed.
21. We clarify that the observations made in this judgment about the complicity of the Applicants are made only for the limited purpose of considering the case under Section 482 for quashing on the ground of settlement. All contentions of the Applicants before the Trial Court are kept open. The Trial Court will not be influenced by these observations at the time of trial.
(i) Criminal Application No.289 of 2016 is rejected. Rule is discharged.