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  • Writer's pictureVidhya Shet

Landmark Supreme Court Judgement on Quashing of FIR

Introduction: Hon’ble Supreme Court in CBI V/s. Aryan Singh and Others held that at the stage of quashing/deciding discharge application mini-trial is not to be conducted. The Hon’ble Courts while dealing with application under Section 482 CrPc cannot consider defence of the accused persons.

It further lays down that once primafacie allegations are present in FIR/chargesheet as the case may be against the accused, Hon’ble Courts cannot quash criminal case under Section 482 CrPc taking into account defence of the accused and that trial is the only way whereby accused can prove his innocence.

Facts of the case: Criminal proceedings were initiated under Sections 452, 323, 365, 342, 186, 225, 506 and 120B IPC against the accused persons. The Accused Aryan Singh was not named in the Fresh FIR. It is after conclusion of investigation chargesheet came to be filed against the said Aryan Singh also and he was included as one of the accused. Both the accused persons filed discharge applications before the Learned Trial Court which came to be dismissed on merits. Thereafter when the trial court order was challenged further before the High court, The High Court quashed the entire criminal proceedings. The said order was further challenged in Criminal Appeal before Hon’ble Apex Court by way of Criminal Appeal Nos. 1025-1026 of 2023.

Observations: The Hon’ble Supreme Court in this case was pleased to observe in following words: “As per the cardinal principle of law, at the stage of discharge and/or quashing of the criminal proceedings, while exercising the powers under Section 482 Cr.P.C., the Court is not required to conduct the mini trial.

It further observed “The charges are required to be proved during the trial on the basis of the evidence led by the prosecution / investigating agency”. Therefore, the High Court has materially erred in going in detail in the allegations and the material collected during the course of the investigation against the accused, at this stage. At the stage of discharge and/or while exercising the powers under Section 482 Cr.P.C., the Court has a very limited jurisdiction and is required to consider whether any sufficient material is available to proceed further against the accused for which the accused is required to be tried.

The Hon’ble Court further observed “Whether the criminal proceedings was/were malicious or not, is not required to be considered at this stage. The same is required to be considered at the conclusion of the trial. In any case, at this stage, what is required to be considered is a prima facie case and the material collected during the course of the investigation, which warranted the accused to be tried”.

Conclusion: This judgment is an excellent authority to be relied on by the prosecution/investigating agency. This is also likely to cut down the practice of filing frivolous applications for quashing of FIR as soon as the same is lodged to stall the investigation or trial as the case may be.

By Adv. Vidhya N. Shet

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