Inherent power under Section 482 CrPC

The Supreme Court in a number of cases has laid down the scope and ambit of courts’ powers under section 482 Cr.P.C. Every High Court has inherent power to act ex debito justitiae to do real and substantial justice, for the administration of which alone it exists, or to prevent abuse of the process of the court.

Inherent power under section 482 Cr.P.C. can be exercised:
(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.

The courts have consistently taken the view that they must use this extraordinary power to prevent injustice and secure the ends of justice.

The English courts have also used inherent power to achieve the same objective. It is generally agreed that the Crown Court has inherent power to protect its process from abuse. In Connelly v. Director of Public Prosecutions [1964] AC 1254, Lord Devlin stated that where particular criminal proceedings constitute an abuse of process, the court is empowered to refuse to allow the indictment to proceed to trial. Lord Salmon in Director of Public Prosecutions v. Humphrys [1977] AC 1 stressed the importance of the inherent power when he observed that it is only if the prosecution amounts to an abuse of the process of the court and is oppressive and vexatious that the judge has the power to intervene. He further mentioned that the court’s power to prevent such abuse is of great constitutional importance and should be jealously preserved.

Source: Supreme Court Cases

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