No limit on inherent powers of High Court u/s 482 CrPC: SC

The Supreme Court of India recently clarified that there is no limitation on the inherent power of the High Courts under Section 482 of Criminal Procedure Code (“Cr.P.C.”) to accept petitions and the availability of alternative remedy of criminal revision petition under Section 397 Cr.P.C. by itself cannot be a good ground to dismiss such petitions.

“We would simply reiterate that Section 482 begins with a non-obstante clause to state: “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.” A fortiori, there can be no total ban on the exercise of such wholesome jurisdiction”, a Large Bench of the Court explained.

The Court further said “Since Section 397 Cr.P.C. is attracted against all orders other than interlocutory, a contrary view would limit the availability of inherent powers under Section 482 Cr.P.C. only to petty interlocutory orders! A situation wholly unwarranted and undesirable”.

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