Hyderabad HC can use its inherent powers to prevent abuse of court process

HC by exercising its inherent jurisdiction can quash the proceedings, since filing of such criminal proceedings would amount to abuse of process of this Court.

Published: 13th August 2018 04:22 AM  |   Last Updated: 13th August 2018 04:22 AM   |  A+A-

Hyderabad High Court. (File photo| EPS)

Express News Service

HYDERABAD: The High Court can exercise its inherent powers to issue such orders, as may be necessary, to give effect to any order under Section 482 of the Criminal Procedure Code. It can exercise these powers to prevent disgruntled litigants from abusing a court’s process, or otherwise, to secure the ends of justice. However, these powers can be exercised only in exceptional circumstances.

When a dispute is purely civil in nature, the High Court can evaluate the material and documents on record, but it cannot appreciate (examine) evidence. The Court cannot record evidence to conclude whether the material produced is sufficient or not for convincing the accused.

This was exhibited recently, when a petition filed before the Hyderabad High Court under Section 482 CrPC, sought to quash proceedings pending against the petitioners-accused (A2 to A4) before a Metropolitan Magistrate court at Miyapur in Cyberabad for offences punishable under various sections of IPC.

The petitioners-accused contended that they could not be made liable for any of the offences punishable under the provisions of penal code since one of them (A2) is the possessor of subject immovable property (plot) and purchased the same for valuable consideration under registered sale document from the original vendor (who was arrayed as accused number one (A1) in the case before lower court), while A3 and A4 have nothing to do with the transaction and they had signed on the document as attestors, witnessing the execution of the document.

On the other hand, one of the respondents, who is the complainant before the lower court against A2 to A4 and A1, claimed that he was the absolute owner, and peaceful possessor, of the subject plot and had entered into a registered development agreement with one of the builders.

The builder stopped construction work when the respondent received summons in the case filed by A2. The documents submitted by A2 show that A1 (original vendor) executed the sale deed in favour of A2 is without a legally valid title. When A2 (petitioner-accused) along with his henchmen tried to trespass into the property, the complainant moved the Metropolitan Magistrate court at Miyapur and the latter referred the case to police for investigation.

The police registered the case for offences punishable under Sections 420 (cheating), 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation) and other sections of IPC and later filed a charge-sheet before the lower court. The investigation disclosed that the complainant was the absolute owner of the property.  Therefore, the proceedings in the lower court against the petitioners-accused could not be quashed at the threshold, since forgery and fabrication of a document was to be decided at the end of trial, he argued and sought to dismiss the petition.

After hearing the case and perusing the material on record and various court judgments, Justice M Satyanarayana Murthy said that there was absolutely no allegation that the petitioners (A2 to A4) committed any act, as specified in Section 503 (criminal intimidation), to constitute an offence punishable under Section 506 IPC.  If the allegations do not constitute specific offences making them appear before the court would cause substantial loss to the petitioners-accused, the judge noted.

Justice Murthy said that as the allegations did not disclose on its face value, that the petitioners had committed offences punishable under Section 420, 506 and other sections of IPC, HC by exercising its inherent jurisdiction can quash the proceedings, since filing of such criminal proceedings would amount to abuse of process of this Court. The whole idea behind Section 482 CrPC was to prevent abuse of process of the Court by disgruntled litigant against anyone, the judge observed.

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