October 6, 2023
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Indian legislation is based on the guiding principles of justice, fairness, and equality. The Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) is an essential component of the legislation that governs the criminal justice system in this nation. The procedures that courts and law enforcement officials must take while addressing criminal matters are set forth in the CrPC.

Inherent Powers of Criminal Courts under Criminal Procedure Code 

The High Court is authorized to use its inherent powers to issue any orders required to protect the principles of justice or to stop abuse of the judicial system under Section 482 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC).

In Layman terms: The High Court has the power to issue orders to guarantee justice. It can stop the abuse of any court’s procedures and guarantee that everyone obtains justice.

Section 482 of the Criminal Procedure Code and Its Powers

The powers under Section 482 of the CRPC are to-

  • Quash an FIR- It has the power to quash a First Information Report (FIR) and the lower court’s decisions.
  • Revoke orders- Any orders that were issued improperly or in violation of natural justice principles may be revoked by the High Court using its inherent power. Additionally, the court has the power to revoke orders that were obtained dishonestly or dishonestly.
  • Halt proceedings- It can exercise its inherent power to stay the case under the right conditions. To prevent any party from exploiting the legal system or tormenting the opposing party, the court has the power to halt proceedings.
  • Issue directives- It is empowered to issue whatever directives are necessary to ensure that justice is served. Lower courts may be ordered by the court to observe the principles of natural justice or the proper procedure.
  • Rectify any error- It can by using its inherent powers can cover up for any errors or omissions that have been committed throughout the proceedings, The court may correct any irregularities in the decision or procedural errors that would have been unfair to the parties.
  • Prevent abuse- It may prevent the abuse of the legal system by exercising its inherent power by preventing any party from abusing the system of justice or tormenting the other party.
  • Grant interim remedy- It has the power to grant interim remedy in appropriate situations. The court may grant a temporary remedy in order to avert irreparable harm to either party or maintain current circumstances until the matter is fully resolved.

Section 482 of CRPC: Determining the test for Intervention of Court   

The two typical tests in determining the intervention of courts under Section 482 CRPC are-

  • The test of “Inherent Jurisdiction” – To determine whether the High Court is exercising its inherent power to prevent judicial abuse or to advance the interests of justice, the test of “inherent jurisdiction” must be made. These criteria are based on the principle that the High Court’s inherent power should only be exercised in the most extreme of situations.
  • The tests of “Quashing” or “Triple tests” – Before the High Court can utilize its power to halt a proceeding under Section 482, the following three requirements must be fulfilled. satisfied. They are-
  • The claims included in the FIR or complaint does not, even if considered at their face value and agreed upon in their entirety, constitute any offense or create a case against the accused.
  • Even if all of the allegations in the FIR or complaint were accurate, they would not, when taken together with the claims in the charge sheet, exhibit a case that the defendant could be tried for.
  • To uphold the principles of justice and prevent abuse of the judicial system, the legal proceedings must be annulled.

Inherent Powers of Criminal Courts: Limitations under CRPC

  • The inherent powers granted by Section 482 of the CrPC cannot be utilized to go beyond the statutory processes outlined in the Code and must be employed within the scope of the CrPC.
  • The specific requirements of the CrPC may not be violated by inherent powers. They are subject to the Code’s regulations and cannot be used to disobey or circumvent them.
  • A probe cannot be obstructed by the inherent powers. Only in dire situations, cautiously, and in order to prevent abuse of the judicial system or protect the interests of justice may they be utilized.
  • The inherent powers cannot use innate abilities to impede a legitimate investigation. They are not meant to be utilized to impede the normal process of justice or to decide a private dispute.
  • The inherent powers are not applicable where the parties are entitled to other remedies. They ought to be employed only in cases where there is no alternative option and when it is vital to advance justice.

Inherent Powers of Criminal Courts: Landmark Judgments

  • In the case of R.P. Kapur v State of Punjab, the Supreme Court ruled that the inherent power of the High Court should not be used to circumvent the specific provisions of the CrPC or go beyond the established statutory procedures set forth in the Code. The court made it clear that the inherent powers were to be utilized only in critical circumstances, such as when it’s necessary to put an end to an exploitation of the legal system or preserve the interests of justice.
  • In the case of Dinesh Sharma & Ors v the State & Anr, the Delhi High Court decided that even if a settlement had been struck between the parties, heinous offenses like rape could not be quashed by the High Court using its inherent power under the virtue of Section 482 of the Criminal Procedure Code.


Despite the fact that Section 482 of the CRPC has an extremely broad application and is essential to how the High Court performs in order to accomplish justice, it should be acknowledged that the authority thus assigned has to be clearer and more comprehensive. It is essential that courts use it wisely and in compliance with the guidelines established by the Supreme Court and the High Courts.

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