Can a FIR be quashed after filling of chargesheet

Yes. A charge sheet can be quashed by the High Court as per section 482 of the Code of Criminal Proceedings, 1973, under this section the court has an inherent power to make any court that may be necessary to prevent the abuse of the power and to secure the ends of the justice.[1]

The followings are the ground on which a charge sheet can be quashed[2]

  • When the merits of an FIR that is filed by the plaintiff against the accused cannot be proved in the court.
  • When the F.I.R is filled with false allegations and the court is satisfied with the findings of the case that the motive filing a false was to fulfill one’s revenge or for disturbing the life of the accused or for defaming him.
  • When an F.I.R that is filed does not fall under the cognizable offense and the office in-charge filed an F.I.R without taking permission of the magistrate as per section 155 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.
  • The charge sheet under when which the summon is ordered by the court, on proceeding the court finds out that the section under which a person is charged is not liable under it

Joseph Salvaraj A. vs. State of Gujarat & Ors. 2011case[3], the court has “we are of the considered opinion that the prosecution of the Appellant for the commission of the alleged offenses would be a clear abuse of the process of law. The FIR under the circumstances deserves to be quashed at the threshold”.

the Devendra Vs. The State of U.P. case[4], where the court has observed that “A distinction must be made between a civil wrong and a criminal wrong. When a dispute between the parties constitutes only a civil wrong and not a criminal wrong, the courts would not permit a person to be harassed although no case for taking cognizance of the offense has been made out.

 

The Supreme Court Case Anand Kumar Mohatta and Anr v State (Government of NCT of Delhi) The Supreme Court held that the offence under section 406 of the Indian Penal Code was not made out as it could not be said that the Appellants were entrusted with their own property. The other factor considered by the Supreme Court while quashing the FIR was that the contingencies arising under the contract, on the basis of which the deposit was to be returned to the Complainant, had not yet arisen. This was because the developer i.e. the Complainant was yet to handover the owners’ share of the developed property. Even otherwise, the complainant had not demanded the amount from the Appellants.

The Supreme court reiterated the principles governing the applicability of Section 406 of the IPC. In this regard Supreme Court stated that the essence of the offence lies in the use of the property entrusted to a person by that person, in violation of any direction of law or any legal contract which he has made during the discharge of such trust.

The Supreme Court quashed the FIR and the charge sheet and allowed the appeal. The Supreme Court held that while exercising the power under section 482 of the CRPC, the court can quash the FIR even if the charge sheet has been filed, as the power under section 482 is to be exercised to prevent the abuse of process and miscarriage of justice. The Supreme Court also emphasised that powers under section 482 of the CRPC can be exercised even if a discharge application before the Magistrate’s Court is pending.[5]

 

[1] https://indiankanoon.org/doc/1679850/

[2] By Samridhi Srivastava, What is a chargesheet? How is it different from FIR? Can chargesheet be quashed?, Nov 8, 2020, https://lawtimesjournal.in/

 

[3] https://indiankanoon.org/doc/1488900/

[4] 2009 (7) SCC 495

[5] https://www.khaitanco.com/thought-leadership/supreme-court-quashing-petition-maintainable-even-where-charge-sheet-has-been-filed

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