The Supreme Court will examine the issue whether a High Court, while considering a petition to quash FIR, pass an order protecting the accused from arrest until the submission of the charge sheet under Section 173(2) of the Code of Criminal Procedure?
The bench comprising Justices DY Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra issued notice in an SLP filed against Allahabad High Court order which granted such a protection while declining to quash an FIR.
In this case, the accused (and his relatives) had approached the High Court seeking quashing of FIR registered under Sections 323, 504, 506, 313, 307, 498-A IPC and Section 3/4 of Dowry Prohibition Act, against him on the basis of complaint filed by his wife. The court, though refused to quash the FIR, granted interim protection to the accused till filing of Final Report.
Before the Apex Court, assailing this order, the counsel for the petitioner (wife) relied on a judgment of the Supreme court in State of Telangana v Habib Abdullah Jeelani to contend that such a course is impermissible in law.
In the said judgment, the court had examined the issue whether the High Court while refusing to exercise inherent powers under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) to interfere in an application for quashment of the investigation, can restrain the investigating agency not to arrest the accused persons during the course of investigation.? It was held that such a direction by the high court "amounts" to an order under Section 438 CrPC, albeit without satisfaction of the conditions of the said provision, which is legally unacceptable.
"If it thinks fit, regard being had to the parameters of quashing and the self-restraint imposed by law, has the jurisdiction to quash the investigation and may pass appropriate interim orders as thought apposite in law, but it is absolutely inconceivable and unthinkable to pass an order of the present nature while declining to interfere or expressing opinion that it is not appropriate to stay the investigation.", the court had observed in that case.
CASE: SAMIKSHA SINGH @ NIKKI vs. STATE OF UP [SLP (Crl.) No(s).4650/2020]
CORAM: Justices DY Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra
COUNSEL: . AOR Ankur Yadav, Adv Sanchit Garga