False Case against family members of husband
If a false case is registered against husband and his family members under Section 498A of Indian Penal Code, they can file a quashing petition before High Court under Section 482 of Cr.P.C. The very object to file this petition is to get the FIR quashed so that the accused could not face the long drawn trial. Quashing petition is the only remedy for the innocent accused persons.
Petition for Discharge Vs. Quashing Petition
It is generally said that the accused can file a Discharge Application before the trial court after the charge sheet has been filed and the court has taken cognizance of the the case. Then why to approach High Court. The Magistrate conducting trial has the power to remove the names of some accused persons if prima facie falsehood comes to him while examining the charge sheet. There is no scope for judge to examine the defence evidence at this stage. So naturally , the weakness of charge sheet only be the ground of removing any name from the array of the accused persons. The scope of consideration under Section 482 of CrPC is much broader than that of Section 173(5) of CrPC.
Quashing of FIR
FIR can be quashed. Then why one should wait for filing of charge sheet. An investigation begins only after registration of FIR. Destroy the seed before it becomes a plant or tree. Preparing charge sheet is also very hard work which is done by the police called investigating officer. I.O. becomes unburdened when the FIR is quashed.
Quashing of FIR and charge sheet along with consequential proceedings
When the charge sheet is filed in the court , the copy of the same is given free of cost to the accused persons. Thereafter comes the stage of arguments on charge when the accused or his advocate argues for the discharge of the accused on the basis of the facts in charge sheet. This is very important stage in a criminal case because some of the accused are discharged from case at this stage itself who have been falsely implicated in the matter without any solid evidence. Supreme Court says in its many judgements that suspicion however grave can not take the place of evidence.
Section 482 of Cr.P.C. talks about the inherent power of High Court under which the quashing petition is filed. The High Court is constitutionally bound to protect the innocent persons from false implication in criminal cases. Undergoing a criminal trial by an innocent person is also a kind of punishment. High Court can go to any extent to secure the ends of justice. The power vested in High Court under Section 482 of Cr.P.C. is very vast and extraordinary but the same should be used sparingly considering the facts and circumstances of the case.
High Court can entertain the quashing petition even though the application for discharge is pending before the trial court. So is the power of High Court. Quashing can be done at the stage of registration of FIR. It can be done even after the filing of Charge Sheet. And even further , it can be done after framing of charges in trial court. So the person seeking quashing has to decide the right time as to filing of quashing petition in High Court.