Criminal cases can be quashed only in rare situations: SC
New Delhi: The Supreme Court has ruled that
it can use its extraordinary powers to quash criminal
proceedings against individuals and firms if their continuance
results in the abuse of the court's process.
A bench of justices Altamas Kabir and J Chelameshwar
passed the ruling while dismissing an appeal filed by Ashok
Sadarangani and other proprietors of a firm pleading quashing
of the criminal case registered by the CBI as they have
entered into a compromise with Union Bank of India, whom they
had allegedly cheated.
"In other words, not that there is any restriction on the
power or authority vested in the Supreme Court in exercising
powers under Article 142 of the Constitution, but that in
exercising such powers the Court has to be circumspect, and
has to exercise such power sparingly in the facts of each
"It would be open to the Supreme Court to exercise its
extraordinary powers under Article 142 of the Constitution to
quash the proceedings, the continuance whereof would only
amount to abuse of the process of court, Justice Kabir writing
the judgement said.
Article 142 grants special powers to the apex court to
pass any order, judgement or direction to render "complete
justice" in a given case.
On June 30, 2003, on the complaint of the Union Bank of
India, the CBI registered case against the petitioners
alleging that they had secured the credit facilities by
submitting forged property documents as collaterals and
utilised such facilities in a dishonest and fraudulent manner
by opening Letters of Credit in respect of foreign supplies of
goods, without actually bringing any goods.
The CBI further alleged the accused of inducing the bank
to negotiate the Letters of Credit in favour of foreign
suppliers and also by misusing the cash credit facility.