A law is made for the welfare of the people, safety and security of the
state. The laws are made keeping in mind the interests of the people. There are
a number of laws made to safeguard the suppressed. Yet some people tend to
exploit and take the undue advantage of the laws formulated to safeguard them
and use them to blackmail innocent people and implicate them with false charges,
dissipating Courtís time.
Setting the trend of fabricating complaints, people tend use FIR as their weapon
for retribution. For this very reason lawmakers have made a certain set of laws
to protect the innocent people from exploitation of such laws.
False FIR or complaints simply means making false allegations with malicious
intention by lodging FIR or complaints based on falsifying the facts and
fabricating the circumstances in order to persecute the other person.
Modus Operandi for filing FIR:
- Lodging of First Information Report before police under section 154 of
The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (hereinafter referred to as CrPC)
- Complaint made before superintendent of police under section 154(3) CrPC.
- Directions for FIR by magistrate under section 156(3) CrPC
- Cognizance of offence by magistrate under section 190 CrPC.
- Private complaint made before Magistrate under section 200 CrPC.
Quashing of FIR
FIR quashing is the petition filed before High Court for quashing the FIR and
all related proceedings against the accused. An FIR an be quashed by the High
Court if the Court is satisfied that the accused is falsely implicated and FIR
is bogus and frivolous.
The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, elucidates
inherent powers of High Court under Section 482  as follows:
- Section 482 enumerates that a High Court has got the power to act in any
manner in order to make the two ends of justice meet.
- Under this section, a High Court has the power to quash an FIR if it
thinks that the FIR which has been lodged is a false one and was done with
malicious intention to trouble the aggrieved person.
- If any person has been implicated and accused of a non-compoundable
offence then he can approach a High Court and file a Writ Petition under
Article 226 of the Indian Constitution read with Section 482 of CrPC.
- The burden of proof is on the petitioner to prove that he FIR has been
lodged only for malicious reasons and to trouble the petitioner.
Although the Apex Court in its landmark judgment in Madhu Limaye vs the State of
Maharashtra, has laid down some very important principles which modulate the
exercise of the powers of Section 482 CrPC by the court:
- The exercise of powers under Section 482 CrPC for FIR quashing is not to be
resorted to if there is a specific provision in code to redress the grievances
of the aggrieved party.
- Powers under Section 482 CrPC for quashing should be exercised sparingly
and to ensure the abuse of process of any Court or otherwise to secure ends of
- The powers under Section 482 CrPC should not be exercised for quashing
against the express bar of the law engrafted in any other provision of the code.
Grounds for Quashing FIR
The Supreme Court of India in the matters of Sundar Babu & Ors vs. State of
 and State of Haryana vs Bhajan Lal
 has issued some important
guidelines as to the grounds and conditions for quashing of an FIR under Section
482 CrPC. The said grounds are listed below:
- Where the allegations made in the first information report or the
complaint, even if they are taken at their face value and accepted in their
entirety do not prima facie constitute any offence or make out a case
against the accused.
- Where the allegations made in the FIR or complaint are so absurd and
inherently improbable on the basis of which no prudent person can ever reach
a just conclusion that there is sufficient ground for proceeding against the
- Where the allegations in the first information report and other
materials, if any, accompanying the FIR do not disclose a cognizable
offence, justifying an investigation by police officers under Section 156(1)
of the Code except under an order of a Magistrate within the purview of
Section 155(2) of the Code.
- Where the allegations in the FIR do not constitute a cognizable offence
but constitute only a non-cognizable offence, no investigation is permitted
by a police officer without an order of a Magistrate as contemplated under
Section 155(2) of the Code.
- Where the uncontroverted allegations made in the FIR or complaint and the
evidence collected in support of the same do not disclose the commission of any
offence and make out a case against the accused.
- Where there is an express legal bar engrafted in any of the provisions
of the code or the concerned Act (under which a criminal proceeding is
instituted) to the institution and continuance of the proceedings and/or
where there is a specific provision in the code or the concerned Act,
providing efficacious redress for the grievance of the aggrieved party.
- Where a criminal proceeding is manifestly attended with mala fide and/or
where the proceeding is maliciously instituted with an ulterior motive for
wreaking vengeance on the accused and with a view to spite him due to private
and personal grudge.
The exercise of powers by the High Court under Section 482 CrPC for quashing is
based purely on the subjective assessment of the judge. He has to strike a
balance between the powers of the courts under Section 482 CrPC and the facts of
the case. As such no specific parameters are laid down for the exercise of the
powers by the High Court under Section 482 Crpc.
Code of Criminal Procedure contains Section 320 which mandates the compounding
of the criminal proceedings before the courts subordinate to the High Court
during the trial or during the appeal but provisions of Section 482 CrPC have an
overriding effect on the same considering the wide powers vested with the High
Court for FIR Quashing.
There are various ways through which FIR an be quashed. Those are as follows:
Quashing of FIR after filing of Charge Sheet
The High Court under Section 482 has the power to quash an FIR even after filing
of Charge Sheet by the prosecution. The parties can also reach a modus
vivendi . The accused can also appraise the Court that there is no material
evidence against him even after the investigation in the matter. Another
recourse for the accused is to take pleas of inherent improbability on the basis
of entire facts and material collected against him in the charge sheet. As power
given to the High Court under Section 482 are wide enough, High Court an order
for quashing of FIR under such circumstances.
Quashing of FIR on the basis of Compromise
The FIR an be quashed on the basis of compromise at any stage by the High Court.
The complainant and accused can enter into a compromise. Both the parties can
file a joint petition under Section 482 CrPC for FIR quashing. Thereafter, the
Court will scrutinize the facts, circumstances and aspects of the matter before
passing an order for quashing of FIR. If the Court is not satisfied with the
facts of the compromise, then the High Court can refuse the quashing on the
basis of compromise. The parties can approach the Trial Court if the offence is
compoundable and High Court has refused to quash the FIR.
Quashing of FIR in Matrimonial Cases
In certain matrimonial disputes, women file false complaints of cruelty by
husband and relatives of husband under Section 498 A and Section 406 of Indian
Penal Code . However, later the parties to the matrimonial dispute enter into
a mutual settlement. They generally reduce it into writing and prepare a Mutual
Compromise Deed containing all the terms and conditions of the settlement. The
parties have to be present before the High Court to record their statements and
for the identification.
The parties can enter into a mutual settlement before
the Court where the proceedings are going on or independently. In cases of
divorce by mutual consent parties can attend the Court after their divorce
proceedings are over. The Courts, generally accept the same and pass an order
for quashing of FIR on the basis of this Compromise.
Quashing of FIR in Financial Disputes
In case of economic offences, quashing the FIR is the obvious recourse when the
financial dispute is settled after the parties come to terms. Parties often
resort to a Compromise Deed and go for quashing of FIR if certain serious
offences other than economic offences are involved. The High Court can, by the
virtue of powers conferred under Section 482 CrPC pass an order for quashing on
the grounds of settlement keeping in mind the facts and circumstances of the
Rights of the person acquitted
After the FIR is quashed and the getting discharged from the Court, the
acquitted person may pray to the Court for instituting criminal proceedings
against the complainant.
In such a case the legal remedies available to the acquitted are:
- Filling a complaint under section 182 IPC against the person who has
provided false information, with intention or knowledge or believe it to be
false, or knowing it to be likely that he/she will thereby cause, such
Imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to six months, or
with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees, or with both.
- to do or omit anything which such public servant ought not to do or omit
if the true state of facts respecting which such information is given were
known by him, or
- to use the lawful power of such public servant to the injury or
annoyance of any person, shall be punished with:
- Filing of application before the court under section 156(3) CrPC
- Filing a private complaint under section 200 CrPC for false charges of
offence with intent to cause injury to him, or institution of any criminal
proceeding against him, or falsely charging him with an offence, knowing that
there is no just or lawful ground for such proceeding.
- Filing a complaint against him under section 211 IPC, whereby the complainant
who has made false allegations and lodged fabricated FIR shall be punished with
imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or
with fine, or with both. If such criminal proceeding be instituted on a false
charge of an offence punishable with death, imprisonment for life, or
imprisonment for seven years or upwards, then he shall be punished with
imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years,
and shall also be liable to fine.
May file before the Court for compensation under section 250 CrPC for
accusation without reasonable cause the provisions of this section shall apply
to summons and warrant cases also. Under section 250(2) if the Magistrate is
satisfied that there was no reasonable ground for making the accusation, may,
for reasons to be recorded, make an order that compensation to such amount, not
exceeding the amount of fine he is empowered to impose, as he may determine, be
paid by such complainant or informant to the accused or to each or any of them.
Further under section 250(3) the Magistrate may, by the order directing payment
of the compensation under sub-section (2), further order that, in default of
payment, the person ordered to pay such compensation shall undergo simple
imprisonment for a period not exceeding thirty days.
In certain cases, the person acquitted can also exercise his rights against the
public servant if the public servant has misused his power and taken undue
advantage of it in order to harass the acquitted.
The person acquitted an
exercise his rights against the public servant in following ways:
- Under section 167 IPC if any Public servant who is charged with the
preparation or translation of any document or electronic record and if he
frames, prepares or translates that document or electronic record in a manner
which he knows or believes to be incorrect, intending thereby to cause or
knowing it to be likely that he may thereby cause injury to any person, shall be
punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to
three years, or with fine, or with both.
- †Under section 219 IPC if any public servant who corruptly or maliciously
makes or pronounces any report, order, verdict, decision in any stage of a
judicial proceeding, or which he knows to be contrary to law, shall be punished
with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven
years, or with fine, or with both.
- Under section 220 IPC, whoever, being in any office which gives him legal
authority to commit persons for trial or to confinement, or to keep persons in
confinement and if he corruptly or maliciously commits any person for trial or
to confinement, or keeps any person in confinement, in the exercise of his
authority knowing that in so doing he is acting contrary to law, shall be
punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to
seven years, or with fine, or with both.
- Section 482- Saving of inherent powers of High Court. Nothing in this
Code shall be deemed to limit or affect the inherent powers of the High
Court to make such orders as may be necessary to give effect to any order
under this Code, or to prevent abuse of the process of any Court or
otherwise to secure the ends of justice.
- (1992 Supp.(1) SCC 335)
- Sheo Nath Singh v. Sujata
The author is a practicing Advocate in Bombay High Court.
Email: [email protected]