In this judgment, Supreme Court held that, Law does not prohibit entertaining the petition under Section 482 Cr.P.C. for quashing the charge sheet even before the charges are framed or before the application of discharge is filed or even during its pendency of such application before the court concerned.
In the para 12,
Umesh Kumar Vs State of AP and Anr on 6 September, 2013
12. In view thereof, if any person has forged in a letter under the name of the Samithi and forged the signature of Shri M.A. Khan, M.P., the matter being of grave nature requires investigation and, in view of above, we cannot find fault with the action initiated against Umesh Kumar, appellant. Once criminal law is put in motion and after investigation the charge sheet is filed, it requires scrutiny in the court of law. However, before the charges could be framed, Umesh Kumar, appellant, approached the High Court under Section 482 Cr.P.C. for quashing of the charge sheet. The scope of Section 482 Cr.P.C. is well defined and inherent powers could be exercised by the High Court to give effect to an order under the Cr.P.C.; to prevent abuse of the process of court; and to otherwise secure the ends of justice. This extraordinary power is to be exercised ex debito justitiae. However, in exercise of such powers, it is not permissible for the High Court to appreciate the evidence as it can only evaluate material documents on record to the extent of its prima facie satisfaction about the existence of sufficient ground for proceedings against the accused and the court cannot look into materials, the acceptability of which is essentially a matter for trial. Any document filed along with the petition labelled as evidence without being tested and proved, cannot be examined. Law does not prohibit entertaining the petition under Section 482 Cr.P.C. for quashing the charge sheet even before the charges are framed or before the application of discharge is filed or even during its pendency of such application before the court concerned. The High Court cannot reject the application merely on the ground that the accused can argue legal and factual issues at the time of the framing of the charge. However, the inherent power of the court should not be exercised to stifle the legitimate prosecution but can be exercised to save the accused to undergo the agony of a criminal trial. (Vide: Pepsi Food Ltd. & Anr. v. Special Judicial Magistrate & Ors., AIR 1998 SC 128; Ashok Chaturvedi & Ors. v. Shitulh Chanchani & Anr. AIR 1998 SC 2796; G. Sagar Suri & Anr. v. State of U.P. & Ors., AIR 2000 SC 754; and Padal Venkata Rama Reddy @ Ramu v. Kovvuri Satyanarayana Reddy & Ors., (2011) 12 SCC 437)
Citations: (2013) 10 SCC 591, [JT 2013 (12) SC 213], 2014 ALL SCR 661
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