Supreme Court Rules Second S.482 CrPC Petition Not Maintainable When Grounds Were Available During First Petition


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Published on: October 31, 2023 at 00:01 IST

The Supreme Court has issued a notable decision, declaring that a second petition under Section 482 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), 1973, challenging grounds that were accessible for contest during the filing of the initial petition, would not be considered maintainable.

This ruling, by a bench comprising Justice C T Ravikumar and Justice Sanjay Kumar, clarified that while there is no outright prohibition against a second petition under Section 482, it becomes untenable when the grounds for seeking relief were already present during the first petition.

The court emphasized, “Though it is clear that there can be no blanket rule that a second petition under Section 482 Cr.P.C. would not lie in any situation and it would depend upon the facts and circumstances of the individual case, it is not open to a person aggrieved to raise one plea after the other, by invoking the jurisdiction of the High Court under Section 482 Cr.P.C., though all such pleas were very much available even at the first instance.

Permitting the filing of successive petitions under Section 482 Cr.P.C. ignoring this principle would enable an ingenious accused to effectively stall the proceedings against him to suit his own interest and convenience, by filing one petition after another under Section 482 Cr.P.C., irrespective of when the cause therefor arose. Such abuse of process cannot be permitted,” as stated in the judgment authored by Justice Sanjay Kumar.

The case under consideration involved an appeal against an order of the Allahabad High Court that had dismissed the second Section 482 application of the appellant.

In the background of this case, a complaint was lodged by the Joint Director of the State Urban Development Authority in Uttar Pradesh, alleging irregularities in the construction of toilets under the Integrated Low-Cost Sanitation Scheme and misappropriation of public funds by those involved.

As a result, the appellant was facing charges under the Indian Penal Code, 1860, and under Sections 7 and 13 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.

The appellant initially filed the first petition under Section 482 Cr.P.C., challenging the order of the Uttar Pradesh government granting sanction to prosecute them for the alleged offenses. The High Court disposed of this application, permitting the appellant to approach the Trial Court to challenge the sanction order.

Subsequently, the appellant filed another application under Section 482 of the CrPC, seeking the quashing of the charge sheet and the cognizance order. The High Court dismissed this, stating that it was not open to the petitioner to sequentially challenge the proceedings.

The Supreme Court, in its decision, declined to interfere with the High Court’s order, emphasizing that at the time of filing the initial petition under Section 482 Cr.P.C, the charge sheet was already on record, and the Sessions Judge had already taken cognizance. Nonetheless, the appellant had not contested it during the initial petition.

“In the case on hand, the filing of the charge sheet and the cognizance thereof by the Court concerned were well before the filing of the first petition under Section 482 Cr.P.C., wherein challenge was made only to the sanction order. That being so, the petitioner was not at liberty to again invoke the inherent jurisdiction of the High Court in relation to the charge sheet and the cognizance order at a later point of time.

The impugned order passed by the Allahabad High Court holding to this effect is, therefore, incontrovertible on all counts and does not warrant interference,” concluded the Supreme Court.

Case Title: Bhisham Lal Verma V. State of Uttar Pradesh and another, Special Leave Petition (Crl.) No. 7976 of 2023

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