“Inherent Powers are those powers which are not mentioned anywhere in the code.”

Inherent power/jurisdiction of the High Court may be exercised in a proper case either to prevent the abuse of the process of any court or to secure the end of the justice.
Inherent powers of the High Court should be exercised in exceptional cases.

In the following cases the inherent power of the High Court could be exercised to quash the proceedings-

1. Where there is a legal bar against the institution or continuance of the proceedings.

Bare Acts PDF

2. Where the allegation in the first information or complaint do not constitute the offence alleged.

3. Where there is no legal evidence adduced in support of the charge or the evidence adduced clearly or failed to prove the charge.

Law Notes

Divine Retreat Centre v State of Kerala SC 2008
In this case Supreme Court held that there are three circumstances under which the inherent jurisdiction under section 482 of CrPC may be exercised-

1. To give effect to an order under the code.
2. To prevent abuse of the process of the courts.
3. To otherwise secure the end of the justice.

The High Court does not have power to quash the proceedings in police investigation consequent upon a FIR made to the police in a cognizable case. It has no power to interface with the legal rights of the police to investigate a cognizable case.

Note: No limitation period has been prescribed for making an application under section 482 of CrPC. However the application is to be filed within the reasonable time.

Ashok Kumar Singh v State of Bihar CrLT SC 1993
In this case Supreme Court held that the High Court while exercising its jurisdiction under section 482, can not order stay of arrest of accused during the investigation.


In the case of State of Punjab v CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) and others SC 2011,
Supreme Court held that fresh investigation or re-investigation after filing of chargesheet by police can be ordered by High Court under section 482 of CrPC to secure the end of justice. Further held that, inherent powers of High Court is not limited or affected by section 173(8).

Cancellation of Bail by High Court

For the end of justice the High Court may order for the cancellation of bail using its inherent powers under section 482.

Quashing of FIR by High Court

In case of D.C Jain v UOI 1994 Punjab and Haryana High Court,
The allegation in FIR prima facie constituted the offence of cheating and a civil suit was also pending in respect of the same offence. It was held that pendency of civil suit is no ground for quashing the FIR.

Quashing of charge → Yes
Quashing of chargesheet → Yes

Quashing FIR on account of delay: It was held in case of Jagdish Ram v State of Rajasthan that,
FIR do not deserve to be quashed by High Court in exercise of power under section 482 of the code merely on account of delay.