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1. Introduction 3
2. Inherent Power Meaning 3
3. Inherent powers of a Civil Court 3
4. Scheme of Inheritance power of the Civil Court 3
5. Relevant sections under Code of Civil Procedure 4
6. Reasoning of inherent power under section 151 4
7. Where the inherent powers cannot be exercised? 4
8. How does the court exercise this power 5
9. Inherent powers of a Criminal Court 5
10. Use of Section 561A 5
11. Conditions for Using Inherent Power 6
12. Conclusion 6
13. Sources 6
Law has always been an essential element of society. It was there even when men were uncivilized and it is even today when we have entered into much sophisticated world. The presence of law is made much known to us with the
existence of courts. The Courts existed when there was no written statue on the fundamental principle to do justice and to peacefully settle the matter. They are not as old as law but law got recognition by courts only. They hold a very high position in society by virtue of its duty to do justice between the parties. Every court is constituted for the purpose of administering justice between the parties and, therefore must be deemed to possess all such powers as may be necessary to do the right and to undo the wrong in the process of administering the justice.
Inherent Power Meaning
The word “Inherent” is very wide in itself. It means existing and inseparable from something, a permanent attribute or quality, an essential element, something intrinsic, or essential, vested in or attached to a person or office as a right of privilege. Hence, inherent powers are such powers which are inalienable from courts and may be exercised by a court to do full and complete justice between the parties before it.
Inherent powers of a Civil Court
The Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 is a procedural and adjective law for conducting a civil suit. Therefore section 151 of CPC is incorporated to recognize the inherent power of a court.
Scheme of Inheritance power of the Civil Court
The substantive provisions dealing as such with the inherent powers are section 148-153 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908. Section 148 and 149 provide for grant and enlargement of time and deficiency of court fees. Section 150 however provides for transfer of business. Section 151 preserves inherent power of the court. Section 152 and 153 deal with amendment in judgments, decrees, orders and others proceedings.
Relevant sections under Code of Civil Procedure1
Section 151 of CPC provides that nothing in this Code shall be deemed to limit or otherwise affect the inherent powers of the court to make such orders as may be necessary for the ends of the justice or to prevent abuse of the process of the court.
Reasoning of inherent power under section 1512
A court can exercise its inherent power on the following two reasons only.
i. If there is any circumstance which is not covered by the expressed provisions of the Code wherein justice has to be done.
ii. The prescribed rule or procedure may be abused, or so used to give a mere formalities and it is necessary to apply inherent power to administer justice.
Where the inherent powers cannot be exercised?3
The apex court has decided in many cases that the court cannot exercise its inherent power, these are as follows:
i. The court has no inherent power to do what is prohibited by the Code;
ii. Inherent power cannot be exercised so as to come in conflict with the settled general principles of law;
iii. Inherent power cannot be exercised where the applicant has remedy provided elsewhere in the Code;
iv. Inherent power cannot be exercised so as to circumvent the mandatory provision of the Code;
1 The Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 2 Interpretation of statute 3 Judicial precedent
v. The mere fact that there is no remedy will not attract the provision of section 151 of CPC unless it is not necessary for the end of justice.
How does the court exercise this power?
In the cases where the CPC does not deal with, the Court will exercise its inherent power to do justice. If there are specific provision of the CPC dealing with the specific issue and they expressly or by basic implication, then the inherent powers of the Court cannot be invoked as inherent powers itself means those which are not specified in CPC.
The section confers on the judges to make such orders that may be necessary to make justice achievable. The Power can be invoked to support the provisions of the code but not to override or evade other express provisions as CPC is the basic law which governs the functioning of the courts.
Inherent powers of a Criminal Court
Our legal system’s law of crime is mainly contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898 which provides the machinery for the detection of crime, apprehension of suspected criminals, collection of evidence, determination of the guilt or innocence of the suspected person and the imposition of suitable punishment on the guilty person. It has also given adequately wide powers to make the investigation and adjudicatory processes strong, effective and efficient, and on the other hand. However, if the Court finds that the Code has not made specific provision to meet the exigencies of any situation, the court of law has inherent power to mould the procedure to enable it to pass such orders as the ends of justice may require. It is however true that the subordinate courts do not have any inherent powers. The High Court has inherent powers and they have been given statutory recognition by enacting Section 561A of this Code.
Use of Section 561A4 Exercise of power under Section 561A CrPC is the exception and not rule. Inherent jurisdiction of High Court under Section 561A CrPC may be exercised:-
1. To give effect to an order under the Code. 2. To prevent abuse of the process of Court. 3. To otherwise secure the ends of justice
Conditions for Using Inherent Power5 There are several conditions laid down by various cases that indicate the circumstances under which this inherent power may be used. These conditions may be enumerated as follows:
1. The jurisdiction is completely discretionary. The High Court can refuse to use the power.
2. The jurisdiction is not limited to cases that are pending before the High Court. It can consider any case that comes to its notice (in appeal, revision or otherwise).
3. This power can be invoked only in an event when the aggrieved party is being unnecessarily harassed and has no other remedy open to it.
4. The High Court has the power to provide relief to the accused even if he has not filed a petition under section 561A.
5. Where the accused would be harassed unnecessarily if the trial is allowed to be longer, and prima facie it appears to Court that the trial would likely to be ended in acquittal.
Conclusion Section 151 of CPC and section 561A CrPC has a very wide scope and it’s really important for the courts to use it properly and wisely. Much time it has been observed that when there is an issue of money for any money matter
4 Interpretation of statute 5 Judicial Precedent
then the petitioner instead of filing a civil suit files an FIR against the other person just to harass him. In such cases it becomes very important for the High Courts to quash such complaints as it leads to the abuse of the process of the lower courts. These sections would enable the courts for providing proper justice and also should be exercised to stop the public from filing fictitious complaints just to fulfill their personal grudges.
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