Power under Section 482 CrPC to be used sparingly

7. While exercising its jurisdiction under Section 482 of the Code the High Court has to be cautious. This power is to be used sparingly and only for the purpose of preventing abuse of the process of any court or otherwise to secure ends of justice. Whether a complaint discloses a criminal offence or not depends upon the nature of facts alleged therein. Whether essential ingredients of criminal offence are present or not has to be judged by the High Court. A complaint disclosing civil transactions may also have a criminal texture. But the High Court must see whether a dispute which is essentially of a civil nature is given a cloak of criminal offence. In such a situation, if a civil remedy is available and is, in fact, adopted as has happened in this case, the High Court should not hesitate to quash criminal proceedings to prevent abuse of process of court.

Supreme Court
Paramjeet Batra v. State of Uttarakhand & Ors., (2013) 11 SCC 673

It is true that a given set of facts may make out a civil wrong as also a criminal offence and only because a civil remedy may be available to the complainant that itself cannot be a ground to quash a criminal proceeding. The real test is whether the allegations in the complaint disclose the criminal offence of cheating or not. In the present case there is nothing to show that at the very inception there was any intention on behalf of the accused persons to cheat which is a condition precedent for an offence under Section 420 IPC. In our view the complaint does not disclose any criminal offence at all. Criminal proceedings should not be encouraged when it is found to be malafide or otherwise an abuse of the process of the court.

Superior courts while exercising this power should also strive to serve the ends of justice. In our opinion, in view of these facts allowing the police investigation to continue would amount to an abuse of the process of court and the High Court committed an error in refusing to exercise the power under Section 482 Criminal Procedure Code to quash the proceedings.

Supreme Court
Vesa Holdings Private Limited and Anr. v. State of Kerala and Ors., (2015) 8 SCC 293