“In other words, not that there is any restriction on the power or authority vested in the Supreme Court in exercising powers under Article 142 of the constitution, but that in exercising such powers the Court has to be circumspect and has to exercise such power sparingly in the facts of each case,” an apex court bench of Justice Altamas Kabir and Justice J. Chelameswar said in their judgment on Wednesday.
Article 142 of the constitution vests extraordinary powers in the supreme court to provide complete justice in any case. The article says that the Supreme Court in the exercise of its jurisdiction may pass such decree or order as is necessary for doing complete justice in any cause or matter pending before it and this would be enforceable across the country.
The court said this while questioning whether an offence which is not compoundable under the Criminal Procedure Code can be quashed in the facts and circumstances of the case.
The judgment referred to earlier verdicts of the apex court which had said that that a non-compoundable offence could not be compounded and that the courts should not try to take over the function of parliament or the executive.
Agreeing with the earlier judgments, the court said: “It is, however, no coincidence that the golden thread which runs through all the decisions cited indicates that continuance of a criminal proceeding after a compromise has been arrived at between the complainant and the accused would amount to abuse of the process of the court and an exercise in futility, since the trial could be prolonged and ultimately, may conclude in a decision which may be of any consequence to any of the other parties.”