In Indian Oil Corporation vs. NEPC India Ltd. and Others (2006) 6 SCC 736 a petition under Section 482 was filed to quash two criminal complaints. The High Court by a common judgment allowed the petition and quashed both the complaints. The order was challenged in appeal to this Court. While deciding the appeal, this Court laid down the following principles:
“1. The High courts should not exercise their inherent powers to repress a legitimate prosecution. The power to quash criminal complaints should be used sparingly and with abundant caution.
2. The criminal complaint is not required to verbatim reproduce the legal ingredients of the alleged offence. If the necessary factual foundation is laid in the criminal complaint, merely on the ground that a few ingredients have not been stated in detail, the criminal proceedings should not be quashed. Quashing of the complaint is warranted only where the complaint is bereft of even the basic facts which are absolutely necessary for making out the alleged offence.
3. It was held that a given set of facts may make out (a) purely a civil wrong, or (b) purely a criminal offence or (c) a civil wrong as also a criminal offence. A commercial transaction or a contractual dispute, apart from furnishing a cause of action for seeking remedy in civil law, may also involve a criminal offence.”