The definitive guidelines under which a High Court can exercise its authority to quash a petition is given by the Supreme Court in the Bhajan Las Vs State Of Haryana, 21/11/1990, judgment. This judgment lays the ground rules for a HC to quash a criminal case.
The best explanation of the view of the courts, in my opinion, has been given by Justice Dhingra.
This is what he says:
“While exercising powers under Section 482 of the Cr. P.C. the Court has to keep in mind that it should not ordinarily embark upon an enquiry whether the evidence in question is reliable or not or whether on a reasonable appreciation of it accusation would not be sustained. This is a function of the Trial Court. Though the judicial process should not be an instrument of oppression or needless harassment but the Court should be circumspect and judicious in exercising discretion and should take all relevant facts and circumstances in consideration before issuing process under Section 482 lest the Section becomes an instrument in the hands of accused persons to claim differential treatment only because the accused persons can spend money to approach higher forums. This Section is not an instrument handed over to an accused to short circuit a prosecution and bring about its sudden death. “
Here is the document that attempts to explain HC Quash Petitions (Section 482):