Md.Abdul Sufan Laskar
& Ors. Vs. State of Assam  INSC 1424 (25 August 2008)
IN THE SUPREME COURT
OF INDIA CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 1343 OF 2008
ARISING OUT OF SPECIAL LEAVE PETITION (CRL) NO. 3887 OF 2008 MD. ABDUL SUFAN
LASKAR & ORS. ... APPELLANTS VERSUS
C.K. THAKKER, J.
condoned. Leave granted.
present appeal is filed against an order of conviction and sentence recorded by
the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Hailakandi on September 21, 2002, confirmed by
the Sessions Judge, Hailakandi on May 26, 2003 and also confirmed by the High
Court of Assam on July 31, 2007.
relevant facts of the case are that on June 15, 1995, according to the case of
the prosecution, one Moinul Haque Laskar lodged a First Information Report
(FIR) before the Officer-in-charge, Hailakandi Police Station.
In the FIR, it was
alleged by the informant complainant that his brother Abdul Haque Laskar had
gone to cultivate land early in the morning at about 6.30 a.m. Eight accused as
mentioned in the FIR armed with deadly weapons attacked Abdul Haque Laskar and
caused grievous injuries on different parts of his body. On hearing hue and cry
of the complainant Moinul Haque Laskar and his brothers, several persons
arrived there. The accused persons fled away and the injured was taken to
hospital. On receiving FIR, Officer-in-charge of Hailakandi Police Station
registered Case No. 195 of 1995 against the accused for commission of offences
punishable under Sections 147, 325 and 506 of Indian Penal Code (IPC) and
started investigation. During the course of 3 investigation, several
statements came to be recorded. The injured was examined by the Medical Officer
and a charge sheet was submitted for offences punishable under Sections 147, 323,
326 and 506, IPC against all the accused.
charge was read over and explained to the accused who pleaded `not guilty' and
claimed to be tried. The prosecution, in order to prove the case against the
accused, examined five witnesses including injured Abdul Haque Laskar, Medical
Officer and Investigating Officer. The `defence' did not examine any witness.
In the statement under Section 313 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973
(hereinafter referred to as `the Code'), the accused denied the incident and
involvement in any manner whatsoever.
learned Chief Judicial Magistrate, Hailakandi vide his judgment and order dated
September 21, 2002, held the case against accused proved for offences
punishable under 4 Sections 147 and 324, IPC. On sentence, however, the
learned Magistrate noted that accused Islam Uddin (accused No.5), Sahab Uddin
(accused No.6), Aftab Uddin (accused No.3) and Fakar Uddin (accused No.2) were
young. He, therefore, thought it fit to grant benefit of releasing them on
admonition since they did not appear to have committed any offence in past nor
they were involved in any offence. The learned Judicial Magistrate, however,
convicted Abdul Subhan (accused No.1), Abdul Wahid (accused No.7), Abdul Kuddus
(accused No.8) and Muslim Uddin (accused No.4) for offences punishable under
Sections 147 and 324, IPC. For an offence punishable under Section 147, IPC,
the learned Magistrate ordered the abovestated accused to undergo simple
imprisonment for one month and a fine of Rs.100 each, in default, simple
imprisonment for five days. For the offence punishable under Section 324, IPC,
he ordered them to undergo simple imprisonment for two months and a fine of
Rs.200/- each, in 5 default, simple imprisonment for ten days. The sentences
were ordered to run concurrently.
aggrieved by the order of conviction and sentence, all the accused preferred
Criminal Appeal No. 20 of 2002. The learned Sessions Judge upheld the order of
conviction as well as sentence and dismissed the appeal.
four accused who were ordered to undergo substantive sentence, then preferred
Criminal Revision No. 331 of 2003. The High Court, by the impugned order,
dismissed the revision holding that no illegality could be said to have been
committed by both the Courts below. The said order is challenged in the present
April 1, 2008, the Hon'ble Chamber Judge granted the prayer for exemption from
surrendering in view of short sentence imposed on the appellants. The matter
was then placed before the Court for admission hearing on April 28, 2008. On
that day, it was stated by the 6 learned counsel for the appellants that the
parties had entered into an amicable settlement and though the offence
punishable under Section 324, IPC has now been made non-compoundable, at the
time when the offence was committed, it was compoundable. The Court, in view of
the above statement, issued notices by making them returnable early. Notice was
also ordered to be issued to injured Abdul Haque Laskar. Notices were
accordingly served on respondents.
have heard learned counsel for the parties.
learned counsel for the appellants submitted that the parties have compromised
the matter, entered into settlement and an application is made to that effect
praying therein that compounding may be ordered for offences punishable under
Sections 147 and 324, IPC and an appropriate order in accordance with law may
be passed. Compromise deed is also placed on record signed by the parties
wherein it is expressly stated that the injured Abdul 7 Haque Laskar has
voluntarily given his consent without any force, threat, coercion, undue
influence, pressure etc., from any quarter whatsoever for making the joint
compromise petition before this Court. A prayer is, therefore, made by all the
parties to compound the offence and acquit the three appellants who have
approached this Court.
it is no doubt true that every crime is considered to be an offence against the
society as a whole and not only against an individual even though an individual
might have suffered thereby. It is, therefore, the duty of the State to take
appropriate action against the offender. It is equally the duty of a Court of
law administrating criminal justice to punish a criminal.
there are offences and offences.
Certain offences are
very serious in which compromise or settlement is not permissible.
8 Some other
offences, on the other hand, are not so serious and the law may allow the
parties to settle them by entering into a compromise. The compounding of an
offence signifies that the person against whom an offence has been committed
has received some gratification to an act as an inducement for his abstaining
from proceeding further with the case [Vinjay Devanna Nayak v. Ryot Sewa
Sahkari Bank Ltd., (2008) 2 SCC 305].
far as the Code is concerned, Section 320 deals with offences which are
compoundable, either by the parties without the leave of the Court or by the
parties but only with the leave of the Court. Sub-section (1) of Section 320
enumerates the offences which are compoundable without the leave of the Court,
while sub-section (2) of the said section specifies the offences which are
compoundable with the leave of the Court. Sub-section (9) of Section 320
declares; "No offence shall be 9 compounded except as provided by this
It is thus clear that
offences not referred to in sub-sections (1) and (2) of Section 320 and not
included in the Table are not compoundable.
punishable under laws other than the Indian Penal Code also cannot be compounded.
(8) of Section 320 of the Code expressly enacts that where the composition of
an offence under this section is recorded by the Court, it shall have effect of
an acquittal of the accused with whom the offence has been compounded.
the Code, as originally enacted in 1973, an offence punishable under Section
324, IPC (voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means) was made
compoundable with the leave of the Court. The said entry read as under:
10 TABLE Offence
Section of Person by whom the Indian offence may be Penal Code compounded
Applicable 1 2 3 Voluntarily 324 The person to causing hurt by whom hurt is
weapons or means.
is no doubt true as stated by the learned counsel for the appellants even at
the time of preliminary hearing of this matter that by the Code of Criminal
Procedure (Amendment) Act, 2005 (Act 25 of 2005) the above entry has been
deleted. In other words, an offence of voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous
weapons or means punishable under Section 324, IPC is no more compoundable. The
Amendment Act of 2005 came into force from June 23, 2006.
we have already noted, according to the prosecution, the appellants had committed
11 the offence on June 15, 1995. In view of the above fact, in our opinion, Act
25 of 2005 has no application to the facts of the case. We, therefore, see no
ground to refuse permission as sought by the parties who have compromised the
offence which was compoundable under the Code as it stood in 1995. If it is so,
compounding can be permitted and accused (appellants) can be acquitted.
the foregoing reasons, in our opinion, the appeal deserves to be allowed and is
accordingly allowed by holding that since the matter has been compounded by
compromise between the parties and there is no illegality therein, such
compounding can be permitted by the Court. The appellants are, hence, entitled
order of conviction and sentence recorded by all Courts is hereby set aside and
12 the appellants are ordered to be acquitted of the charges levelled against