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138. Compounding of offences.-

(1) Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974), any offence committed for the first time, punishable under this Chapter, being an offence-

(i) punishable with fine only; or

(ii) punishable with imprisonment for a term which is not more than one year and also with fine,

may, on an application made, either before or after the institution of any prosecution, be compounded by an officer authorised by the Central Government for the purposes of offences relating to Chapter III and Chapter IV and the rules, regulations or schemes made or framed under this Code relating to those Chapters, by the Central Government; and for the purposes of offences relating to other provisions of this Code and the rules, regulations or schemes made or framed under this Code relating thereto, by the appropriate Government, in such manner as may be prescribed by the Central Government on payment by the offender to the appropriate Government the amount-

(i) in the case of an offence punishable with fine only, the half of the maximum fine provided for that offence; and

(ii) in the case of an offence punishable with imprisonment for a term which is not more than one year and also with fine, the three-fourth of the maximum fine provided for that offence.

(2) Nothing contained in sub-section (1) shall apply to an offence committed by a person for the second time or thereafter within a period of three years from the date-

(i) of commission of a similar offence which was earlier compounded; or

(ii) of commission of similar offence for which such person was earlier convicted.

(3) Every officer referred to in sub-section (1) shall exercise the powers to compound an offence, subject to the direction, control and supervision of the Central Government for the purposes of offences relating to Chapter III and Chapter IV and the rules, regulations or schemes made or framed under this Code relating to those Chapters; and for the purposes of offences relating to other provisions of this Code and the rules, regulations or schemes made or framed under this Code relating thereto, by the appropriate Government.

(4) Every application for the compounding of an offence shall be made in such form and in such manner as may be prescribed by the appropriate Government.

(5) Where any offence is compounded before the institution of any prosecution, no prosecution shall be instituted in relation to such offence, against the offender in relation to whom the offence is so compounded.

(6) Where the compounding of any offence is made after the institution of any prosecution, such compounding shall be brought to the notice of the court in which the prosecution is pending in writing by the officer referred to in sub-section (1), and on such notice of the compounding of the offence being given to the court, the person against whom the offence is so compounded shall be discharged.

(7) Any person who fails to comply with the order made by the officer referred to in sub-section (1), shall be liable to pay a sum equivalent to twenty per cent. of the maximum fine provided for the offence, in addition to such fine.



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