Report No. 154
Issue No. 8-Compounding of Offences
Views of Judges
Eight Judges have supported the proposal and suggested amendment. One does support partly giving its reasons in his reply, however, four/five have not touched the issue. According to some Judges all offences except murder and rape under I.P.C should be made compoundable with the permission of the court keeping in view the larger interest of the society in general and the victim in particular and the amount Rs. 250 be increased.
Twenty-eight Judicial Officers/District Judges, endorsed the views as expressed by the Law Commission on this issue. Majority of them have suggested to increase the amount from Rs. 250 to 2000 or 2500 or 5000 or 10,000. Some of them have suggested to make all offences compoundable except those which are punishable with life imprisonment or death. However, some of them have specified some sections of I.P.C. to be included under section 320 and even some offences should be compoundable without the permission of the court. Rest of them are silent and one officer has responded in the negative. The Institute of Judicial Training & Research (U.P.), Lucknow has responded in the affirmative.
Views of Advocates/Government Pleaders/Bar Associations
Six Advocates have supported the proposal. However, a few of them have further suggested that a provision for compounding by agreement to pay compensation may also be considered for inclusion in section 320. Two Advocates disagreed with the proposal and three have not responded. According to the Madras Bar Association 160 can be compounded.
Views of Academicians
Dr. K.N. Chandrasekharan Pillai has welcomed the proposal to widen the scope of section 320 by giving the list of cases including the example of the case, Mahesh Chandra v. State of Rajasthan, AIR 1988 SC 2111. Professor H.C. Dholakia has also suggested to expand the table under section 320 by including the offences under sections 160, 334, 336, 356, 369, 380, 384, 395, 406, 407, 408, 411, 414, 453, 456, 461, 485, 510, of I.P.C. etc. Rest of the academicians have not responded the issue.
Views of Police Officers
Mr. C. Anjaneya Reddy has said that the number of compoundable offences can be enlarged. Shri H.J. Dora; I.P.S. has partly agreed and has suggested that the power of compounding offences can be retained with the court. Other police officers are silent on the point.
Views of the State Law Commissions
The Himachal Pradesh Law Commission has partly agreed with the proposal. However, it has clearly stated that offences under section 498 A of I.P.C. are offences against the Society and should not be made compoundable.
Views of the State Governments
The Government of Gujarat has responded in the affirmative.