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Report No. 237

Other Offences under IPC Section 147 (rioting) punishable with imprisonment which may extend to 2 years or with fine or with both: Rioting is defined in Section 146. Using force or violence by an unlawful assembly or by a member thereof, in prosecution of the common object of such assembly, constitutes the offence of rioting.

In Madhya Pradesh, there was an amendment in the year 1999 by which Section 147(rioting) has been brought under Section 320(2) read with the Table appended thereto with a proviso: "provided that the accused is not charged with other offence which is not compoundable". The person against whom the force or violence is used at the time of committing an offence is the person competent to compound. The Commission is of the view that on the same lines, the offence of rioting under Section 147 of IPC can be made compoundable and it can be brought under the purview of Section 320(2). It may be pointed out that the Law Commission in its 41st Report (1969) did not accept the suggestion to make certain offences including the one under Section 147 IPC compoundable on the ground that in any matter affecting public peace, order and security, the person directly aggrieved by the offence should not be left with the option to compound the offence. This view expressed long back needs a relook. Rioting may not always disturb the public peace or order.

It may be the result of a private dispute resulting in a scuffle or the said offence may have been committed in the course of some agitation by a motley crowd. We are of the view that there is no harm in including Section 147 IPC within the ambit of Section 320(2) CrPC with the addition of the proviso. The proviso will restrain compounding of the offence under Section 147, if some other serious crime is also committed.

5.22.2 Section 380: Theft in dwelling hous.- maximum punishment is 7 years' imprisonment and fine. This offence may be made compoundable subject to the proviso that the value of property stolen is not more than fifty thousand rupees.

5.22.3 Section 384: Extortio.- maximum punishment is 3 years of imprisonment or fine or both.

5.22.4 Section 385: Putting a person in fear of injury (or attempting to do so) in order to commit extortio.- maximum punishment is 2 years or fine or both.

5.22.5 Section 461: Dishonestly breaking open receptacle containing propert.- maximum punishment is 2 years' imprisonment or fine or both.

5.22.6 Section 489: Tampering with property mark with intent to cause injur.- maximum punishment 1 years' imprisonment or fine or both.

5.22.7 Section 507: Criminal intimidation by an anonymous communicatio.- maximum punishment is 2 years' imprisonment in addition to the punishment provided for the offence by the preceding Section i.e. Section 506. Section 506 consists of 2 parts. For intimidation falling within the first part, the maximum punishment is 2 years' imprisonment or fine or both. The compounding under Section 507 can be allowed in respect of criminal intimidation which falls within the first part.

Threat to cause death or grievous hurt is covered by second par.- punishable with 7 years of imprisonment and it is a serious offence which is a source of considerable harassment to the person affected. Hence, the Commission feels that it should remain non- compoundable. At present, Sections 506 and 508 are compoundable under Section 320(1) read with Table1. Section 507 can be made compoundable under section 320 (1) to the extent it relates to the offence falling under the first part of Section 506.

5.22.8 Having regard to the nature of offences already included within the ambit of Section 320 CrPC, there is no harm in classifying the above-mentioned 7 offences also as compoundable offences. They can be included in Table-1 except Section 380 for which the permission of the Court should be required. The Court's permission is desirable in view of the fact that quite a number of those who commit the said crime are habitual offenders.

5.22.9 It needs to be mentioned that the prosecutions in respect of seven offences enumerated supra may not be many, excepting perhaps the one under Section 380. Not many cases can be disposed of by the Courts if those offences are made compoundable. However, as stated earlier, reducing the pendency of cases is a secondary consideration.

5.23.1 Before we part with the subject, we may recall what was said in paragraph 3.5. Accordingly, we suggest that sub-section (3) of Section 320 Cr.PC may be amended so as to include the offence under Section 120-B IPC. The amended provision will, then, read thus: "when an offence is compoundable under this section, the abetment of such offence or an attempt to commit such offence (when such attempt is itself an offence) or a criminal conspiracy to commit such offence or where the accused is liable under section 34 or 149 of the Indian Penal Code, may be compounded in like manner". (the added words are shown in bold letters)

5.23.2 It may be pointed out that criminal conspiracy is an independent offence punishable under Section 120-B.There are two sub-sections. The second sub-section speaks of criminal conspiracy other than the conspiracy to commit an offence punishable under sub-section (1). The punishment provided under sub-section (2) is imprisonment for a maximum period of 6 months or fine or both.

Sub-section (1) refers to criminal conspiracy to commit the offence punishable with death or imprisonment for life or rigorous imprisonment for a term of 2 years or more. The offender shall be punished in the same manner as if he had abetted such offence. The benefit of proposed amendment will not be available if the main offence is not otherwise compoundable.

Compounding of (IPC) Offences Back

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