Report No. 237
6.1 Broadly speaking, the offences which affect the security of the State or have a serious impact on the society at large ought not to be permitted to be compounded. So also, crimes of grave nature should not be the subject matter of compounding. The policy of law on compoundability of offences is complex and no straightjacket formula is available to reach the decision. A holistic and not an isolated approach is called for in identifying the compoundable and non-compoundable offences.
6.2 That the Courts are flooded with cases and, therefore, more and more offences should be identified for compoundability is only a secondary consideration.
6.3 In sub-section (3) of Section 320 CrPC after the bracketed words and before the words "or where the accused is liable", the following words shall be added:
"or a criminal conspiracy to commit such offence".
6.4 Section 498A IPC should be made compoundable under Section 320(2) of CrPC so that it may be compounded with the permission of the Court. However, in order to ensure that the offer of composition is voluntary and free from pressures, it is proposed to introduce sub-section (2A) in Section 320 laying down the procedure for dealing with an application for compounding of an offence under Section 498A. The said sub- section (2A) is set out in paragraph 5.6 supra.
6.5 Section 324 IPC should be made compoundable subject to the permission of Court. Accordingly, it shall be brought within the ambit of Section 320(2) CrPC.
6.6 Section 326 IPC (causing grievous hurt by dangerous weapons) should not be made compoundable.
6.7 The offence of rioting under Section 147 IPC should be made compoundable by including the same in the Table appended to Section 320 (2) Cr PC subject to the addition of proviso: "provided that the accused is not charged with other offence which is not compoundable".
6.8 The following six offences in IPC may be made compoundable: Section 380 (theft in dwelling house) subject to the proviso that the value of property stolen is not more than Rs. 50,000/-; Section 384 (extortion); Section 385 (extortion by putting a person in fear of injury); Section 461 (dishonestly breaking open receptacle containing property); Section 489 (tampering with property mark with intent to cause injury); Section 507 (criminal intimidation by an anonymous communication) subject to the rider that compounding shall be confined to criminal intimidation falling within the first part of Section 506.
Justice P.V. Reddi
Justice Shiv Kumar Sharma and Amarjit Singh
Dr. Brahm Agrawal