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Report No. 142

9.27. Procedure to be followed in cases arising out of offences alleged to have been committed which are compoundable under section 320 of Cr. P.C.-

As per the law declared by the Supreme Court in Biswabahan Das v. Gopen Chandra Hazarika, AIR 1967 SC 895, the policy of the Legislature adopted in section 320 relating to compoundable offences is that in the case of certain category of offences [which have been identified in the Table incorporated under sub-section (1) of section 320] where the interests of the public are not vitally affected, the complainant should be permitted to come to terms with the party against whom he complains.

It would appear that the Table under sub-section (2) of section 320 relates to offences which are considered to be compoundable without detriment to the community in case the court before which the prosecution is pending accords permission to compound. But even compoundable offences may not be compounded by the complainant for a number of reasons, such as, by reason of either being vindictive, or being desirous of obtaining either an apology or a monetary compensation or advantage by using the pending prosecution as a lever, etc.

Having regard to the fact that the Legislature itself in a way considered these offences as wrongs curable without sentencing an offender to a term in jail albeit with the consent of the complainant and has considered that the interest of the community may not suffer if the offences listed in the Table under sub-section (1) are compounded whereas the interest of the community would not be affected if the offences listed in the Table under sub-section (2) are considered by the court itself to be such that permission can be granted having regard to the circumstances of the case to compound the offence,
there is no reason why an offender should be obliged to undergo the misery of a trial at the money-cost, time-cost and energy-cost to the community, the complainant, as also to the offender if the court itself can remedy the wrong substantially by directing the offender to pay monetary compensation of a reasonable order to the complainant who may have refused to compound the offence on account of his intransigence or feeling of hurt which he may not have been able to overcome.

Of course, in such cases, the offender would be able to invoke the powers of the court only provided he is prepared to plead guilty and accept an order of conviction. The Competent Authority shall take into account the gravity of the offence, the gravity of the injury where injury has been occasioned to the person or property and take into account the paying capacity of the accused as also tie submissions of the public prosecutor, the offender and the complainant or the aggrieved party.

The Competent Authority may thereafter direct imposition of a sentence of fine a term in jail coupled with a direction suspending the sentence of jail in the event of the offender depositing in the court the amount of compensation determined by the Competent Authority within the time prescribed by such authority not exceeding six months commencing from the date of the order.

The offender shall undergo the jail sentence imposed on him if he fails to deposit the compensation but the suspended sentence shall not be executed if the compensation is deposited for being paid to the victim of the offence or the aggrieved party as directed by the Competent Authority. Such a provision would protect the complainant or the victim or the aggrieved party from being deprived of the compensation ordered to be paid to him notwithstanding the order of the Competent Authority and the compensation awarded by the Competent Authority would be realised by the person entitled thereto without having to make recourse to any other proceeding in any court of law.

It may also be provided that in case the complainant (aggrieved party) and the offender are agreeable to compound the offence the proceedings may .be terminated by recording the compromise (where leave of court is not necessary) and the offender may be acquitted. If leave is needed and the Competent Authority is of the opinion that leave deserves to be granted an appropriate order may be passed in that behalf.



Concessional Treatment for Offenders who on their own initiative choose to plead guilty without any bargaining Back




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