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Report No. 243

The relevant part of Commission's report is furnished in Annexure-II

8.4 In the 154th Report of the Law Commission also, there was a clear recommendation to make the offence compoundable. Justice Mallimath Committee on Criminal Justice Reform also recommended that it should be made compoundable as well as bailable. The Committee of Petitions (Rajya Sabha) in the report presented on 7.09.2011, observed thus at para 13.2 under the heading "Making the offence under Section 498-A IPC compoundable":

"The Committee notes that the offence under Section 498-A IPC is essentially a fallout of strained matrimonial relationship for which there might be various considerations. Since there can be various causes leading to an offence under Section 498-A, IPC and parties to the marriage could be responsible for the same in varying degrees, it would be appropriate if the remedy of compromise is kept open to settle a matrimonial dispute.

In this context, the Committee feels that in case of any marital discord which has reached the stage of a complaint under Section 498-A, IPC, it would be better if the parties have the option of a compromise whereafter they can settle down in their lives appropriately for a better future rather than diverting their energies negatively by pursuing litigation. The Committee recommends to the Government to consider whether the offence under Section 498-A, IPC can be made compoundable."

8.5 These observations and recommendations of the Parliamentary Committee reinforces the view taken by the Law Commission in 237th Report which is annexed herewith (Annexure II). In the 111th report of the Department related Standing Committee on Home Affairs on the Criminal Law Amendment Bill, 2003 (report of 2005), the Committee categorically recommended that the offence under Section 498-A should be made compoundable.

The Committee of Petitions (Rajya Sabha), recommended that the offence under Section 498-A should continue to be cognizable and non- bailable while "strongly recommending" that "the ill-effects and miseries of the provision should be checked." The Committee observed further: "the Committee fears that failure to do so may leave no option except to dilute the law by making the same non-compoundable and bailable." Certain measures to check misuse were suggested which will be referred to at the appropriate juncture.

Section 498-A of the Indian Penal Code Back

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