Citation : 2019 Latest Caselaw 577 SC
Judgement Date : Jul/2019

DIVISION BENCH:
Hon‟ble R. Banumathi and A.S. Bopanna JJ.
Dated: July 22, 2019.
Delivered by: R. Banumathi, J.

[Section 320 of Criminal Procedure Code, 1973] Compromise in Non-Compoundable Offence can only be a mitigating factor to be Considered
by a court at the stage of argument on Quantum of Sentence.

LAW POINT: In a non-compoundable offence the compromise entered into between the parties is indeed a relevant circumstance which the Court may keep in mind for considering the quantum of sentence.

FACTS

On 04.06.2001 at about 05:30 p.m., when complainant-Hardip Singh (PW-1) was returning to his village Baghiari from bus stop on his scooter, Appellant accused, Manjit Singh, along with his brother Ranjit Singh (A2), armed with knife, were attacked/inflicted knife blows on the left and right thigh of the complainant. On the complaint lodged by the complainant a case was registered under section 307 read with Section 34 I.P.C. and section 324 read with Section 34 I.P.C. After completion of the investigation, the charge sheet was filed against the accused for the aforesaid offences.

DECISION OF THE TRIAL COURT:

Trial Court convicted the Appellant accused and A2 under section 307 I.P.C. and sentenced each of them to undergo rigorous imprisonment for five years along with fine of Rs.1000/- each for the offence punishable under section 324 I.P.C., they were sentenced to undergo rigorous imprisonment for two years.

The Trial Court acquitted the accused- Davinder Singh giving him benefit of doubt.

Aggrieved by the decision of the Trial Court, the Appellant filed an appeal before High Court.

DECISION OF THE HIGH COURT:

The High Court acquitted A2 from the charges by giving him benefit of doubt but affirmed the conviction of the Appellant accused which was ordered by the Trial Court and the sentence of imprisonment imposed upon him. The High Court has also enhanced the fine amount from Rs.1,000 to Rs.50,000/- with a direction to pay the same to the Complainant as compensation.

Being aggrieved, the Appellant accussed preferred appeal before the Hon‘ble Supreme Court.

During pendency of the appeal, parties compromised the matter and both the counsel i.e counsel for the Appellant accused and the complainant, filed affidavit in that regard. The Appellant accused had also filed the compromise deed dated 29th May, 2019 entered into between the parties.

POINT OF DETERMINATION

Whether the compromise between the parties in the case of non compoundable is permissible?

DECISION OF THE HON’BLE SUPREME COURT:

The Hon‘ble Supreme Court, after considering the facts and circumstances of the case, held that:

1. Section 307 IPC. is a non-compoundable offence. Thus, No permission can be granted to record the compromise between the parties.

2. In Ishwar Singh v. State of Madhya Pradesh, (2008) 15 SCC 667  the Supreme Court of India has held that in a non-compoundable offence the compromise entered into between the parties is indeed a relevant circumstance which the Court may keep in mind for considering the quantum of sentence.

3. The Hon‘ble Supreme Court, in Jetha Ram v. State of Rajasthan, (2006) 9 SCC 255,  Murugesan v. Ganapathy Velar, (2001) 10 SCC 504  and Ishwarlal v. State of M.P., (2008) 15 SCC 671   while taking into account the fact of compromise between the parties, reduced sentence imposed on the Appellant accused to already undergone, though the offences were not compoundable.

4. Therefore, it would not be appropriate to order compounding of an offence not compoundable under the Code by ignoring and keeping aside statutory provisions. However, limited submission of the Appellant deserves consideration that while imposing substantive sentence, the factum of compromise between the parties was indeed a relevant circumstance which the Court may keep in mind.

5. Taking note of the compromise entered into between the parties and considering the relationship of the parties and the facts and circumstances of the case and also the sentence undergone by the Appellant accused, the sentence of imprisonment imposed upon the Appellant under sections 307 and 324 IPC. was reduced from five years/two years to the period already undergone.

6. The fine amount of Rs.50,000/- imposed upon the Appellant was set aside an if already been paid, shall be refunded.

Thus, Appeal was partly allowed.

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