Non-Compoundable Offences Under the Indian Penal Code Can Be Compounded by Invoking Inherent Powers of the High Court: Punjab and Haryana High Court

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Excerpt

Cross complaints lodged by both the groups were compounded and respective First Information Reports (FIRs) were quashed. 

Brief Facts of the Case

Two crimes were registered for one incident at the instance of the opposite groups. The crimes were registered mainly under sections 323, 325, 506, 452, 148, 149 of the IPC. After registration of crime, both the parties had arrived at the compromise with the intervention of respectable citizens and both of them had decided not to proceed with their cases further. As the crime registered was non-compoundable in nature, both the sides had approached the Hon’ble High Court of Punjab and Haryana under the provisions of Section 482 of the Criminal Procedure code for compounding of offence and quashing of the respective FIR. 

Contentions before the Court

Learned counsel for Petitioners had contended that the cases were cross cases which had been filed by both the parties and now with the intervention of respectable citizens of the village they had entered into a compromise and did not wish to proceed further with the cases. The learned counsel for the Petitioner had placed reliance upon the reported judgement of Hon’ble SC of India in the case of ”Gian Singh vs. the State of Punjab” reported in 2012 (10) SCC 303 and in the case of “Kulwinder Singh vs. the State of Punjab” reported in 2007 (3) RCR (criminal) 1052. It was submitted that as the parties had entered into a compromise and considering the law laid down by Honorable Supreme Court, the High Court had wide powers under Section 482 of the Criminal procedure code to quash the proceedings in order to secure the ends of justice.

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In pursuance of the Order passed by the Hon’ble High Court and due to ongoing pandemic situation, the Court had directed the parties to appear before the concerned Chief Judicial Magistrate (Trial Court) for recording statement of the parties including the satisfaction and genuineness of the compromise and a report to this effect was called upon. After recording the statement of parties Hon’ble Judicial Magistrate had confirmed the genuineness of this particular compromise and it was entered into without any undue influence and pressure.

Court’s Observation

The Hon’ble High Court had observed that in view of the law laid in the case of “Gian Singh v the State of Punjab” and in view of Section 320 of criminal procedure code, the inherent powers of the high court is of wide plentitude with no statutory limitations. It was also observed that the said inherent powers had to be exercised to secure the ends of justice or to prevent the abuse of the process of law. At the same time, the Court was pleased to observe that compounding of non-compoundable offences would depend upon the facts and circumstances of each case keeping in mind the nature and gravity of the crime. It was also observed that in heinous and serious offences like murder, rape, dacoity, etc. petition cannot be quashed even though the victim or victim’s family had settled the dispute with the offender. It was also observed that any offence which had a serious impact on the society and the offence committed by the public servants could not provide any basis for quashing the First Information Report. 

Court’s Decision

In view of the above facts, report of judicial magistrates first class and considering the law laid down by the Hon’ble Supreme Court, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had quashed FIR no 57 dated 3-4-2020 under Section 323, 505, 452,148, 149 of the IPC and DDR no 34 dated 4-4-2020 for the offence punishable under Section 323, 325, 34 of IPC registered with police station Tanda, district Hoshiarpur on the basis of compromise dated 8-10-2020.

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Click here to read the judgement.


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