09 Jul 2121

Any compromise entered into post-conviction for a non-compoundable offence cannot result in acquittal of the accused - Bombay High Court

Case : Madhav and Anr. v. The State of Maharashtra and Anr. Criminal Application No. 1120 of 2021

Court : Bombay High Court

Bench : Justice V. K. Jadhav and Justice S. G. Dige

Decided on : 09 Jul 2121

Relevant Statues

Sections 332, 353, 504 and 506(i) read with Section 34 of Indian Penal Code, 1860

Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973

Brief Facts & Procedure History

1. The relevant seminal facts are that Respondent No. 2 i.e. informant is a public servant. On 13.05.2011, Respondent No. 2, the complainant was busy with his official work in the office of Minor Irrigation, Mukhed. The Applicants made a phone call to Respondent No. 2. However, he did not receive their phone call. Consequently, both the Applicants went to his office and extended beating to him in the office itself. The Respondent sustained the bleeding injury on his nose where he was taken to the hospital. On the basis of the complaint lodged by the Respondent-informant, Crime No. 76 of 2011 came to be registered in the concerned police station and after the completion of the investigation, charge-sheet came to be submitted before the court which is numbered as R.C.C. No. 104 of 2011. Both the accused persons were tried vide R.C.C. No. 104 of 2011 for the offence punishable under Sections 353, 332, 504 and 506(i) read with Section 34 of Indian Penal Code, 1860.

2. Learned Judicial Magistrate, First Class, Mukhed, by order dated 26.06.2013 in R.C.C. No. 104 of 2011, has convicted both the accused persons for the offence punishable under Sections 332 and 353 read with section 34 of Indian Penal Code, 1860 and sentenced them under Section 332 read with section 34 of Indian Penal Code, 1860 to suffer Rigorous Imprisonment for six months and to pay fine of Rs. 2,000/- each, in default to suffer Simple Imprisonment for one month. No separate sentence has been passed for the offence punishable under Section 353 read with section 34 of Indian Penal Code, 1860.

3. Being aggrieved by the same, the Applicants have preferred Criminal Appeal No. 12 of 2013 before the Sessions Court, Mukhed where the said criminal appeal is still pending before the Additional Sessions Judge, Mukhed. The Applicants and Respondent No. 2 filed an application on 05.12.2018 before the Additional Sessions Judge, Mukhed praying that the parties have arrived at an amicable settlement out of the court and thus, the applicants may be acquitted in view of the compromise. By order dated 12.03.2019, the learned Additional Sessions Judge, Mukhed has rejected the application with the observations that the offence punishable under Section 332 of Indian Penal Code, 1860 is non-compoundable and as such the parties cannot be permitted to compound the said offence.

4. The Applicants-original accused have thus approached this Court by filing the present Criminal Application under Section 482 of Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 for quashing the criminal proceeding post-conviction for a non-compoundable offence on a settlement between them and the informant-complainant.

The Issue(s) of the Case

Whether the Applicants-accused persons are entitled to quashing the criminal proceeding post-conviction for a non-compoundable offence under Section 482 of Criminal Procedure Code, 1973?

The Observations of the Court

The Honourable Bombay High Court observed the following:

1. Observed the grounds taken in the application, annexures thereto and the reply filed by Respondent No. 2, informant along with the compromise deed and the case-law cited by the respective parties.

2. Took cognizance of the fact that the Applicants-accused persons have settled the matter amicably with Respondent No. 2, Complainant (informant) for their good future in politics.

3. Opined that the Applicants have not shown any repentance on their part and have not even been assured as not to repeat the mistake in future. Thus, the Court further opined that the ends of justice could not be secured by accepting such type of settlement.

4. Witnessed the growing tendency of the people to make an assault on the public servants discharging their official duties under the various pretext and opined that this tendency requires to be discouraged by taking a stringent view in these matters.

5. Reliance was placed upon several precedents such as Gian Singh v. State of Punjab and Ors, (2012) 10 SCC 303; Maya Sanjay Khandare and Ors v. State of Maharashtra, reported in 2021 (1) RCR (Criminal) 450; B. S. Joshi and Ors v. State of Haryana and Anr, (2003) 4 SCC 675; Nikhil Merchant v. Central Bureau of Investigation and Anr, (2008) 9 SCC 677 and Manoj Sharma v. State and Ors, (2008) 16 SCC 1.

The Decision held by the Court

The Honourable Bombay High Court dismissed Criminal Application No. 1120 of 2021.

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