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Can't Reject Compromise For Compoundable Offence Merely Because Accused Was Also Charged Under SC/ST Act But Acquitted: Gujarat HC

PRIYANKA PREET
21 March 2022 4:43 AM GMT
Cant Reject Compromise For Compoundable Offence Merely Because Accused Was Also Charged Under SC/ST Act But Acquitted: Gujarat HC
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The Gujarat High Court recently permitted compounding of offence under Section 323 of IPC, notwithstanding that the accused was also originally charged under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.The Bench comprising Justice Ashokkumar Joshi noted that the Court below had acquitted the Petitioners-accused for alleged commission of offences under...

The Gujarat High Court recently permitted compounding of offence under Section 323 of IPC, notwithstanding that the accused was also originally charged under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.

The Bench comprising Justice Ashokkumar Joshi noted that the Court below had acquitted the Petitioners-accused for alleged commission of offences under Sections 504, 506(2), 427 read with 114 of the IPC and Sections 3(1)(x) of the SC/ST Act and no appeal against such acquittal was preferred by the complainant/ State.

In these circumstances, the Court noted:

"the appellants are convicted for the offence punishable under Section 323 of the IPC only and for the offence under the Atrocity Act, they are acquitted and no acquittal appeal appears to have been preferred by the State thereagainst. Even otherwise, the matter is settled between the parties and any further proceedings may be an exercise in futility."

The Court was hearing an appeal under Section 374 of CrPC against the judgement passed by the Additional Sessions Judge wherein the Appellants/Original Accused were convicted for offence under Sections 323 read with 114 of IPC and were sentenced to undergo rigorous imprisonment for one year and a fine of INR 1000 each. However, the Appellants-Accused were acquitted for the remaining abovementioned offences.

The brief facts were that the Accused had assaulted the Complainant and his father with an iron pipe and had also hurled threats and caste-based insults at them. Pursuant to the incident, the investigation and trial was carried out after which, the parties arrived at an amicable settlement. Subsequently, no untoward incident took place in the village between the parties. Hence, the appeal was filed by the Appellants while relying on Shankar Yadav and Another v. State of Chhattisgarh, (2018) 13 SCC 452 and other precedents. It was contested that offence under Section 323 was compoundable and that the compromise between parties ought to be accepted.

Addressing these contentions, the Bench noted that:

"Further, as per Sub-section (8) of Section 320 of the Code, the composition of an offence under the said section shall have the effect of an acquittal of the accused with whom the offence has been compounded. Averments in the affidavit reveal that the matter is amicably settled between the parties and no grievance is stated to be survived between them."

Averring that the Accused were acquitted under all other offences and that no acquittal appeal was forthcoming from the State, the Court allowed the appeal and directed that all bail bonds be cancelled against the Accused. However, if the Accused had already submitted the fine, the same was to be granted as compensation to the Complainant.

Case Title: Janakbhai @ Alpeshbhai Mafatbhai Rabari & 1 Other(S) Versus State Of Gujarat

Case No.: R/CR.A/1690/2017

Citation:

Click Here To Read/Download Judgment

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