Section 482 of Cr.P.C, heinous & serious offences and settlement between the parties

The Hon’ble Supreme Court, on 5th March 2019, in the matter of The State of Madhya Pradesh v. Laxmi Narayan and others, pronounced that S. 307 of IPC of IPC falls under the category of heinous and serious offences, therefore criminal proceedings for such offences which have a serious impact on the society can’t be quashed in exercise of powers under Section 482 of the Criminal Procedure Code, on the ground that the parties have resolved their entire dispute amongst themselves.

The Hon’ble Supreme Court observed that:

It is not in every case where the complainant has entered into a compromise with the accused, there may not be any conviction. Such observations are presumptive and many a time too early to opine. In a given case, it may happen that the prosecution still can prove the guilt by leading cogent evidence and examining the other witnesses and the relevant evidence/material, more particularly when the dispute is not a commercial transaction and/or of a civil nature and/or is not a private wrong. (Para 11)

Applicability of Shiji @ Pappu & others vs. Radhika and another [(2011) 10 SCC 705]

The decision in Shiji @ Pappu & others vs. Radhika and another [(2011) 10 SCC 705] may be applicable in a case which has its origin in the civil dispute between the parties; the parties have resolved the dispute; that the offence is not against the society at large and/or the same may not have social impact; the dispute is a family/matrimonial dispute etc. The aforesaid decision may not be applicable in a case where the offences alleged are very serious and grave offences, having a social impact like offences under Section 307 IPC. (Para 11.1)

The power conferred under Section 482 of the Code to quash the criminal proceedings for the non-compoundable offences under Section 320 of the Criminal Procedure Code can be exercised having overwhelmingly and predominantly the civil character, particularly those arising out of commercial transactions or arising out of matrimonial relationship or family disputes and when the parties have resolved the entire dispute amongst themselves. (Para 13)

(Para 13) The power conferred under Section 482 of the Criminal Procedure Code to quash the criminal proceedings is not to be exercised:

  • in those prosecutions which involve heinous and serious offences of mental depravity or offences like murder, rape, dacoity, etc. Such offences are not private in nature and have a serious impact on society;
  • for the offences under the special statutes like Prevention of Corruption Act or the offences committed by public servants while working in that capacity are not to be quashed merely on the basis of compromise between the victim and the offender;

Offences under Section 307 IPC and the Arms Act etc. would fall in the category of heinous and serious offences and therefore are to be treated as crime against the society and not against the individual alone, and therefore, the criminal proceedings for the offence under Section 307 IPC and/or the Arms Act etc. which have a serious impact on the society cannot be quashed in exercise of powers under Section 482 of the Criminal Procedure Code, on the ground that the parties have resolved their entire dispute amongst themselves. (Para 13)

While exercising the power under Section 482 of the Code to quash the criminal proceedings in respect of non-compoundable offences, which are private in nature and do not have a serious impart on society, on the ground that there is a settlement/compromise between the victim and the offender, the High Court is required to consider the antecedents of the accused; the conduct of the accused, namely, whether the accused was absconding and why he was absconding, how he had managed with the complainant to enter into a compromise etc. (Para 13)

Copy of judgement: Judgement 05th-Mar-2019

-Tushar Kaushik

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