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Nitin (Professional)     06 May 2010

Compoundable Offence

What is Compundable offence ? What are the legal implications?


 7 Replies

A V Vishal (Advocate)     06 May 2010

 Some offences largely affect only the victim and no considerable harm is considered to be done to the society. In such offences, if the offender and victim compromise, there is no need to waste court's time in conducting a trial. The process of reaching a compromise is called Compounding. Conceptually, such offences, in which a compromise can be done and a trial can be avoided, are called Compoundable offence. Technically, offences classified as Compoundable by Section 320 of Cr P C are compoundable. Section 320 specifies two kinds of Compoundable offences - one where permission of court is required before compounding can be done for example, voluntarily causing grievous hurt, Theft, criminal breach of trust, assault on a woman with intention to outrage her modesty, etc. and one where permission of the court is not required for example, causing hurt, adultery, defamation, etc. As per S. 320(3), if the abetment of an offence is an offence and if the offence is compoundable then abetment is also compoundable.

Only the person, in the classification tables in Section 320, has the right to compound the offence. The person is usually the victim. The offender cannot  demand compounding as a right.

However, when an offender has been committed to trial or when he has been convicted and his appeal is pending, compounding can only be done with the leave of the court to which he is committed or to which the trial is pending. If an offender is liable for enhanced punishment or a different punishment on account of a previous conviction, compounding cannot be done. High Court and Court of Session may, under their power of revision in Section 401, can allow any person to compound any compoundable offence.

When an offence is compounded, it is equivalent to an acquittal.

4 Like

G. ARAVINTHAN (Legal Consultant / Solicitor)     06 May 2010

Compoundable  is similar to compromise in civil litigations

2 Like

Nitin (Professional)     07 May 2010

Thank you, so much.



Nitin (Professional)     07 May 2010

Your reply is excellent. Thank you so much.



G. ARAVINTHAN (Legal Consultant / Solicitor)     08 May 2010

But compoundable offences are less serious in nature

1 Like

P.K.Haridasan (Advocate)     08 May 2010

Mr Vishal


Thanks for your worthy notes. 

1 Like

Adv k . mahesh (advocate)     07 February 2015

Compoundable offences are those offences where, the complainant (one who has filed the case, i.e. the victim), enter into a compromise, and agrees to have the charges dropped against the accused. However such a compromise, should be a "Bonafide," and not for any consideration to which the complainant is not entitled to.
Application for compounding the offence shall be made before the same court before which the trial is proceeding. Once an offence has been compounded it shall have the same effect, as if, the accused has been acquitted of the charges.
The code of criminal procedure lays down, i.e. bifurcated, the offences, which are compoundable, and which are non-compoundable.
  1. Uttering words etc, with deliberate intent to wound the religious feelings of any person causing hurt.
  2. Criminal or house trespass
  3. Criminal breach of contract of service.
  4. Printing or engraving matters, knowing it to be defamatory.
  5. There are some offences, which although are compoundable, but, they can be compounded only with the permission of the court.
  6. These offences should be compounded before trial begins.
  7. Also where accused has already been convicted, and an appeal is pending, permission of the court is required for compounding of such offences.
  8. The reason for seeking permission of the court, is that these offences are grievous in nature, and are bad example in society
  1. Voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means.
  2. Causing grievous hurt by doing on act so rashly and negligently as to endanger human life or the personal safety of others.
  3. Wrongfully confining a person for three days or more.
  4. Assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage per modesty.
  5. Dishonest misappropriation of property.
  6. Criminal breach of trust by a cannier--- wharfinger-- etc, where the value of the property does not exceed two hundred and fifty rupees.
  7. Cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property or the making, alteration or destruction of a valuable security.
  8. Fraudulent execution of deed of transfer containing false statement of consideration.
  9. Mischief by killing or maiming cattle etc of any value of fifty rupees or upwards.
  10. Counterfeiting a trade or property mark used by another.
  11. Uttering words or sounds or making gestures or exhibiting any object intending to insult the modesty of a woman or intruding upon the privacy of a woman.
There are some offences, which cannot be compounded. They can only be quashed. The reason for this is, because the nature of offence is so grave and criminal, that the Accused cannot be allowed to go scot-free. Here, in these types of cases generally, it is the "state", i.e. police, who has filed the case, and hence the question of complainant entering into compromise does not arise.
All those offences, which are not mentioned in the list under section (320) of CrPC, are non-compoundable offences.

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