NAME OF THE CASE AND CORAM
- Case: Ramgopal vs. State of Madhya Pradesh
- Coram: CJI NV Ramana and Justice Surya Kant
- Case No: CrA 1489 of 2012
- There is discretionary power of the court to dismiss non compoundable cases under Section 482 CrPC.
- The High Court’s power to assess the offence's consequences and then find an approach to ensure that the crime does not hamper with the functioning of the system is unquestionable.
- In the case, the defendants who were found guilty under Section 326 of the Indian Penal Code, in their review petition, tried to seek compounding of offence in light of the agreement. The High Court dismissed their appeal, citing the non-compoundability of the offences.
- “The High Court should utilize such discretion with rectitude when a settlement is reached after a conviction”, the court said, keeping in mind the facts regarding the incident.
- The court did note, however, that the High Court, in exercising its inherent powers under Section 482 Cr.P.C, should dismiss such proceedings even if the offences are non-compoundable.
- It came to the conclusion that the High Court can unquestionably assess the offence's consequences outside the body of an individual and then take a practical approach to ensure that the crime does not tamper with or freeze the very purpose of the law enforcement system's operation, even if it goes unchecked.
- The court emphasized that such broad powers should be used with caution in the context of dismissing criminal proceedings, taking into consideration:
i. The type of the offence and its impact on society's consciousness
ii. The severity of the damage, if any,
iii. The nature of the accused's and victim's mutual settlement
iv. The accused people' actions before and after the alleged crime, or any relevant elements.
- Even if the crimes are non-compoundable and a compromise is struck after conviction, the Apex Court held that a High Court can dismiss criminal proceedings in the exercise of its prosecuting authority under Section 482 Cr.P.C.
- According to the bench led by CJI NV Ramana, court prosecutions involving non-heinous offences or offences that are largely of a private nature, can be dismissed regardless of whether the trial has really been finished or an appeal against conviction has been granted.
Hope you enjoyed reading this. You may now be able to answer the following questions. Let us know in the comments section
- What are non-compoundable offenses?
- Is the court’s position on the current matter justified?