Quashing of FIR- Non-Compoundable Offences can’t be Settled Amicably- Supreme Court

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February 25, 2019

In this recent case, the Supreme Court Bench was confronted with the issue of settlement of criminal proceedings between parties and subsequent quashing of FIR. The Apex Court in the case enumerated the circumstances in which criminal proceedings between the parties can be settled and why wrongs which have a social impact can’t be settled amicably.

Case name: The State of Madhya Pradesh v. Dhruv Gurjar and Anr.

In this appeal, the State has challenged High Court’s order, whereby the Court has quashed the criminal proceedings against the accused on the ground that the accused and the complainant have settled the disputes amicably for the offences punishable under Sections 307, 294 and 34 of the Indian Penal Code.

Bench’s Verdict

In view of the facts and circumstances of the case, the Two-Judge Bench of the Supreme Court has set aside the High Court’s order and made the following observations in the case:

  • While condemning the High Court’s order in the case, the Court considered the fact that the offences alleged were non­-compoundable offences as per Section 320 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
  • The Apex Court has also noted that the High Court has not at all considered the relevant facts and circumstances of the case, more particularly the seriousness of the offences and its social impact. The Court also noted that the High Court has not at all considered the distinction between a personal or private wrong and a social wrong and the social impact.
  • While arriving at it’s decision, the Apex Court also made reference to it’s judgment in the case of The State of Madhya Pradesh v. Manish[1], the Court observed that when it comes to the question of compounding an offence under Sections 307, 294 and 34 IPC along with Sections 25 and 27 of the Arms Act by no stretch of imagination, can it be held to be an offence as between the private parties simpliciter.
  • That such offences will have a serious impact on the society at large. It is further observed that where the accused are facing trial under Sections 307, 294 read with Section 34 IPC as well as Sections 25 and 27 of the Arms Act, as the offences are definitely against the society, accused will have to necessarily face trial and come out unscathed by demonstrating their innocence.

Finally the Apex Court also opined that it is not in every case where the complainant has entered into a compromise with the accused, there may not be any conviction.

The entire case can be accessed here.

[1] (2015)8 SCC 307