Is Section 354 of The Indian Penal Code compoundable or non compoundable?


Section 354 of The Indian Penal Code is compoundable with the permission of the Court and in this premises, the application ought to have been allowed. Except in offences of grave nature like rape, murder, dacoity, etc., even the non-compoundable case can also be quashed on mutual consent of the parties. However, the case under section 307 of The Indian Penal Code can not be quashed even if the complainant gives consent in high court.

Offences under Section 307 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 which have a serious impact on the society cannot be quashed in exercise of powers under Section 482 of the Code, on the ground that the parties have resolved their entire dispute amongst themselves.

However, the High Court would not rest its decision merely because there is a mention of Section 307 of The Indian Penal Code in the FIR or the charge is framed under this provision. It would be open to the High Court to examine as to whether incorporation of Section 307 of The Indian Penal Code is there for the sake of it or the prosecution has collected sufficient evidence, which if proved, would lead to framing the charge under Section 307 of The Indian Penal Code.

For this purpose, it would be open to the High Court to go by the nature of injury sustained, whether such injury is inflicted on the vital/delegate parts of the body, nature of weapons used etc. However, such an exercise by the High Court would be permissible only after the evidence is collected after investigation and the charge sheet is filed/charge is framed and/or during the trial. Such exercise is not permissible when the matter is still under investigation.

Reference: Section 307, 354 and 482 of The Indian Penal Code



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