1. This is a reference from the District Magistrate of Kaira recommending this Court to set aside an order passed under Section 250 of the Code of Criminal Procedure directing compensation of Rs. 30 to be paid to accused No. 1 in the case on the ground that the complaint was frivolous and vexatious. It appears that the complaint in this case was originally lodged against three persons. Process was issued against two of them and as regards accused No. 2 the complainant presented an application for compromise and an order was made acquitting that accused under Section 345 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. The case proceeded against accused No. 1 alone with the result that it has already been stated.
2. The District Magistrate bases his recommendation upon the ground that where there are more than one person against whom the complaint has been made, the offence cannot be compounded as regards one such person only. Oar attention has been invited to a decision (Chandra Kumar Das v. The Emperor (1902) 7 C.W.N. 176 which supports this view. There is on the other hand a reported decision of the Madras' High Court (Muthia Naick v. The King-Emperor I.L.R. (1917) Mad. 323 in which the contrary view is taken. In my opinion the view of the Madras High Court is correct. The policy of the Legislature is that in the case of certain minor offences, where the interests of the public are not vitally affected, the complainant should be permitted to come to terms with the party against whom he complains and those offences are specified in Section 345 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. There is nothing to my mind in the words of the section itself which supports the view taken by the Calcutta High Court. I do not think that the word 'offence' necessarily connotes all the offenders, that is to say, all the persons against whom the complaint is made. It appears Co me that the offence for the purposes of this section is the offence of each offender. A composition is an arrangement or settlement of differences between the injured party and the person against whom the complaint is made, and it may well happen that where there is more than one such person, a satisfactory settlement may be possible with one of them and may not be arrived at with another. It would be easy to quote instances in which this might be the case, and as I read the section, there is nothing to prevent such a composition with one accused, nor is there any reason why that composition should necessarily have the effect of an acquittal in the case of another accused as between whom and the complainant no satisfactory settlement has been arrived at nor is there anything in the policy of the Legislature to which I have' alluded which points to any such intention. It would indeed, in my opinion, be inconvenient if such an interpretation were adopted and that is a further reason for following the decision of the Madras High Court on this point.
3. For these reasons, therefore, I am of opinion that the point of law upon which this reference is based is not a good point of law and therefore it follows, as that is the only point before us, that the order of compensation which we are asked to set aside was a proper order and should be maintained.
4. I would, therefore, discharge the rule and return the proceedings with these remarks.
5. I concur. 1 desire to add that in view of the difference of opinion between the two High Courts on this point I have felt some difficulty in coming to a conclusion in this case. On general consideration i t seems to me that there is much to be said in favour of either view; but on the whole I am satisfied that the correct view of Section 845 is the one which has been taken by the Madras High Court in Muthia, Naick v. The King-Emperor I.L.R. (1917) Mad. 323 and which has been accepted by ray learned brother.