(1) The three petitioners were accused in C.C. No. 933/62 in the Court of the Judicial Magistrate, First Class, Ron.
(2) The complainant and the accused are close relations. The charge against the accused was that they assaulted the complainant and caused him an injury and therefore they were guilty of offence punishable under sections 325 and 355 read with 34 of the Indian Penal Code.
(3) It appears that the prosecution examined three witnesses somewhere in the month of July, 9163; but thereafter, on the 19th September 1963, both the complainant and the accused filed a joint application seeking the permission of the learned Magistrate to compound the offences. In the meanwhile, the prosecution made an application on the 19th of August 1963, for amending the charge from S. 325 to 326, I.P.C. That application was rejected by the learned Magistrate on the 30th August 1963. It is then that the aforesaid joint application came to be made by both the complainant and the accused.
(4) The learned Magistrate passed an order stating that in view of the close relationship between the parties, if the complainant is compensated to the extent of Rs. 300/-, the application stands granted. He further directed that the amount should be deposited in Court before the 23rd, failing which the application would stand rejected. Against this order, the present revision petition has been filed.
(5) Mr. Deshpande appearing for the petitioners contends that the learned Magistrate was not justified in directing the payment of the amount by the petitioners. In the meanwhile, the Government filed an application in revision in the Court of Session at Dharwar against the order rejecting their application for amending the charge from section 325 to section 326, I.P.C. That revision, I am told, was filed on the 19th of October, 1963. When this matter was being heard, this Court passed an order directing the learned Sessions Judge to dispose of the application filed by the State against the order rejecting the application for amending the charge. The learned Sessions Judge came to the conclusion that that was really a case which fell under section 326, I.P.C. and, therefore, the learned Magistrate was wrong in rejecting the application filed by the State. Therefore, he had made a reference to this Court under section 438, Cr. P.C. and that is Cri. Revn. Case No. 35 of 1964.
(6) Now, I will deal with the contention of Mr. Deshpande in Cri. Petition 326 of 63, that the learned Magistrate was not justified in imposing a condition of payment of Rs. 300/- to the complainant before they could be permitted to compound the offences.
(7) Section 345, Cr. P.C. enumerates the offences that may be compounded by the persons mentioned in the third column of that table. Sub-section (2) of the said section provides:
'The offences punishable under the sections of the Indian Penal Code specified in the first two columns of the table next following may with the permission of the Court before which any prosecution for such offence is pending, be compounded by the persons mentioned in the third column of that table.'
(8) The petitioners have been charged under sections 325 and 355, I.P.C. While the offence under the former section can be compounded with the permission of the Court, the offence under latter section can be compounded by the parties themselves. While in respect of offences which can be compounded by the parties themselves, the Court's permission is not necessary, in respect of offences, to compound which, the permission of the Court is required, it becomes the clear duty of the Court to examine the nature of the offence and the evidence and to satisfy itself whether the permission should or should not be granted. If, on the evidence on record, the Magistrate is satisfied that no permission should be granted, it is open to him to refuse it. But, if, on the contrary, he comes to the conclusion that it is a case where he should grant permission, then he should do so. In that event, it is not permissible for him to attach any condition to the grant of permission for compounding the offences, in the absence of an agreement between the parties.
The learned Magistrate before he accords permission, has got to weigh the evidence and decide whether permission should or should not be granted. But once he decides to grant permission, then it is no longer open to him by himself to attach any condition thereto. And if he does attach any condition, then that condition, in my opinion, is not permissible under the provisions of sub-section (2) of section 345, Cr. P.C.
Therefore, in the present case, the direction for the payment of Rs. 300/- by the accused to complainant is not justified, particularly since they have filed a joint application stating that they are close relations and that the complainant is not willing to receive any amount as compensation from the accused. In spite of this statement in the joint application, the learned Magistrate has thought it fit to impose a condition for the granting of the permission.
In my opinion, the learned Magistrate was not justified in imposing that condition. If so, the permission granted by the Magistrate becomes effective, without condition from the date on which he granted permission to compound the offences viz., 19th September 1963. If so, the accused must be deemed to have been acquitted on the 19th September 1963. But, as I stated earlier, the Government preferred an application in the Court of Sessions, Dharwar, to revise the order passed by the Magistrate rejecting their application to amend the charge.
In my opinion, that application was incompetent in view of the fact that the accused stand acquitted as a result of the permission granted by the learned Magistrate for compounding the offences. Therefore, the learned Sessions Judge of Dharwar could not have dealt with that application in revision. But he thought that on the evidence the accused could have been charged for an offence under section 326, I.P.C. and, therefore, has made a reference to this Court. If he could have dealt with the revision application, then the reference is, therefore, rejected.
(9) Now, as regards Cr. R.P. 326/63,while upholding the order of the learned Magistrate granting permission to compound the offences on the joint application of the complainant and the accused, I set aside that part of his order imposing a condition of payment of compensation by the accused to the complainant.
(10) Revision allowed.