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Jhangtoo Barai and anr. Vs. Emperor - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtAllahabad
Decided On
Reported inAIR1930All409
AppellantJhangtoo Barai and anr.
RespondentEmperor
Excerpt:
- - subsequently the complainant brought a fresh complaint based upon precisely the same allegations as in the former complaint against the applicants. the best evidence he could possibly have was before him, namely, a document signed by the parties in the handwriting of the complainant himself that the composition was correct. it must be presumed, unless it is proved to the contrary, that the complainant well understood the one small paragraph that appeared in the document......was entirely unnecessary, when the parties were all present in court, for any verification of the composition. the complainant was literate. he signed the document in his own writing. it must be presumed, unless it is proved to the contrary, that the complainant well understood the one small paragraph that appeared in the document. in any case, the only verification that was required was a simple question to the parties whether they signed the document and whether they understood its contents. there can be no doubt that on that day there was a valid composition within the meaning of section 345, criminal p.c., before the court. it was, therefore, the duty of the magistrate upon that day, and without any unnecessary delay, to have pronounced an acquittal. i am clear that it is in.....
Judgment:

Young, J.

1. This is an application in revision from an order of the Sessions Judge of Ghazipur refusing to convert an order of discharge into an order of acquittal. The facts are these: One Jagardeo brought a complaint against the two applicants under Section 498, I.P.C. On 28th January 1929, the day appointed for the hearing of the case, the Magistrate was informed that the complainant and the applicants wished to compound the offence, and at the same time a written petition signed by all the parties was filed, praying the Court to pass the appropriate order. On that document itself appeared in the handwriting of the complainant the words 'the compromise which is written here is correct.' The Magistrate passed an order that the composition was to be verified and appointed 13th February for the first hearing. The applicants take objection to this order. They contend that when the composition was filed and the offence compounded the Magistrate's duty was, under Section 345, sub-S. (6), Criminal P.C., to acquit the accused. On 13th February, the complainant told the Court that he wished to withdraw from the composition, and the case was further postponed until 23rd March 1929. On that day the complainant did not appear to prosecute, and the Magistrate dismissed the complaint and discharged the applicants under Section 259, Criminal P.C. Subsequently the complainant brought a fresh complaint based upon precisely the same allegations as in the former complaint against the applicants. On this the applicants filed a revision against the order of the Magistrate of 23rd March 1929, by which the applicants were discharged.

2. The applicants contend that the order of the Magistrate should have been that of acquittal.

3. Section 345 makes it clear that an offence under Section 498 is compoundable by the husband of the woman without the permission of the Court. Sub-S. (6) enacts that the composition of an offence under this section shall have the effect of an acquittal of the accused. The only question, therefore, for the Magistrate on 28th January, was whether there was in fact a composition of the offence or not. The best evidence he could possibly have was before him, namely, a document signed by the parties in the handwriting of the complainant himself that the composition was correct. It seems to me that it was entirely unnecessary, when the parties were all present in Court, for any verification of the composition. The complainant was literate. He signed the document in his own writing. It must be presumed, unless it is proved to the contrary, that the complainant well understood the one small paragraph that appeared in the document. In any case, the only verification that was required was a simple question to the parties whether they signed the document and whether they understood its contents. There can be no doubt that on that day there was a valid composition within the meaning of Section 345, Criminal P.C., before the Court. It was, therefore, the duty of the Magistrate upon that day, and without any unnecessary delay, to have pronounced an acquittal. I am clear that it is in competent for any person once having entered into a valid composition to withdraw from it. In criminal matters it is of the highest importance that there should be finality. It has been suggested in this case that the terms of the composition were not carried out, and that is why the complainant wished to withdraw from it. It is entirely immaterial whether the terms of the composition were carried out or not The sole question is whether there was a composition on 28th January. A breach of the agreement might give rise to other remedies. I am confirmed in my view of the law in this matter by an overwhelming number of authorities in the other High Courts of India. They are unanimous that a composition once effected cannot be withdrawn: see Kusum Bewa v. Bechu Bewa [1899] 3 C.W.N. 322; Mahomed Ismail v. Faizuddi [1899] 3 C.W.N. 548; Mahomed Kanni Rowther v. Inayathulla Sahib [1916] 39 Mad. 946; Murray v. Queen Empress [1894] 21 Cal. 103: Kumaraswami Chetty v. Kuppuswami Chetty [1918] 41 Mad. 685; Ram Rup Pal v. Mata Din A.I.R. 1925 Lah. 159. The revision is accepted, the order of 23rd March 1929, discharging the applicants is cancelled and an order of acquittal substituted.


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