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Ramchandra Vs. Mst. Bhanwari Bai - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtRajasthan High Court
Decided On
Case NumberSecond Appeal No. 101 of 1973
Judge
Reported inAIR1973Raj260; 1973()WLN206
ActsContract Act, 1872 - Sections 23
AppellantRamchandra
RespondentMst. Bhanwari Bai
Advocates: U.R. Tatia, Adv.
DispositionAppeal dismissed
Cases Referred and Ahmed Ullah v. Hafi
Excerpt:
.....the suit was filed by the wife cannot be said to be illegal. -..........can be compounded with the permission of the court fall within the category of non-comrtound-able offences. learned counsel invited my attention to a number of cases, such as, mishrimal v. sohan raj, 1960 rai lw 27; sheodana v. vinay singh, 1959 raj lw 75; nand kishore v. i. m. cornoration, air 1953 cal 415 and ahmed ullah v. hafi-zullah. air 1961 all 173.3. it is true, where the consideration of an agreement is to compound an offence which is non-compoundable in law it cannot be held to be a valid agreement as its obvious object would be to stifle the prosecution, but i am afraid, offences which are compound-able with the permission of the court cannot be characterised as non-corapoundable offences. offences fall under two broad categories namely, compoundable and non-com-poundable......
Judgment:

Kan Singh, J.

1. The only question raised in the second appeal is about the legality of the agreement made by the appellant viz., the husband of the plaintiff, for giving her maintenance at Rs. 40/- per month. This agreement was arrived at when the defendant husband was being prosecuted for the offence of bigamy under Section 494, Indian. Penal Code and while compromising the offence the husband had agreed to pay maintenance to the wife.

2. Learned counsel argues that since the consideration of the agreement was the stifling of a prosecution the agreement was rendered void. Learned counsel takes the position that the offence of bigamy under Section 494, Indian Penal Code is a non-compoundable one since it cannot be compounded without the permission of the Court and, therefore, whatever agreement was made by the husband and the wife while compromising the offence cannot be held to be valid in the eye of law. According to learned counsel, such of the offences as can be compounded with the permission of the Court fall within the category of non-comrtound-able offences. Learned counsel invited my attention to a number of cases, such as, Mishrimal v. Sohan Raj, 1960 Rai LW 27; Sheodana v. Vinay Singh, 1959 Raj LW 75; Nand Kishore v. I. M. Cornoration, AIR 1953 Cal 415 and Ahmed Ullah v. Hafi-zullah. AIR 1961 All 173.

3. It is true, where the consideration of an agreement is to compound an offence which is non-compoundable in law it cannot be held to be a valid agreement as its obvious object would be to stifle the prosecution, but I am afraid, offences which are compound-able with the permission of the Court cannot be characterised as non-corapoundable offences. Offences fall under two broad categories namely, compoundable and non-com-poundable. Amongst the compoundable offences there are some which can be compounded by the parties themselves and there are yet others which have to be compounded by the parties, but it has to be though with the permission of the Court, yet by no means can it be said that offences which are compoundable with the permission of the Court are non-compoundable. Non-compoundable offences are such as cannot be compounded by the parties at all with or without the permission of the Court. Now, therefore, if on the commission of such an offence of bigamy the aggrieved spouse enters into a compromise with the offending spouse and compounds the offence and the permission of the Court is there in that the compromise was allowed then it cannot be said that the agreement to compound such an offence would be rendered illegal on the ground that it would be stifling a prosecution. All the four cited cases relate to offences which were non-compoundable. The only difference between an offence which is compoundable with the permission of the Court and that which is compoundable without such permission is that the Court has to exercise its discretion in the matter whether in all the circumstances of the case permission to compound the offence should or should not be allowed. If the Court refuses the permission and then the parties, in spite of such refusal, compound the offence then such an agreement may be illegal, but not an agreement where the Court permits the parties to compound the offence and a party compounds the offence.

4. In the present case it appears that the compromise was allowed by the Court and the appellant husband earned his acquittal on that score. That being so, the agreement on the basis of which the suit was filed by the wife cannot be said to be illegal.

5. The appeal has no force and is consequently hereby rejected summarily.

6. Learned counsel for the appellant orally prayed for leave to appeal under Section 18 of the Rajasthan High Court Ordinance, but as the case was not found to have sufficient merits, even to justify admission, the leave to appeal is refused.


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