1. The petitioner here is the accused in C.C. No. 406 of 1936 on the file of the Stationary 2nd Class Magistrate, Shiyali, and the offence which in the complaint he is said to have committed is one under Section 337, Indian Penal Code, which falls under Section 345(2), Criminal Procedure Code, as one compoundable with the permission of the Court. During the trial he produced a receipt said to have been given by the father of the complainant for the sum of Rs. 50, and alleged that the latter had agreed not to prosecute him. It was denied for the prosecution that any such payment was made. The Stationary 2nd Class Magistrate refused to take evidence on this question of fact on the ground that whether it were proved or not, the offence could not be compounded under Section 345(2). In so deciding he followed Naurang Rai v. Kidar Nath I.L.R. (1928) Lah. 400.
2. On revision the learned Sessions Judge of East Tanjore held that this view was wrong, and that in normal circumstances the Stationary 2nd Class Magistrate should have followed not Naurang Rai v. Kidar Nath I.L.R. (1928) Lah. 400 but Kumaraswami Chetty v. Kuppuswami Chetty : (1918)34MLJ217 . However as it was not the complainant himself in this case but the complainant's father who is said to have agreed not to prosecute, his action cannot in be recognised as a valid composition in view of the provisions of Section 345(4).
3. It seems to me that both Courts have come to the correct final decision but that the reasoning of the Stationary 2nd Class Magistrate should be preferred. The learned Sessions Judge observes that a Court in Madras must follow this High Court instead of some other High Court but that is only if this High Court has dealt with a case exactly in point. Kumaraswami Chetty v. Kuppuswami Chetty : (1918)34MLJ217 is not exactly in point as it deals with offences under Sections 355 and 323, Indian Penal Code, both of which are compoundable under Section 345(1), Criminal Procedure Code, that is, without the requirement of any permission by the Court. The learned Sessions Judge relies only upon a single sentence of the judgment which is somewhat ambiguously expressed, and is actually quoted by the judges of the Lahore High Court in support of their own view. The Stationary 2nd Class Magistrate was quite right therefore in following Naurang Rai v. Kidar Nath I.L.R.(1928) Lah. 400.
4. Apart from rulings, the matter seems very clear on the language of the section. Composition under Section 345(1) is an act of the parties which requires no permission. Nor is there any language to restrict its completion to any particular time. Under Section 345(2) there must be a prosecution pending and the permission of the Court must be given. Any act of the parties done before the prosecution has begun and without reference to any Court cannot be a composition under this sub-section and whatever may be the civil rights to which it may give rise can have no effect on the trial.
5. For these reasons this Criminal Revision Case is dismissed.