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Mahomed Kanni Rowther Vs. Pattani Inayathulla Sahib and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtChennai
Decided On
Judge
Reported in31Ind.Cas.819
AppellantMahomed Kanni Rowther
RespondentPattani Inayathulla Sahib and ors.
Cases ReferredMurray v. Queen
Excerpt:
criminal procedure code (act v of 1898), section 346 - composition outside court--dispute between parties at time of hearing--power of court to take evidences--monetary consideration, whether necessary. - .....out, however, in this case there was some consideration, because there were cases between the parties pending and if there was an arrangement, the consideration was that each party should refrain from pursuing the case or cases in which the other party was the accused. it is true that if a court is bound to take cognizance of a composition arrived at outside the court but which has been resiled from by one of the parties when the case came to be tried, the court will be obliged to take evidence and that will necessarily result in the prolongation of proceedings. but if the legislature contemplated that a composition should be made in court, or that a composition arrived at should not be considered to be complete until both parties have expressed their assent in court whether by.....
Judgment:
ORDER

Abdur Rahim, J.

1. In this case it has been found upon the evidence that the parties compounded their disputes out of Court. There were three cases which arose out of the disputes between the petitioner and the respondents. In the first of these cases, the petitioner was the accused and in the second case which was a counter case to the first, the petitioner was the complainant. In the third case, that is, the one in question, the petitioner was the complainant. In the other two cases, the accused were convicted and sentenced to tree months' rigorous imprisonment each. Then they appealed to the Joint Magistrate and while the appeals were pending, the parties entered into an agreement that all the disputes between them should be settled. The Joint Magistrate has found that the arrangement settling the disputes extended to the case which was then pending in the Sub-Magistrate's Court. As a result of the compromise, the two appeals in the Appellate Court were compounded with the permission of the Court, and the accused acquitted. When, however, the accused in the present case submitted a petition to the Sub-Magistrate saying that this case also was the subject of the compromise, the complainant, who is the present petitioner, resiled from his former position and denied the composition. The Sub-Magistrate found that as a matter o fact, the present case was not settled. The Appellate Court has, however, taken a different view, and we have no doubt that this view, so far as the finding of fact is concerned, is correct. The question of law then arises, whether the composition or arrangement which was arrived at outside the Sub-Magistrate's Court comes within the terms of Section 345, Criminal Procedure Code. Clause 6 of that section says: 'The composition of an offence under this section shall have the effect of an acquittal of the accused'. It does not say as to what should be the procedure if one of the parties, after they settled their disputes outside the Court, refused to abide by it when the case comes on afterwards for hearing. There is only one precedent which covers this case and it is Murray v. Queen-Empress 21 C.P 103. There the learned Judges held, or rather assumed as if the matter admitted of no doubt, that it was competent for the Court in which the charge is pending to take evidence as to whether there was in fact a composition outside the Court. In that case, there was a dispute whether, if there was a composition, it was a valid one or not, having regard to the allegation whether the complainants acted freely and understood what they were doing. The section itself does not throw much, light on the question raised before us. I am, however, inclined to take the same view as was taken in Murray v. Queen-Empress 21 C.P 103. Section 345, Criminal Procedure Code, lays down that certain offences, of which the offence of hurt is one, can be compounded by the parties and in leava of the Court is necessary for this purpose, while of certain other offences such as grievous hurt, there can be no composition without the permission of the Court before which they are pending. where the parties have actually composed their disputes in the former class of cases, it is not clear on principle, why it should be necessary for the validity of a composition that any petition should be presented or why the parties should afterwards be allowed to withdraw from it. The composition spoken of in Section 345 is in the nature of a contract, but I do not think it requires monetary consideration. I may point out, however, in this case there was some consideration, because there were cases between the parties pending and if there was an arrangement, the consideration was that each party should refrain from pursuing the case or cases in which the other party was the accused. It is true that if a Court is bound to take cognizance of a composition arrived at outside the Court but which has been resiled from by one of the parties when the case came to be tried, the Court will be obliged to take evidence and that will necessarily result in the prolongation of proceedings. But if the Legislature contemplated that a composition should be made in Court, or that a composition arrived at should not be considered to be complete until both parties have expressed their assent in Court whether by means of a petition or otherwise, one would expect that they would have said so. In the absence of any such express provision, the natural interpretation will be that the composition is not limited to acts done in Court, nor to cases in which the parties continue to be of the same mind until the case comes on for further hearing before the Court.

2. I would hold that there was a valid composition in this case and it had the effect of acquittal.

Ayling, J.

3. The abstract question as to the effect of an agreement to compound come to by the parties out of Court from which one subsequently resiles, is a somewhat difficult one on which my mind is not free from doubt. The wording of Section 345, Criminal Procedure Code, throws little, if any, light on it and I should be 10th to express a final opinion on the somewhat one-sided argument that has been addressed to us. The only-authority quoted certainly supports the view contended for by Mr. Rangachari. But on the facts found by the Joint Magistrate, I am clearly of opinion that the case is one in which, in the exercise of our discretion, we may very properly decline to interfere. I concur in the order proposed by my learned brother.


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