1. The petitioners, along with three others, were prosecuted in the Court of the Magistrate first class, Rohru, of offences under Sections 302 and 323, read with Section 147, I. P. C. The learned Magistrate discharged two of the accused persons, named Dilsukh and Nagarchi (with whom we are not concerned).
He, however, framed a charge under Section 323 I. P. C., against the two petitioners, namely, Sariam Ram and Sadh Ram, as well as one Brahma Nand. He eventually convicted, them under that section and sentenced them to pay a fine of Rs. 50/- each.
2. Sanam Ram, Sadh Ram and Brahma Nand went up in revision to the learned Sessions Judge of Mahasu. They were, however, unsuccessful.
3. Sanam Ram and Sadh Ram have now come up to this Court in revision.
4. Learned counsel for the petitioners (Mr. K.C. Pandit)' argued, 'inter alia', that the conviction of the petitioners could not be maintained, because the offence, for which they had been convicted, had been compounded out of Court. I find that in the course of his judgment, the trial Court has, in passing, referred to this compromise, but it made no attempt to discuss the matter properly and in a single sentence held that the compromise had not been arrived at.
The learned Sessions Judge, in revision, went into this matter in a little more detail. He says:
'In so far as the question of compromise is concerned, I find that except for a passing reference made to it by the complainant Himself, no effort was made by any of the petitioners to prove that a compromise had in fact been arrived at, nor was it urged at the trial that the case could not proceed in view of the compromise.
The statement of the complainant in that behalf does not show that the compromise was complete. He has stated that the petitioners had tried to effect a compromise and had agreed to pay a sum of Rs. 200/- to him, but as no amount was paid, the agreement fell through and the document executed at the time of negotiations was destroyed by him. This clearly means that the compromise did not actually materialize and that appears also to be the reason why thepoint was not pressed by the petitioners in the Court below.'
5. Mr. Pandit argued--and in my opinion not without justification--that a composition once effected cannot be withdrawn and it is immaterial whether the terms of the compromise have been carried out or not, the sola question being whether there was a composition or not. A breach of the agreement might give rise to other remedies.
(C) In this connection, Mr. Pandit Invited my attention to the following passage in the statement of Gopichand, complainant:
'Mulziman ne mujh se salauk kerne ki kbshish ki thi. Mujh ko Rs. 200/- yane Rs. 60/-meri izzat ke 140/- wah rupaya jo mefi jeb se le gaya the Jairam ko zaman dala tha ki thanedar sahib ke jane ke bad denge. Per dusare din thanedar ke chale jane per mujh ko 200/- nahin' diya. 60/- mujh ko thanedar sahib ke samana de rahe the. maine nahin liye the. Salauknama bana tha. Is per hamne sabne dastkhat kiye tha Mujhe rupaya nahin mile. Maine far di thi.'
7. It is obvious from the above that parties did arrive at a compromise and the same was reduced into writing, and was signed by all the parties. It further appears that the sum of Rs. 200/- was not payable immediately, i.e. it was to be paid only after the departure of the Sub-Inspector. An offence under Section 323, I.P.C. was compoundable without the permission of the Court, vide table given under Section 345 (1)', Criminal P. C. It, therefore, seems to me that the composition was complete and the accused persons were entitled to an acquittal. The failure on the part of the accused persons to pay the sum of Rs. 200/- after the departure of the Sub-Inspector, could not reopen the matter, although it might give rise to other remedies.
8. I am supported in my view by the following authorities: (a)--'Kumarasami Chetty v. Kuppusami Chetty', AIR 1919 Mad 879 (2) (A). There, a Division Bench, consisting of Abdur Rahim and Napier, JJ. held that:
'Once a composition has been effected, the matter is at an end and the person injured cannot effectively resile from the agreement.'
(b) 'Hem Chandra v. Girindra Chandra', AIR 1921 Cal 403 (2) (B), where a Division Bench of that High Court similarly indicated as follows:
'A composition arrived at between the parties of a compoundable offence is complete as soon as it is made and it has the effect of an acquittal of the accused under Section 345 in respect' of that offence, though one of the parties later on resiles from the compromise.'
(c) 'Ram Richpal v. Mata Din', AIR 1925 Lah 159 (C), where Moti Sagar, J., pointed out that:
'Composition of compoundable offence results in an immediate acquittal of the accused, Therefore, once a composition has been effected, complainant cannot be permitted to withdraw from it.'
(d) 'Jhangtoo Barai v. Emperor', AIR 1930 All 409 (D), where Young J. remarked that:
'I am clear that it is incompetent for any person once having entered into a valid composition to withdraw from it.' 'It is entirely immaterial whether the terms of the composition were carried out or not. A breach of the agreement might give rise to other remedies.'
(e) 'Dharichhan Singh v. Emperor', AIR 1939 Pat 141 (E), where Manohar Lall J. held that:
'In law a composition once arrived at between the parties is complete as soon as it is made and the Magistrate is in duly bound to order an acquittal on the filing of the compromise petition signed by both parties in Court for an offence for which no leave of the Court is required.'
(f) Mt. Rambai v. Mt. Chandra Kumari Devi', AIR 1940 Nag 181 (F), where Niyogi J. expressed himself as follows:
'Where a document of compromise regarding offence capable of being compounded without the permission of the Court is signed by the parties, who have understood its contents, it is incompetent for any party to it to withdraw from it. Since the compromise has the immediate effect of acquittal so as to deprive the Magistrate of his jurisdiction to try the case, the subsequent withdrawal from it by any party can neither affect the acquittal nor revive the jurisdiction of the Magistrate to proceed with the case.'
9. In the present case, as already shown, the parties arrived at a compromise and the terms thereof were reduced to writing and signed by all concerned. No money was payable immediately as a condition precedent. The sum of Rs. 200/- was to be paid to the complainant only after the departure of the Sub Inspector. The failure on the part of the accused persons to pay the above sum might give the complainant another remedy.
But it, in my opinion, cannot alter the fact that the offence under Section 323, I. P. C., (which was compoundable without the permission of the Court) had been compounded out of Court. Again, the fact that the compromise deed was torn off by the complainant would not alter tha fact that the compromise was duly arrived at. In view of this finding, it is not necessary to discuss the other legal points argued by the learned counsel for the petitioners.
10. In view of all that has been said above, I allow this revision petition and set aside the conviction of the petitioners of an offence under Section 323, I. P. C. They would stand acquitted of that offence, as compounded. Fines, if realized from them, must be refunded.
11. Brahma Nand. has not come in revision to this Court, but, in the exercise of myinherent powers, I set aside his conviction alsofor reasons stated in the case of the two petitioners. Fine, if realized from Brahma Nand,must also be refunded.