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One respondent cannot be allowed to contemplate compounding/ compromise on behalf of the other respondents

Jammu and Kashmir High Court

Vinod Mahajan & anr.
State & anr

Honble Mr. Justice Janak Raj Kotwal, Judge.

Appearing Counsel: For petitioner(s)/appellant(s) :

Mr. Rajneesh Oswal, Advocate. For respondent(s) :

Mr. S.S.Nanda, Sr. AAG for R-1.

Mr. Arun Dev Singh, Advocate vice

Mr. Pranav Kohli, Advocate for R-2.

1. This petition under Section 561-A Cr.P.C. seeks quashing of the criminal proceedings titled State v. Vinod Mahajan & ors. arising in FIR No. 06/2008 of Police Station, Crime Branch, Jammu under Sections 420, 406, 467, 468, 120-B RPC pending before the Court of learned Sessions Judge, Jammu.

2. Briefly stated accusation against the petitioners (accused) is that they had opened office of a Finance Company under the name and style as Golden Land Development (India) Limited, Majra, Chandigarh in Jammu City and in the course of their business they duped informant, Javed Ahmed, therein respondent No.2, and twenty others, who had deposited money with the said Company. Besides petitioners, three others have been sent for trial by the Crime Branch for the commission of offences under Sections 420, 406, 467, 468 & 120-B RPC. Two of CRMC No. 99/2018 Page 2 of 4 them have absconded and have been proceeded against in terms of Section 512 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (for short, the Code). Fifth accused has died.

3. Quashing is sought, primarily, on the ground that after filing of the charge sheet by the Crime Branch, petitioners and the victims of the alleged offences have entered into a compromise by virtue of the Compromise Deed dated 18.02.2018 and petitioner No.1 has agreed to pay the amount due to the victims as full and final settlement by way of cheques, to be encashed only after proceedings are quashed. In support of this prayer, learned counsel for the petitioners cites the Supreme Court judgment in Central Bureau of Investigation v. Sadhu Ram Singla and ors, 2017 (5) SCC 350 and submits that in the facts and circumstances of the case, composition can be allowed. In addition, quashing is sought on merits of the case also.

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4. Petitioners counsel passes on copy of order dated 16.03.2018 passed by the trial court, whereby charges have been framed against the petitioners under Sections 420, 406 and 120-B RPC, whereas they have been discharged of offences under Sections 467 & 468.

5. Since after filing of this petition, charges against the petitioners have been framed, question of quashing the proceedings on merits of the case cannot be taken up, unless the order framing the charges is challenged.

6. The short question, thus, arising is, whether the charge sheet and the criminal proceedings can be quashed on the basis of the compromise said to have been arrived at between the petitioners (accused) and the victims. Reply, however, would be No for the reasons stated below.

7. Under Section 345(2) of the Code, offences under Sections 420 & 406 RPC are compoundable with the permission of the trial Court. CRMC No. 99/2018 Page 3 of 4 Compounding of offence under Section 420 RPC can be done by the person, who has been cheated and compounding of offence under Section

406 can be done by the owner of the property in respect of which breach of trust has been committed. The offence of criminal conspiracy punishable under Section 120-B RPC is a non-compoundable offence. Nevertheless, there are some authorities, which say that permission to compound the offence under Section 120-B may be granted when permission is granted to compound the offence, which was committed pursuant to such conspiracy.

8. In this case, besides the respondent No.2, twenty other persons are alleged to have been duped by the accused persons. The First Information Report, however, was lodged by the respondent No.2 alone alleging that he and twenty other persons were duped. As per the Compromise Deed (Annexure C), the compromise has been arrived at between respondent No.2 (informant) and petitioner No.1 (accused). Only the informant has been arrayed as respondent in this petition. It being so, the compounding of the offences cannot be said to have been made by the twenty other victims. Respondent No.2 cannot be said to have entered into compromise on behalf of the other victims also nor that would have sufficed for the purpose of compounding the offences. Criminal law does not contemplate compounding by one victim on behalf of other victim(s), if there are more than one. The question of grant of permission to compound, therefore, can be considered only when compounding is made by all the victims. Same principle has to apply in seeking quashment on the basis of compromise.

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9. Viewed thus, this petition is dismissed. It shall, however, remain open for the parties to approach the trial court or this Court afresh, if the compounding is made by and with all the twenty one victims.

10. Record of the trial court be remitted back along with copy of this order.

11. Disposed of. (Janak Raj Kotwal) Judge Jammu: 04.07.2018 Pawan Chopra

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