Criminal proceeding under S. 307 IPC can’t be quashed on the basis of complainant and accused’s settlement

Supreme Court: The bench comprising of DY Chandrachud and MR Shah, JJ set aside a Madhya Pradesh High Court order that had quashed the criminal proceedings for the offences under Sections 307, 294 read Section 34 of the IPC solely on the ground that the original Complainant and the accused have settled the dispute and said that the High Court had committed “a grave error” by doing so.

The Court took note of the fact that not only the aforementioned offences were non-compundable but also the allegations against the accused were “very serious” as allegedly the accused had fired twice on the complainant by a country­made pistol and that one of the accused persons was   reported to be a hardcore criminal having criminal antecedents.

The Court, hence, noticed:

“the   fact   remains   that   the accused   was   facing   the   criminal   proceedings   for   the   offences under Sections 307, 294 read with Section 34 of the IPC and that the   offences   under   these   sections   are   not   non­compoundable offences   and,   looking   to   the   serious   allegations   against   the accused,   we   are   of   the   opinion   that   the   High   Court   has committed a grave error in quashing the criminal proceedings for the offences under Sections 307, 294 read with Section 34 of the IPC solely on the ground that the original Complainant and the accused have settled the dispute.”

In a 2011 verdict, the Court had held that:

“despite any settlement between the Complainant on the one hand and the accused on the other, the criminal proceedings for the offences under Section 307 of the IPC cannot be quashed, as the offence   under   Section   307   is   a   non­compoundable   offence.”

Hence, setting aside the High Court order, the Court directed that the criminal case be proceeded further in accordance with law and on its own merits. [State of Madhya Pradesh v. Kalyan Singh, 2019 SCC OnLine SC 7, decided on 04.01.2019]

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