The Supreme Court has permitted the wife and daughters of a de-facto complainant (who died during the pendency of criminal proceedings) to compound a criminal case by entering into compromise with the accused.
In this case, the high court had modified the conviction of the accused from Section 307 IPC to Section 325 IPC, thus reducing the sentence of imprisonment from five years to two years. The victim in this case, Venkata Ramana, died during the pendency of criminal proceedings.
While the appeal (Duvvu Raja Sekhar @ Raju vs. State of Andhra Pradesh) filed by the accused before the apex court was pending, they entered into compromise with the wife and the two daughters of deceased Venkata Ramana.
The bench comprising Justice R Banumathi and Justice Indira Banerjee took note that Section 320(4)(b) of the Code of Criminal Procedure stipulates that when the person who would otherwise be competent to compound an offence under this Section is dead, the legal representative, as defined in the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, of such person may, with the consent of the Court, compound the offence.
Section 320(2) CrPC provides that the offence of voluntarily causing grievous hurt is compoundable by the person to whom hurt is caused, with the permission of the court. Section 320(8) CrPC provides that compounding shall have the effect of an acquittal of the accused with whom the offence has been compounded.
After perusing the report filed by the Sub Inspector of Police, Srikakulam Town P.S., who had affirmed the genuineness of the deponents and verified that they have entered into the compromise voluntarily and out of their own violation, the bench permitted the parties to enter into compromise.
The court also set aside the conviction of the accused under Section 325 IPC.