The Protection of Civil Rights Act, 1955

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This topic contains 1 reply, has 2 voices, and was last updated by Dr. Ashok Dhamija Dr. Ashok Dhamija 6 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #1187

    Sir, In the Protection of Civil Rights, 1955 it is very clearly pointed out that all offenses under this Act are cognizable and since the maximum punishment is six month/one year they are bailable offenses as per the schedule of CrPC for Special Act other than IPC. But, this Protection of Civil Rights Act does not speaks anywhere about the compounding of offenses by the parties i.e. the offenses under this PCR Act does not classified by the law makers/legislatures as Compoundable offence or Non-compoundable offence like SC/ST (POA) Act wherein all offences are classified as Non-compoundable. In this circumstance can I take the advantage of non mentioning this classification to my favour i.e. Offenses under the PCR act is compoundable with the permission of court or without the permission of court under the section 320 of Cr.PC. is there any reference judgments in this regard?. Under the section 320 of CrPC offenses that are compoundable only can be coumpoundable and other offences not possible for compounding.

  • #1189

    Section 4(2) of the Criminal Procedure Code says that all offences under any law other than Indian Penal Code shall be investigated, inquired into, tried, and otherwise dealt with according to the provisions of Cr.P.C., but subject to any enactment for the time being in force regulating the manner or place of investigating, inquiring into, trying or otherwise dealing with such offences.

    Section 320 of Cr.P.C. makes certain offences under IPC compoundable, with or without the permission of the court. Sub-section (9) of this Section says that no offence shall be compounded except as provided by this section. Therefore, the offences which are not made compoundable under 320 Cr.P.C. will not be compoundable; but, of course, this will be subject to any special provision made in any other law, as mentioned in Section 4(2) of Cr.P.C., as pointed out above.

    Now, offences under the Protection of Civil Rights Act, 1955, are not shown to be compoundable. So, they would be deemed to be non-compoundable, since no law makes them compoundable. In fact, in this regard, it is pertinent to point out that Section 15 of the PCR Act, prior to its amendment in 1976, made the offences under this Act compoundable with the permission of the court; this old section 15 is reproduced below:

    15. Offences under the Act to be cognizable and compoundable.— Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898 (5 of 1898)—

    (a) every offence under this Act shall be cognizable; and

    (b) every such offence may, with the permission of the Court, be compounded.”

    But, after its amendment in 1976, Section 15 of the PCR Act now does not contain that compoundable clause. The amended Section 15 is reproduced below:

    15. Offences to be cognizable and triable summarily.—(1) Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974), every offence punishable under this Act shall be cognizable and every such offence, except where it is punishable with imprisonment for a minimum term exceeding three months, may be tried summarily by a Judicial Magistrate of the first class or in a metropolitan area by a Metropolitan Magistrate in accordance with the procedure specified in the said Code.

    (2) Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974), when any public servant is alleged to have committed the offence of abetment of an offence punishable under this Act, while acting or purporting to act in the discharge of his official duty, no court shall take cognizance of such offence of abetment except with the previous sanction—

    (a) of the Central Government, in the case of a person employed in connection with the affairs of the Union; and

    (b) of the State Government, in the case of a person employed in connection with the affairs of a State.”

    Therefore, in view of this specific amendment in 1976, and also in view of the general provisions of the Cr.P.C., as pointed out above, it can be said that offences under PCR Act are non-compoundable.

    However, if the other party is willing to compromise the case as it appears (since that is also the condition for compounding the offence), you may file a petition / application before the concerned high court under Section 482 of the Cr.P.C. for quashing of the proceedings / FIR on the basis of such compromise. There is a reasonable chance that the high court may allow it to be quashed if the other party is willing to compromise, as such a case may be covered in the decision of the Supreme Court in the case of Gian Singh  v.  State of Punjab, (2012) 10 SCC 303 : AIR 2012 SC Supp 838 : 2012 Cri LJ 4934.

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