SC advises courts to work for compromise to ease burden

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New Delhi, Mar 30 (UNI) In a strong bid to reduce the huge pendency of cases in the overburdened courts of the country, the Supreme Court has advised the courts to adopt a common sense approach without caring for the technicalities of the law and permit the parties to go for a compromise, in a criminal case, even if it is not compoundable.

A Bench comprising Justices Tarun Chatterjee and Harjit Singh Bedi while allowing the appeal of one Madan Mohan Abbod, noted, ''We need to emphasise that it is perhaps advisable that in disputes where the question involves is of a purely personal nature, the court should ordinarily accept the terms of the compromise even in criminal proceedings as keeping the matter alive with no possibility of a result in favour of the prosecution is a luxury which the courts, grossly overburdened as they are, cannot afford and that the time so saved can be utilised in deciding more effective and meaningful litigation.'' This is a common sense approach to the matter based on ground realities and bereft of the technicalities of the law, the Justices said.

''We see from the impugned order that the learned judge has confused a compounding of an offence with the quashing of proceedings. The outer limit of Rs 250 which has led to the dismissal of the application is an irrelevant factor in the later case.

''We accordingly allow the appeal and in the peculiar facts of the case direct that in the FIR no 155 dated Novemver 17, 2001, PS Kotwali, Amritsar, all proceedings connected therewith shall be deemed to be quashed.'' Punjab and Haryana High Court in its judgement dated February 14, 2006 had held that since the offence under Section 406 IPC (criminal breach of trust) was not compoundable if the amount involved was above Rs 250. Therefore, proceedings could not be quashed.

In this case, both the parties had entered into a compromise and the complainant had expressed the desire in writing to withdraw the criminal proceedings but he had died on January 11, 2004 and there was no possibility of conviction in the case.

UNI SC RC RN1147

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