What is a Compoundable and Non Compoundable offence in India

हिंदी में पढ़ें
August 31, 2016
By Advocate Chikirsha Mohanty

Compoundable offences are those that can be compromised, i.e. the complainant can agree to take back the charges levied against the accused, whereas, non - compoundable offences are the more serious offences in which the parties cannot compromise.

Compoundable offences

Compoundable offences are those offences where, the complainant (one who has filed the case, i.e. the victim), enter into a compromise, and agrees to have the charges dropped against the accused. However, such a compromise, should be a "Bonafide," and not for any consideration to which the complainant is not entitled to.

Section 320 of the CrPC looks at compounding of offences. Compoundable offences are less serious criminal offences and are of two different types mentioned in tables in Section 320 of the Criminal Procedure Code, as follows:

1. Court permission is not required: These are the offences, compounding of which do not require prior permissiong of the court. 

Examples of these offences are:

  • adultery,

  • causing hurt,

  • defamation, 

  • criminal trespass, etc.

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2. Court permission is required: These are the offences, compounding of which require prior permission of the court. 

Examples of such offences are:

  • theft,

  • criminal breach of trust,

  • voluntarily causing grievous hurt,

  • assault on a woman with intention to outrage her modesty,

  • dishonest misappropriation of property amongst others, etc.

Application for compounding the offence shall be made before the same court before which the trial is proceeding. Once an offence has been compounded it shall have the same effect, as if, the accused has been acquitted of the charges.

Non Compoundable offences

Non- Compoundable offences are some offences, which cannot be compounded. They can only be quashed. The reason for this is, because the nature of offence is so grave and criminal, that the Accused cannot be allowed to go scot-free. Here, in these types of cases generally, it is the "state", i.e. police, who has filed the case, and hence the question of complainant entering into compromise does not arise.

All those offences, which are not mentioned in the list under Section (320) of CrPC, are non-compoundable offences.

Under a non-compoundable offense, a private party as well as the society, both are affected by such offenses.

In Non-compoundable offense, no compromise is allowed. Even the court does not have the authority and power to compound such offense. Full trail is held which ends with the acquittal or conviction of the offender, based on the evidence given.

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Help of a Lawyer in your criminal case

A lawyer having substantial experience in handling criminal cases can guide you through the court procedure and can help you prepare solid arguments for your case. He can prepare you for cross-examinations and guide you on how to answer prosecution’s questions. A criminal lawyer is an expert in dealing with criminal cases knows how to tackle a particular case owing to his years of experience. Having a good criminal lawyer by your side you can ensure a successful result in your case in the minimum time possible. He/She can help you in guiding you whether the offence you're dealing with is compoundable or not, the procedure to compound the same, and whether or not you should go ahead with compounding the offence. 


These guides are not legal advice, nor a substitute for a lawyer
These articles are provided freely as general guides. While we do our best to make sure these guides are helpful, we do not give any guarantee that they are accurate or appropriate to your situation, or take any responsibility for any loss their use might cause you. Do not rely on information provided here without seeking experienced legal advice first. If in doubt, please always consult a lawyer.

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