The Hon’ble apex court while laying down the law as grant of leave for compounding offences at appellate stage is not automatic on settlement between the parties, court has to look at the nature of the offence and its affect on society.
The Bench comprising of Hon’ble Mr. Justice Ashok Bhushan and Hon’ble Mr. Justice Ajay Rastogi in the case of Pravat Chandra Mohanty Vs. State of Odisha & And. Has held:-
The grant of leave as contemplated by sub-section (5) of Section 320 is not automatic nor it has to be mechanical on receipt of request by the appellant which may be agreed by the victim. The statutory requirement,
makes it a clear duty of the Court to look into the nature of the offence and the evidence and to satisfy itself whether permission should be or should not be granted. The administration of criminal justice requires prosecution of all offenders by the State.
The prosecution by the State is the policy of law because all the offences are against the society. The offenders have to bring to the Courts and punish for their offences to maintain peace and order in the society. It is the duty of the prosecution to ensure that no offender goes scot-free without being punished for an offence. It is also the settled principle of law that innocent should not be punished.
The Hon’ble court further held that when prayer for compounding of the offence is refused, the court can consider in appropriate case, the question of sentence and reduced the sentence of one year to six months by awarding compensation of Rs. 3.5 lakhs to the legal heirs of the deceased in addition to the compensation by the high court in the case of the custodial death where two policemen were convicted under section 324 IPC.