The Hon’ble High Court of Himachal Pradesh in its judgment dated 01.03.2023 in the case of Naresh Kumar vs Trilok Chand observed that under Section 147 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 that the courts have sufficient power to compound an offence even though the case has already resulted in the conviction of the accused.
In the present case, the court based its judgment upon the facts which stated that the accused/petitioner had prayed for quashing the complaint against him regarding the cheque bounce under Section 482 CrPC since he had already paid the dues along with the compensation to the respondent. The non-applicant also assented to the fact that he had received the amount and had no objection against quashing the complaint.
Upon the issue that whether the High Court can proceed to compound an offense after the order of conviction and sentence by the lower court has been upheld, the bench decided in the affirmative and laid down that the High Court possesses the power to compound the offence. Moreover, it was argued on behalf of the accused that the court possesses enough power under section 147 to recall the judgment in light of a compromise that has been affected by both parties. This contention of the accused was also accepted by the courts which upheld the provision in the present case.
It was also highlighted that since the complainant himself was not further interested in sending the accused behind the bars, it would be prudent to honour the compromise made by the parties and compound the offence which would easily result in benefit for both the parties and amicably solve the dispute. The court also found noimpediment in compounding the offense and ordered the jail authorities to release the accused after obtaining a surety.
The judgment of the court can be found here.