Rajasthan High Court - Jodhpur
Rai Sahab vs State (Personnel) & Anr on 27 April, 2013
IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE FOR RAJASTHAN
Rai Sahab V/s. State of Rajasthan & Anr.
S.B. CIVIL WRIT PETITION NO.4229 OF 2012
Writ Petition under Article 226 of the
Constitution of India.
Date of Judgment:: April 27, 2013
HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE P.K. LOHRA
Mr. Raman Deep Singh Kharlia, for the petitioner.
Mr. I.S. Pareek, Addl. Govt. Counsel, for the respondents.
BY THE COURT:
(material extracts of judgment)
Now adverting to the offences for which the petitioner was tried, suffice it to say that these offences are not of serious nature so as to categorize them as offences involving "moral turpitude". "Moral turpitude" as defined in Law Lexicon, means - "Moral turpitude means, in general, shameful wickedness - so extreme a departure from ordinary standards of honest, good morals, justice, or ethics as to be shocking to the moral sense of the community. It has also been defined as an act of baseness, vileness, or depravity in the private and social duties which one person owes to another, or to society in general, contrary to the  accepted and customary rule of right and duty between people".
Apart from the fact that offences are not of the nature involving moral turpitude, one more significant feature of the case is that the petitioner was acquitted for all the offences by way of compromise. The compromise was recorded by a competent criminal court in adherence of the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure 1973 (for short, 'Cr.P.C.') as all the offences were compoundable. At this stage, it is significant to ascertain the actual meaning of the term "compromise". As per Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary, the term "compromise" means -
"A settlement of differences by mutual concessions; an agreement reached by adjustment of conflicting or opposing claims, principles etc by reciprocal modification of demands."
As per Law Lexicon, the term "compromise means -
"A compromise is always bilateral and means a mutual adjustment.
According to New Standard Dictionary, a compromise means agreement or adjustment for the settlement of a controversy by mutual concessions, often involving partial surrender."
Now, this Court is required to see the legal implications of compounding of offence. Section 320  Cr.P.C. envisages the provision for compounding offences in specified cases. Compounding of offence operates as an acquittal even if no acquittal order is recorded and not a discharge. So a prosecution of the accused for the same offence or offences involved in the compounded offence is barred. It is also clear from bare perusal of Section 320 Cr.P.C. that if the offence is within sub-section (1), the Court is bound to accept the compromise if it is legal. The legal position is no more res-integra that compounding of offences permitted by Section 320 Cr.P.C. cannot be opposed to public policy.
In this view of the matter, a distinction between honourable acquittal and acquittal by compounding of offence is wafer thin. Its proximity with the honourable acquittal is much closer than discharge and acquittal by extending benefit of doubt. Even otherwise, a compromise is bilateral act involving the complainant and accused both. There are fair chances wherein the complainant is apprehensive about sufficiency of evidence to bring home guilt against the accused tempting him for compromise. Thus, in totality, construing the acquittal of the petitioner on the touch stone of memorandum dated 29th April 1995, in my considered opinion, it can be treated akin to honourable acquittal. This sort of purposeful and benevolent  interpretation of the memorandum in the peculiar facts and circumstances of this case is also desirable. From a bare perusal of the memorandum dated 29th April 1995, it is amply clear that although the author of the memorandum has used the phraseology "acquitted honourably" but no endeavour is made to explain the said term. Moreover, from the recital contained in the memorandum it is crystal clear that acquittal of an individual as a consequence of compounding of offence has not been dealt with and therefore the same cannot be construed as an embargo for consideration of his case for recruitment. Thus, the submission of the learned counsel for the respondents, that the petitioner has not been acquitted honourably in the given circumstances, cannot be accepted and this sort of ambitious contention amounts to overstretching the requirements envisaged in the memorandum. At this stage, it has become imperative for this Court to overrule the argument of the learned counsel for the respondents that acquittal of the petitioner by way of compromise means that the petitioner has admitted his guilt. On the face of it, this argument is preposterous.