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Compounding of offences is acquittal in-terms of the provisions in the CrPC but is not equivalent to being innocent: High Court of Chhattisgarh.

When a person is acquitted from a case with a compounding order due to the compromise between the parties, it cannot be treated as being innocent. Furthermore, he cannot claim that such an acquittal is sufficient to prove his innocence and he must be reinstated of all the powers e had prior to such an offence. This was held by Hon’ble Shri Justice P. Sam Koshy in the case of Chamru Sai Yadav Vs. State Of Chhattisgarh and Ors. [Writ Petition (S) No. 2726 of 2021] on 22nd June 2021.

The brief facts of the case are, the petitioner worked under the respondents as a daily wage earner in 1984. His services were regularized on 08.09.2008. It was the condition of regularization that the credential of the petitioner and other workers would be subject to the verification and the regularization would be subject to the said verification including that of the character certificate to be provided by the Police Authorities. During such a process, it was revealed that the petitioner was involved in a criminal case and was also under judicial custody in 2009. In 2010, the employer issued a notice of one month ordering the termination of services of the petitioner. In 2018, the petitioner got the proceedings dismissed on the grounds of compromise.  He approached the employer with the order of the criminal court and asked the employer to reinstate him, which was declined. Aggrieved by this, the petitioner has filed this petition challenging the order of 2010.

After listening to this, the court made three observations. Firstly, it believed that the challenge against the order of termination is highly belated since it has been more than 10 years since that order was issued. Secondly, the order was based only on the police verification report that revealed a criminal background against the petitioner. Third and the most important observation that the court made was, the dismissal order (2008) was passed in between the trial and the trial was never completed. The petitioner had entered into a compromise and had thus gotten the offences compounded.

It further mentioned that the order of termination was not malafide relying on the judgement in State of Rajasthan vs Love Kush Meena wherein, “what is important to note is the fact that the view of this Court has depended on the nature of offence charged and the result of the same. The mere fact of an acquittal would not suffice but rather it would depend on whether it is a clean acquittal based on total absence of evidence or in the criminal jurisprudence requiring the case to be proved beyond reasonable doubt, that parameter having not been met, benefit of doubt has been granted to the accused”.

Thus, the court held that, “The said order cannot be said to be an order of termination of service on account of his getting involved in a criminal case or having remained in judicial custody for a period of around two months. It is a case where the order of regularization in service, which was otherwise subject to verification, on verification of finding the criminal antecedent, the services have been discontinued and the same is also purely in accordance with the conditions stipulated in the order of regularization itself” and thus dismissed the petition.

Click here to read the judgement.

 

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