What is a Compoundable and Non-Compoundable Offence in India?

By- Mansi Dwivedi Research Intern at kaalecoatwale.com


Lawmakers classified the offences broadly in three categories on the basis of their nature. These are (a) Cognizable offence and Non-Cognizable offence (b) Bailable offence and Non-Bailable offence, (c) Compoundable and Non-Compoundable offence.

Compoundable offences are the offences that can be compromised, which implies the litigator can conform to take back the fees levied against the accused, wherever as, non – compoundable offences are the offences which are additional serious offences within which the parties cannot compromise.


These offences are the offences where, the complainant compromises, and agrees to require back the charges which are born against the accused. However, such compromise ought to be Bonafide in nature, and there should be no thought to which the complainant isn't entitled to. It can even be expressed as a settlement between the parties where the aggrieved person or the victim receives some thought or gratification for not prosecuting the accused. Section 320 of the Code of Criminal Procedure provides an inventory of offences that are compoundable in nature and are punishable underneath a unique section of the Indian Penal Code.


  1. Criminal or house-trespass.
  2. Uttering words with an intent to harm any person’s non secular feeling.
  3. Printing or engraving matters, knowing as defamatory.
  4. Criminal breach of contract of services.


Non- Compoundable offences are the offences, that can't be compounded. They will solely be quashed. It’s as a result of the character of offence which is additional serious, grave and criminal that the suspect cannot be allowed to be free with some settlements. These offences cannot be compounded. Here, in such style of cases, it is the “state”, i.e. police, who files the case, then the question compromise doesn't arise. All the offences which are not mentioned in Section 320 of CrPC are non-compoundable offences. In such offences both private party, as well as the society, are affected by such offences. Here, no compromise is allowed. Even the court is not having the authority to compound such offences. In these offences, the only full trial can take place which either leads to conviction or acquittal of such offender.


1. Nature of Crime: In compoundable offence, the nature of the offence not so serious. Whereas, within the non-compoundable offence, the character of the offence is serious.

2. Withdrawal of Charges: In compoundable offence, charges created against the suspect are often withdrawn. Whereas in the non-compoundable offence, the fees against the accused can't be withdrawn.

3. Affected parties: In compoundable offence, it impacts solely to a personal person. Whereas in the non-compoundable offence it affects both, private person in addition because the society at large.

4. Compoundable: In compoundable offence, settlement will be done either with permission or while not permission of the court. While in the non-compoundable offence, the offence cannot compound, it can only be quashed.


Under the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 there's a distinction created between compoundable offences and non-compoundable offences.

Section 320 of CrPC deals Compoundable offences that square measure less serious in nature. Below a compoundable offence, the litigant WHO filed the case might enter into a compromise and may drop the costs created against the defendant.

Two parts of compromise: 

1) It should be bonafide in nature

2) the litigant should not receive any thought that he's not entitled to.

Section 320[4] classifies compoundable offences into 2 categories: 

Court permission is needed before compounding– inflicting miscarriage, voluntarily inflicting grievous hurt, Criminal breach of trust, bigamy etc.

Court permission isn't needed before compounding– Voluntarily inflicting hurt, de jure resentrainment or confinement of someone, Assault or use of criminal force, Theft, Cheating, deceitful removal or concealment of property, Criminal trespass, Adultery, Criminal intimidation etc.

While non-compoundable offences square measure those offences that square measure slightly a lot of serious in nature than compoundable offences. Because of its gravity, these offences, cannot be combined and may solely be quashed. All the offences that don't seem to be mentioned below section 320 of CrPC square measure classified as non-compoundable offences. In these cases, the State or the police files case and act because the complainants and thus it's impossible for them to enter into a compromise.


While within the Supreme Court in Ram Lal v State of J&K (1999) by overruled its call, command that “an offence that law declares to be non-compoundable even with the permission of the court cannot be compoundable at all”.

In the case B.S. Joshi v State of Haryana (2003) Supreme Court command that “in a state of affairs of proceedings on the idea of non-compoundable offences like Section 498-A and 406, the judicature might quash them beneath Section 482 CrPC”.

In Gian Singh v State of Punjab (2012)‘, the Supreme Court upholding the choice of ‘B.S. Joshi v State of Haryana, ascertained that “offences arising out of family disputes or matrimony about gift, etc during which wrong is largely non-public in nature and parties have resolved their disputes, judicature might quash the continuing beneath Section 482 of the Code”. As this can be the ability that is completely different from the ability of a tribunal to compound the offences.


Basically it is expressed that the offences during which criminal liability seizes at the stance of compromise area unit compoundable in nature and thus area unit compoundable offences whereas within the offences wherever compromise cannot crop up or criminal liability doesn't finish even it's compromised called Non- Compoundable offences. However, the determination of the quantum of sentence court considers determined the very fact of compromise.


  1. https://www.lawhousekolkata.com/2019/03/09/what-is-a-compoundable-and-non-compoundable-offence-in-india/
  2. http://www.legalservicesindia.com/article/2392/Compoundability-of-non-compoundable-offences.html
  3. http://kanoon.nearlaw.com/2018/01/20/compoundable-non-compoundable-offence/