Difference Between Compoundable & Non-Compoundable Offenses [Updated]

Difference Between Compoundable & Non-Compoundable Offenses [Updated]

Criminal Law- The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973



Difference Between Compoundable Offenses and Non-Compoundable Offenses

Compoundable Offenses –

  1. Compoundable Offense are classified under section 320 of Criminal Procedure Code
  2. Compoundable Offenses are those offense which are less serious in nature.
  3. Compoundable offenses mostly affects private persons.
  4. Compoundable offenses are mainly of two types namely – (i) Compoundable with the permission of the Court (ii) Compoundable without the permission of the Court
  5. Compoundable offenses can be compromised by the victim and the offender, with or without the permission of the court.
  6. Under a Compoundable offense, upon a compromise, the offender is acquitted without any trail.


Non-Compoundable Offenses –

  1. Non-Compoundable offenses are classified under CrPc.
  2. Non-Compoundable offenses are those offenses which are serious in nature.
  3. Under a non-compoundable offense, a private party as well as the society, both are affected by such offenses.
  4. Under a Non-compoundable offense, no compromise is allowed. Even the court does not has the authority and power to compound such offense.
  5. Under a Non-Compoundable offense, full trail is held which ends with the acquittal or conviction of the offender, based on the evidence given.




Compoundable offences are those offences where

  • the complainant
  • who has filed the case,
  • enter into a compromise, and
  • agrees to have the charges dropped against the accused,
  • which is “Bonafide,”
  • and not for any consideration to which the complainant is not entitled to.

Section 320 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 is concerned with compounding of offences. Compoundable offences are less serious criminal offences. They are of two different types:

1. Court permission is not required before compounding

Examples of these offences include:

  • adultery,
  • causing hurt,
  • defamation
  • criminal trespass, etc.
  1. Court permission is required before compounding –

Examples of such offences are:

  • theft,
  • criminal breach of trust,
  • voluntarily causing grievous hurt,
  • assault on a woman with intention to outrage her modesty,
  • Dishonest misappropriation of property amongst others.

Compounding without permission of the court requires only the verification of the compromise whether it is duly executed or not. But when the permission is must, it shall be obtained before filling a compromise in court and such permission can only be granted when the prosecution is pending in court, otherwise if it is granted, it is illegal.

Application for compounding the offence shall be made before that court before which the trial is proceeding.

Once an offence has been compounded it will have the same effect, as the accused has been acquitted of the charges.



Javerbhai v. Smt. Maria Bemvinda da Costa [A.I.R. 1971 Goa 46]

It has been held in this case that the compounding of the offence signifies that the person against whom the offence has been committed has received some gratification, to act as an inducement for his desiring to abstain from a prosecution.

Ramesh Chandra v. A.P. Jhaveri [A.I.R. 1973 SC 84]

The apex Court held that an indivisible permission to compound a compoundable and non compoundable offence is totally invalid.




Some Offences cannot be compounded. They can only be quashed as the nature of offence is so grave and criminal, that the accused cannot be allowed to go scot-free. Here, in these types of cases generally, it is the “state”, i.e. police, who has filed the case, and hence the question of complainant entering into compromise does not arise. All those offences, which are not mentioned in the list under Section 320 of the Criminal Procedure Code, are non-compoundable offences.

In such offence, a private party as well as the society, both are affected by such offenses and hence, no compromise is allowed. Even the court doesn’t have the power and authority to compound such offense. Full trail is held which ends with the acquittal or conviction of the offender, based on the evidence given.

Allahabad High Court full bench in 1972 held that an offence punishable under section 323 read with 149 of I.P.C. is an offence distinct from mere 323 of I.P.C. hence not compoundable.



Llikewise in State Of U.P. vs Janni And Ors. [A.I.R. 1970 Allahabad 235], it was held that offence under Section 147 is not compoundable, hence, cannot be compounded.

If an order of acquittal has been obtained on an invalid compromise (in non-compoundable offences) then the order of acquittal shall be set aside Ramesh Chandra v. A.P. Jhaveri (A.I.R. 1973 SC 84). Compromise once effected cannot be withdrawn but it should be legal and only according to Sec. 320 of Cr. P.C.

Mahesh Chandr v. State of Rajasthan

Where the parties do not want to contest another way has been opened by our supreme court, in this case accused persons were convicted under 307 I.P.C. which was not a non compoundable offence. There was also a counter case arising out of the same transaction later on the parties have come to terms and they wanted to offence compounded. The Supreme Court directed to Session Judge to accord permission to compound the offence after being satisfied with the compromise agreed upon. In this case the court relied upon its early judgment of Suresh Baboo v. State of U.P. [1947 (2) JT (SC) 361] in which permission to compound in non compoundable offence was granted.



Withdrawal of charges Charges against the accused can be dropped Charges against the accused cannot be dropped
Nature of Crime Less serious crimes serious crimes
Compounded/quashed Compounded by the permission or without the permission of court Cannot be Compounded. It can only be quashed.
Affected Parties Impact on a private person only Have an effect on private person as well as society at large.
Filing of case Cases are generally filed by a private person Cases are generally filed by a state.
Examples ·         defamation

·         criminal trespass

·         theft,

·         criminal breach of trust

All cases not mentioned in Section 320 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973



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  • israr

    Excellent definition

  • Edmond

    The best part about your articles is that they are not insanely long like usually mostly law articles are. Its readable fast and very informative in few words. Short and well explained. Thankyou for the answer. Helpful.