NFHS Press Release: Flash Dharna on 02ndJuly11 @Town Hall, Bangalore against recommendation of Law Commission to make 498A IPC Compoundable
Subject: National Family Harmony Society® strongly opposes recent recommendation of Law Commission to make 498A IPC Compoundable and has organized Dharna on 02July11 at Town Hall.
About National Family Harmony Society®: “National Family Harmony Society®” NFHS is a Non Governmental Organization (NGO) promoting the cause of “family harmony” and “gender equality”. It is registered under “The Karnataka Societies Registration Act, 1960” and is based in Bangalore. We have branches in more than 16 states and in abroad too. We have approximately 16000 members all over India. To know more about us please visit www.family-harmony.org / www.498a.org.in / https://498amisuse.wordpress.com
What is compounding of offence: A compoundable offence is one which can be settled privately. The composition of an offence has the effect of an acquittal of the accused. Section 320 of the Code of Criminal Procedure deals with the compounding of offences and specifies by whom they may be settled.
After conducting nationwide consultations, Law Commission, headed by Justice P V Reddy has recommended to make 498A IPC compoundable. The recommendation by Law Commission is nothing but a half hearted approach which will aggravate the issue rather than solving it. The Law commission was given following mandate, which is the first paragraph of the “Consultation Paper-cum-Questionnaire regarding Section 498-A of Indian Penal Code” prepared by Law commission.
“Keeping in view the representations received from various quarters and observations made by the Supreme Court and the High Courts, the Home Ministry of the Government of India requested the Law Commission of India to consider whether any amendments to s.498A of Indian Penal Code or other measures are necessary to check the alleged misuse of the said provision especially by way of over-implication.”
From above it is very clear that Law Commission was clearly asked by Union Home Ministry to suggest amendments, in views of heavy misuse of the 498A IPC. But the recommendation of the Law Commission is, in fact going to increase the misuse of 498A IPC. If a complaint is lodged by a wife against her husband alleging cruelty under 498A IPC then the complaint should be tried in the court of law as it is a criminal offence and must not be compounded under any circumstances.
Allowing a criminal offence to be compounded is nothing but mockery of the criminal justice system. E.g. if a person ‘A’ has “attempt to murder case” on him for trying to kill person ‘B’, then can the offence be compounded just because both the parties have reached an agreement for an settlement amount. If this tendency to compound a criminal offence is allowed then for every offence there will be a “settlement amount” and there will be no fear of committing a crime. E.g.
- A rapist can rape a girl and get away by paying “settlement amount”.
- A Murderer can commit murder and still get away by paying “settlement amount” to the relatives of the person whom he murdered.
- A person can indulge in riots and then offer “settlement amount” to Government to pardon him for the committed crime.
498A IPC should NOT be made compounded because…
- It will open a flood gate of more false cases.
- Judiciary is already struggling to differentiate between true and false cases in 498A IPC.
- Also only rich and mighty will be able to settle the cases.
- Criminals should be punished and not let off by “settlement amount”.
In view of above NFHS strongly opposes recommendation of the Law commission to make 498A IPC compoundable.
Suresh P, President, Mahesh M, General Secretary