Mumbai, October 18: The Aurangabad bench of the Bombay high court (HC) has refused to set aside the convictions of two rival groups, who fought and injured each other’s members. The court was hearing separate petitions filed by members of two groups from Kandhar in Nanded district of Maharashtra, seeking an order to strike down their convictions on the ground of an amicable settlement between them.
A bench of justice TV Nalawade and justice MG Sewlikar held that the HC had no power to set aside the convictions on the ground of amicable settlement of the disputes.
“If after conviction, the parties settle the dispute and offences are non-compoundable, the conviction cannot be set aside,” said the bench. In non-compoundable cases, charges cannot be withdrawn if all the parties agree for a settlement.
“Even this court (high court) has no power under section 482 of the CrPC (Code of Criminal Procedure) to set aside the convictions on account of such compromise, as there is substantive appeal provided to challenge the conviction,” said the bench, Hindustan Times reported.
In May 2009, several members from both the groups suffered serious injuries after a fight. They had lodged cross-complaints with the local police. All the accused were tried together and convicted under sections 149 (unlawful assembly), 324 (voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapon or means) and 326 (voluntarily causing grievous hurt by dangerous weapon or means) of the Indian Penal Code by the local judicial magistrate in 2015.
Both the sides had appealed against the decision and arrived at an amicable settlement during pendency of the appeals.
In their appeal, they had urged the additional sessions judge at Kandhar to strike down their convictions on the ground of their settlement. They had moved HC ten days back, after the additional sessions judge rejected their pleas.
The HC, too, rejected their petitions observing that convictions in compoundable offence cannot be truck down on the basis of settlement between the parties.
HC clarified that when appeal is preferred by the convicts, the compromise can be considered by the appeal court if the parties succeed in showing that only compoundable offences were made against them.
The bench added that even if the parties are not able to make out the case for a compoundable offence, it is always open to the appeal court to take a lenient view due to such settlement and accordingly modify the sentence.