Recently, the High Court in Allahabad overruled a rape case, where the ‘victim’ submitted that she had been happily married and that they had been residing as husband and wife. A ‘settlement’ was recorded between the rape victim and the accused. In addition to these facts, the father of the victim had lodged the First Information Report with the police.
They pled to close their case, however this plea was dismissed by the Chief Judicial Magistrate of Hathras, due to the absence of jurisdiction to approve such an order. More serious crimes such as rape are non-compoundable offences, hence, the parties cannot choose to compromise.
The Allahabad High Court referred to Gian Singh Vs. State of Punjab, 2012, a Supreme Court judgement. In this case, the Apex Court held that even in certain cognizable and non-compoundable cases, parties can agree upon a settlement. The Court opined that it was without purpose to unnecessarily prolong the proceedings of the trial in question. The parties settling their dispute and reaching a compromise was enough to end the criminal proceedings against the accused. This decision was given by Justice Manju Rani Chauhan while quashing the criminal charges against the accused.
In the State of Madhya Pradesh v Madan Lal, the Supreme Court held that in cases of offence of rape, or attempting to rape, the conception of settlement or compromise cannot be thought of and under no circumstances can it be a viable solution. However, in 2019, the Apex Court quashed a ‘rape case’ that included a settlement between the victim and the incriminated as the Court believe this compromise was satisfactory and did complete justice to the parties involved in the proceedings.