Difference between Compoundable and Non-Compoundable Offences
The offences where the complainant can enter into a compromise and drop the charges against the accused are the compoundable ones. Section 320 of the Criminal Procedure Code has the mention of all the compoundable offences. These are mostly private and less serious in nature.
Once the victim withdraws the charges against the accused in case of a compoundable offence, the accused in acquited without any trial.
Some of the compoundable offences can be compromised by filing a compromise petition in the court. This means that the victim does not require the court’s permission to enter into a compromise. These offences include defamation, adultery, criminal trespass, causing hurt and others.
On the other hand, criminal breach of trust, voluntarily causing grievous hurt and theft are the offences that cannot be compromised without any prior permission from the court.
Any offence that is not listed u/s 320, CrPC is a non-compoundable offence. These offences are public and quite serious in nature. Non-compoundable offences cannot be compromised. Even the court does not have the authority to compound them. This is because non-compoundable offences do not just affect the victim but the society as well.
In case of a non-compoundable offence, the victim does not have the power to withdraw any charges against the accused. Once the charges have been drawn, the matter will only close after either conviction or acquittal of the accused. However, the court can compound the offence in case of non-compoundable offences. The thing is that criminal liability never ends, even after the compromise has been made. The compromise, however, helps the court decide the quantum of sentence.