Compensating victim won't erase criminal case, says SC

Compensating victim won't erase criminal case, says SC

Every criminal case cannot be disposed of on the grounds that the offenders have compromised with the victim or paid compensation, because a crime is committed not against an individual but society at large, the Supreme Court has said.

A bench of Justices K S Radhakrishnan and A K Sikri set aside an order allowing the victim to settle his dispute with the assailants just because he had received money.

The apex court said that it was not right for the victim to think that it was only an injury and since the accused persons had paid the monetary compensation and settled the matter, the crime against them would be erased.

“The criminal justice system has a larger objective to achieve, the safety and protection of people at large. It would be a lesson not only to the offender, but to all individuals that such crimes would not be committed by anyone and money would not be a substitute for the crime committed against the society,” the court said.

The apex court bench allowed an appeal, filed by the Rajasthan government, challenging the high court’s decision which granted a victim’s plea that he had reached a compromise with two persons, who had made an attempt on his life.

“Criminal law is designed as a mechanism for achieving social control and its purpose is the regulation of conduct and activities within the society,” the bench said.

“Taking a lenient view on a serious offence like this, will leave a wrong impression about the criminal justice system and will encourage further criminal acts, endangering peaceful coexistence and welfare of the society at large,” the court said.

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