CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 420 OF 2012
SURESH  & ANR.                  ..... APPELLANTS
                               J U D G M E N T
1.    This appeal has been preferred against conviction and sentence of  the
appellants under Sections 302 read with Sections 34, 364-A,  201  and  120-B
of the Indian Penal Code.
2.    Case of the prosecution is that on 18th December, 2000,  the  deceased
Devender Chopra and his son deceased Abhishek Chopra had left their  factory
for their house in D.L.F., Gurgaon but did not reach their house.  At  about
9.41 P.M., PW-12 Pooja Chopra, daughter of Devender Chopra gave  a  call  to
her father to find out as to why he was late.  She learnt  that  her  father
and brother had been kidnapped and ransom of rupees fifty lacs was  demanded
for their release.  She contacted her father's  business  partner  informing
him that  Devender  Chopra  and  Abhishek  Chopra  were  kidnapped  and  the
kidnappers had demanded a ransom amount of rupees fifty lacs  on  telephone.
The kidnappers also talked to the wife of the deceased  Devender  Chopra  at
11 P.M. demanding  ransom  money.   Raman  Anand  also  talked  to  Devender
Chopra.  There were frequent calls from the kidnappers from the  morning  of
19th December, 2000 which were recorded on audio cassettes  EX.  P1  to  P9.
Since, the family could not fulfil the demand and offer to  pay  rupees  ten
lacs was not accepted by the kidnappers  but  negotiations  continued.   The
police was not informed on account of the  fear  that  the  victims  may  be
killed as was threatened.  When the  kidnappers  did  not  release  Devender
Chopra and Abhishek Chopra, and finding no way out, the matter was  reported
to the police on
24th December, 2000 at 5 A.M.  Statement of PW-2, Raman Anand
EX. PC was recorded by Inspector Randhir Singh (PW-17)  who  deputed  police
officials at nearby STD booths.  PW-14, SI Rajender Singh found the  accused
at STD booth  Jawala  Petrol  Pump  on  Jaipur  Highway  at  8.15  A.M.   He
overheard accused Manmohan telling accused Suresh that ransom demand be  not
reduced below rupees twenty five lacs.  He was in  plain  clothes  and  gave
signal to PW-17 and the accused were apprehended.  A slip EX. P-35  carrying
residential phone number of Devender Chopra  was  recovered  from  Manmohan.
Ashok accused made disclosure statement EX.  PS  that  Devender  Chopra  and
Abhishek Chopra had been killed and their bodies thrown in gutters in
Sectors-39 and 46.  Mobile of Devender Chopra  was  kept  concealed  in  the
house of the accused.  Accused Manmohan made  similar  disclosure  statement
EX. PT and that he had kept concealed car of the deceased in  his  house  at
Palwal and a knife in his  rented  house  at  Sohna.   Accused  Suresh  made
similar disclosure statement EX. PJ and that he had concealed mobile of  the
deceased at the shop of his brother at Sohna.  Accused Mahesh  made  similar
disclosure statement EX. PV and that suitcase of the deceased was  concealed
in his old house.  Accordingly, recoveries were effected.   Post  mortem  of
dead bodies was conducted and other steps for investigation were  completed.
3.    After  investigation,  the  accused  were  sent  up  for  trial.   The
prosecution examined Dr. B.K. Rajora (PW-1), complainant  Raman  Anand  (PW-
2), Mrs. Vivek Bharti, Additional Chief Judicial  Magistrate,  Bhiwani  (PW-
3), Head Constable Naresh Kumar (PW-6),  Sub Inspector Balwan Singh  (PW-7),
Mahabir Singh (PW-8), Assistant Sub  Inspector  Budh  Ram  (PW-9),  Surender
Singh Rahman (PW-10), Head Constable Mohan Lal (PW-11),  Pooja  Chopra  (PW-
12), Sub Inspector Sanjeev Kumar (PW-13), Sub Inspector Rajender Singh  (PW-
14), Brij  Bhushan  Mehta  (PW-15),  Sub  Inspector  Shakuntla  (PW-16)  and
Inspector  Randhir  Singh  (PW-17)  and  produced  documents  and   material
exhibits.   The accused denied the prosecution allegations.
4.    After considering the evidence on record  the  trial  Court  convicted
and sentenced the  appellants  for  kidnapping  and  murder  and  concealing
evidence in conspiracy and by  common  intention.   All  the  accused  stand
sentenced to undergo imprisonment for life and other lesser sentences  which
have been affirmed by the High Court.
5.    We have heard learned counsel for the parties.
6.    Learned counsel for the appellants submitted that there was  no  legal
evidence to sustain the conviction  and  that  the  evidence  of  disclosure
statements and recoveries was not reliable.
7.    Learned counsel for the State opposed the above statement and  pointed
out that the dead bodies were recovered at the instance of  the  appellants,
apart from the recovery of car and personal belongings of the deceased.   SI
Rajender Singh (PW-14) and  Inspector Randhir Singh
(PW-17) had overheard the conversation  of  the  accused  making  demand  of
ransom on telephone at the STD Booth.  The accused  refused  to  give  their
voice sample as recorded in the Order dated
1st January, 2001  passed  by  the  Additional  Chief  Judicial  Magistrate,
Gurgaon on application (Exhibit PF).  Pooja Chopra (PW-12) deposed that  the
deceased Devender Chopra had a talk with her mother on
18th December, 2000 that the deceased had been kidnapped  for  ransom  which
was followed up by further conversation with the  kidnappers.   Raman  Anand
(PW-2) also had talks with the kidnappers  from  the  mobile  phone  of  his
friend Neeraj.  According to the post mortem reports, the death of  Devender
Chopra was on account of  strangulation  and  cutting  of  throat  by  sharp
weapon.  Death of Abhishek Chopra was on account of stab injuries  in  chest
and abdomen and the head injury caused by blunt force impact.
8.    Apart from the above,  this  is  a  case  where  Section  106  of  the
Evidence Act is clearly attracted which requires the accused to explain  the
facts in their exclusive knowledge.  No doubt, the burden  of  proof  is  on
the prosecution and Section 106 is not meant to relieve it of that duty  but
the  said  provision  is  attracted  when  it  is  impossible   or   it   is
proportionately difficult for the prosecution to establish facts  which  are
strictly within the knowledge of the accused.  Recovery of dead bodies  from
covered gutters and personal belongings of the deceased  from  other  places
disclosed by the accused stood fully established.  It casts a  duty  on  the
accused as to how they alone  had  the  information  leading  to  recoveries
which was admissible under Section 27 of the Evidence Act.  Failure  of  the
accused to give  an  explanation  or  giving  of  false  explanation  is  an
additional circumstance against the accused as held in number of  judgments,
including State of Rajasthan vs. Jaggu Ram [1].
9.    In view of the above, we do not find any ground to interfere with  the
conviction and sentence of the appellants.   The  appellants  are  on  bail.
They may be taken into custody for undergoing the remaining sentence.
10.    We  had  asked  learned  counsel  for  the  parties  to  make   their
submissions as to applicability of Section 357A  of  the  Code  of  Criminal
Procedure providing for compensation by the State  to  the  victims  of  the
crime and also  requested  Shri  L.  Nageshwara  Rao,  Additional  Solicitor
General of India to assist the Court on this aspect.
11.   Accordingly, Shri Rao has made his submissions and  also  furnished  a
written note of his  submissions  mentioning  the  legislative  history  and
purpose of the  said  provision  and  the  guidelines  for  determining  the
quantum of compensation  and  the  power  of  Court  to  grant  the  interim
compensation.   We  place  on  record  our  appreciation  for  the  valuable
contribution of Shri Rao.
12.   It would now be appropriate to deal with  the  issue.   The  provision
has been incorporated in the Cr.P.C. vide Act V of 2009  and  the  amendment
duly came into force in view of the Notification dated 31st December,  2009.
  The object and purpose of the provision is to enable the Court  to  direct
the State to pay compensation to the victim  where  the  compensation  under
Section 357 was not adequate  or  where  the  case  ended  in  acquittal  or
discharge and the victim was required to be  rehabilitated.   The  provision
was incorporated on the recommendation of 154th Report  of  Law  Commission.
It recognises compensation as one of the methods of protection  of  victims.
The provision has received the attention of this Court in several  decisions
including Ankush Shivaji Gaikwad vs. State of Maharashtra[2], In Re:  Indian
Woman says gang-raped on orders of Village Court published in  Business  and
Financial News[3], Mohommad Haroon vs.  Union  of  India[4]  and  Laxmi  vs.
Union of India[5].  In Abdul Rashid vs. State of Odisha & Ors.[6], to  which
one of us (Goel, J.) was party, it was observed:-
"6. Question for consideration is whether the responsibility  of  the  State
ends merely by registering a case, conducting investigation  and  initiating
prosecution and whether  apart  from  taking  these  steps,  the  State  has
further responsibility to the victim. Further question is whether the  Court
has  legal  duty  to  award  compensation  irrespective  of  conviction   or
acquittal. When the State fails to identify the accused or fails to  collect
and present acceptable evidence to punish  the  guilty,  the  duty  to  give
compensation remains. Victim of a crime or his kith and kin have  legitimate
expectation that the  State  will  punish  the  guilty  and  compensate  the
victim.  There  are  systemic  or  other  failures  responsible  for   crime
remaining unpunished which need to be addressed by  improvement  in  quality
and integrity of those who deal with investigation  and  prosecution,  apart
from improvement of infrastructure but punishment of guilty is not the  only
step in  providing  justice  to  victim.  Victim  expects  a  mechanism  for
rehabilitative measures, including monetary compensation. Such  compensation
has been directed to be paid in public law remedy with reference to  Article
21. In numerous cases, to do justice to the  victims,  the  Hon'ble  Supreme
Court  has  directed  payment  of   monetary   compensation   as   well   as
rehabilitative  settlement  where  State  or  other  authorities  failed  to
protect the life and liberty of victims. For example, Kewal Pati  Vs.  State
of U.P. (1995) 3 SCC 600 (death of prisoner by co-prisoner),  Supreme  Court
Legal Aid Committee Vs. State  of  Bihar,  (1991)  3  SCC  482  (failure  to
provide timely medical aid by jail authorities,  Chairman,  Rly.  Board  Vs.
Chandrima Das, (2000) 2 SCC 465 (rape of  Bangladeshi  national  by  Railway
staff), Nilabati Behera Vs. State of Orissa, (1993)  2  SCC  746  (Custodial
death), Khatri (I) Vs. State of Bihar (1981) 1 SCC 623 (prisoners'  blinding
by jail staff), Union Carbide Corporation Vs. Union of India, (1989)  1  SCC
674 (gas leak victims).
7. Expanding scope of Article 21 is not limited  to  providing  compensation
when the State or its functionaries are guilty of an act of  commission  but
also to rehabilitate the victim or his family where crime  is  committed  by
an individual without any role of the State or its functionary.  Apart  from
the concept of compensating the victim by way of public law remedy  in  writ
jurisdiction, need was felt for incorporation of a  specific  provision  for
compensation by courts irrespective of the result of  criminal  prosecution.
Accordingly, Section 357A has been introduced in the Cr.P.C.  and  a  Scheme
has  been  framed  by  the  State  of  Odisha  called  'The  Odisha   Victim
Compensation Scheme, 2012'. Compensation under the said Section  is  payable
to victim of a crime in all cases irrespective of conviction  or  acquittal.
The amount of compensation may be worked out  at  an  appropriate  forum  in
accordance with the  said  Scheme,  but  pending  such  steps  being  taken,
interim compensation ought to be given at the earliest in any proceedings.
8. In Ankush Vhivaji Gaikwad Vs. State of Maharashtra,  (2013)  6  SCC  770,
the matter was reviewed by the  Hon'ble  Supreme  Court  with  reference  to
development in law and it was observed :
"33. The long line of judicial pronouncements of this  Court  recognised  in
no uncertain terms a paradigm shift  in  the  approach  towards  victims  of
crimes who were held entitled to  reparation,  restitution  or  compensation
for loss or  injury  suffered  by  them.  This  shift  from  retribution  to
restitution began in the mid 1960s and gained momentum in the  decades  that
followed. Interestingly the clock appears to have come full  circle  by  the
law makers and courts going back in a great measure to what was  in  ancient
times common place. Harvard Law Review  (1984)  in  an  article  on  "Victim
Restitution in Criminal Law Process: A  Procedural  Analysis"  sums  up  the
historical perspective of  the  concept  of  restitution  in  the  following
"Far from being  a  novel  approach  to  sentencing,  restitution  has  been
employed as a punitive sanction throughout history.  In  ancient  societies,
before the conceptual separation of civil and criminal law, it was  standard
practice to require an offender to reimburse the victim or  his  family  for
any loss caused by the offense. The primary purpose of such restitution  was
not to compensate the victim, but  to  protect  the  offender  from  violent
retaliation by the victim or the community. It was  a  means  by  which  the
offender could buy back the peace he had broken. As the state gradually
established a monopoly over the institution of punishment,  and  a  division
between civil and criminal law emerged, the victim's right  to  compensation
was incorporated into civil law."
34. With modern concepts creating a distinction between civil  and  criminal
law in which civil law provides  for  remedies  to  award  compensation  for
private wrongs and the criminal law takes care of punishing the wrong  doer,
the legal position that emerged till recent  times  was  that  criminal  law
need not concern itself with compensation to the victims since  compensation
was a civil remedy that fell within the domain of  the  civil  Courts.  This
conventional position has in recent times undergone a  notable  sea  change,
as societies world over have increasingly felt that victims  of  the  crimes
were  being  neglected  by  the   legislatures   and   the   Courts   alike.
Legislations have, therefore, been introduced in  many  countries  including
Canada, Australia, England, New Zealand, Northern  Ireland  and  in  certain
States  in  the  USA  providing   for   restitution/reparation   by   Courts
administering criminal justice.
35. England was perhaps the first to adopt a separate statutory  scheme  for
victim compensation by the State under the  Criminal  Injuries  Compensation
Scheme, 1964. Under the Criminal Justice Act, 1972 the idea  of  payment  of
compensation by the offender was introduced. The following extract from  the
Oxford Handbook of Criminology (1994  Edn.,  p.1237-1238),  which  has  been
quoted with approval in Delhi Domestic Working Women's  Forum  v.  Union  of
India and Ors. (1995) 1 SCC 14 is apposite: (SCC pp.20-21, para-16)
"16......Compensation  payable  by  the  offender  was  introduced  in   the
Criminal Justice Act 1972 which gave the Courts powers to make an  ancillary
order for compensation in addition  to  the  main  penalty  in  cases  where
'injury', loss, or damage' had resulted. The Criminal Justice Act 1982  made
it possible for the first time to make a  compensation  order  as  the  sole
penalty. It also required that in cases where fines and compensation  orders
were given together, the payment of compensation should take  priority  over
the fine. These developments signified a major shift in  penology  thinking,
reflecting the growing importance attached  to  restitution  and  reparation
over the more narrowly retributive  aims  of  conventional  punishment.  The
Criminal Justice Act 1982  furthered  this  shift.  It  required  courts  to
consider the making of a compensation order in every case of death,  injury,
loss or damage and, where such an order was not given,  imposed  a  duty  on
the court to give reasons for not doing so. It also extended  the  range  of
injuries eligible for compensation. These new requirements mean that if  the
court fails to make a compensation order  it  must  furnish  reasons.  Where
reasons are given, the victim may apply for these to be subject to  judicial
The 1991  Criminal  Justice  Act  contains  a  number  of  provisions  which
directly or indirectly encourage an even greater  role  for  compensation.'"
(emphasis supplied)
36. In the United States of America, the Victim and Witness  Protection  Act
of 1982 authorizes  a  federal  court  to  award  restitution  by  means  of
monetary compensation as a part of a convict's sentence. Section  3553(a)(7)
of Title 18 of the Act requires Courts to consider in every case  "the  need
to provide restitution to any victims of the  offense".  Though  it  is  not
mandatory for the Court to award restitution in every case, the Act  demands
that the Court provide its reasons for denying the same. Section 3553(c)  of
Title 18 of the Act states as follows:
"If  the  court  does  not  order  restitution  or   orders   only   partial
restitution, the court shall include in the statement the  reason  thereof."
(Emphasis supplied)
37. In order to be better equipped to decide the  quantum  of  money  to  be
paid in a restitution order, the United States  federal  law  requires  that
details such as the financial history of the  offender,  the  monetary  loss
caused to the victim by the offence, etc. be obtained during  a  Presentence
Investigation, which is carried out over  a  period  of  5  weeks  after  an
offender is convicted.
38. Domestic/Municipal  Legislation  apart  even  the  UN  General  Assembly
recognized the right  of  victims  of  crimes  to  receive  compensation  by
passing a resolution titled "Declaration on Basic Principles of Justice  for
Victims and Abuse of Power, 1985". The Resolution  contained  the  following
provisions on restitution and compensation:
8. Offenders or third parties responsible for their behaviour should,  where
appropriate,  make  fair  restitution  to   victims,   their   families   or
dependants. Such restitution  should  include  the  return  of  property  or
payment for the harm or loss suffered, reimbursement  of  expenses  incurred
as a result  of  the  victimization,  the  provision  of  services  and  the
restoration of rights.
9. Governments should  review  their  practices,  Regulations  and  laws  to
consider restitution as an available sentencing option  in  criminal  cases,
in addition to other criminal sanctions.
10. In cases  of  substantial  harm  to  the  environment,  restitution,  if
ordered,  should  include,  as  far  as   possible,   restoration   of   the
environment, reconstruction of the infrastructure, replacement of  community
facilities and reimbursement of the expenses of  relocation,  whenever  such
harm results in the dislocation of a community.
11. Where public officials or other agents acting in an official  or  quasi-
official capacity have violated national criminal laws, the  victims  should
receive  restitution  from  the  State  whose  officials  or   agents   were
responsible for the harm inflicted. In  cases  where  the  Government  under
whose authority the victimizing act or omission occurred  is  no  longer  in
existence, the  State  or  Government  successor  in  title  should  provide
restitution to the victims.
12. When compensation is not fully available  from  the  offender  or  other
sources, States should endeavour to provide financial compensation to:
(a) Victims who have sustained significant bodily injury  or  impairment  of
physical or mental health as a result of serious crimes;
(b) The family, in particular dependants of persons who have died or  become
physically or mentally incapacitated as a result of such victimization.
13. The establishment, strengthening and expansion  of  national  funds  for
compensation to victims  should  be  encouraged.  Where  appropriate,  other
funds may also be established for this  purpose, including  in  those  cases
where the State of which the victim is a national is not in  a  position  to
compensate the victim for the harm."
39. The UN General Assembly passed a  resolution  titled  "Basic  Principles
and Guidelines on the Right to a Remedy and Reparation for Victims of  Gross
Violations of International Human  Rights  Law  and  Serious  Violations  of
International Humanitarian  Law,  2005"  which  deals  with  the  rights  of
victims  of  international  crimes  and  human  rights   violations.   These
Principles (while in their Draft form) were quoted  with  approval  by  this
Court in State of Gujarat and Anr. v. Hon'ble High Court of  Gujarat  (1998)
7 SCC 392 in the following words:
 "94. In recent years the right to reparation for victims  of  violation  of
human rights is gaining ground. United Nations Commission  of  Human  Rights
has circulated draft  Basic  Principles  and  Guidelines  on  the  Right  to
Reparation for Victims of Violation of Human Rights, (see Annexure)."
40. Amongst others the following provisions on restitution and  compensation
have been made:
"12. Restitution  shall  be  provided  to  reestablish  the  situation  that
existed  prior  to  the  violations  of  human   rights   or   international
humanitarian law. Restitution requires inter alia, restoration  of  liberty,
family  life  citizenship,  return  to  one's  place   of   residence,   and
restoration of employment or property.
13. Compensation shall be provided for any  economically  Assessable  damage
resulting from violations of  human  rights  or  international  humanitarian
law, such as:
(a) Physical  or  mental  harm,  including  pain,  suffering  and  emotional
(b) Lost opportunities including education;
(c) Material damages  and  loss  of  earnings,  including  loss  of  earning
(d) Harm to reputation or dignity;
(e) Costs required for legal or expert  assistance,  medicines  and  medical
41. Back home the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1898 contained  a  provision
for restitution in the form of Section 545, which stated in Sub-clause  1(b)
that the Court may direct
 "payment to any person of compensation for any loss  or  injury  caused  by
the offence when substantial compensation is, in the opinion of  the  Court,
recoverable by such person in a Civil Court".
42. The Law Commission of  India  in  its  41st  Report  submitted  in  1969
discussed Section 545 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1898  extensively
and stated as follows:
 "46.12.. Section 545- Under Clause (b) of Sub-section (1) of  Section  545,
the Court may direct "in the payment to any person of compensation  for  any
loss or injury caused by the offence when substantial  compensation  is,  in
the opinion of the Court, recoverable by such person in a Civil Court."  The
significance of the requirement that compensation should be  recoverable  in
a Civil Court is that the act which  constitutes  the  offence  in  question
should also be a tort. The word "substantial" appears to have been  used  to
exclude cases where only nominal damages would be recoverable. We  think  it
is hardly necessary to emphasise this aspect,  since  in  any  event  it  is
purely within the discretion of the Criminal  Courts  to  order  or  not  to
order payment of compensation, and in practice, they  are  not  particularly
liberal  in  utilizing  this  provision.  We  propose  to  omit   the   word
"substantial" from the clause." (Emphasis supplied)
43. On the basis of the recommendations made by the Law  Commission  in  the
above report, the Government  of  India  introduced  the  Code  of  Criminal
Procedure Bill, 1970, which aimed at revising Section  545  and  introducing
it in the form of Section 357 as it reads today. The  Statement  of  Objects
and Reasons underlying the Bill was as follows:
"Clause 365 [now  Section  357]  which  corresponds  to  Section  545  makes
provision for payment of compensation to victims of crimes. At present  such
compensation can be ordered only when the Court imposes a  fine  the  amount
is limited to the amount of fine. Under the new provision, compensation  can
be awarded irrespective of whether the offence is punishable with  fine  and
fine is actually imposed, but such compensation can be ordered only  if  the
accused is convicted. The compensation should be payable  for  any  loss  or
injury whether physical or pecuniary and the Court shall have due regard  to
the nature of injury, the manner of inflicting the  same,  the  capacity  of
the accused to pay and other relevant factors." (Emphasis supplied)
44.  As  regards  the  need  for  Courts  to  obtain  comprehensive  details
regarding the background of the offender for the purpose of sentencing,  the
Law Commission in its 48th Report on  "Some  Questions  Under  the  Code  of
Criminal Procedure Bill, 1970" submitted in 1972  discussed  the  matter  in
some detail, stating as follows:
"45. Sentencing- It is now being increasingly  recognised  that  a  rational
and  consistent  sentencing  policy  requires   the   removal   of   several
deficiencies in the present  system.  One  such  deficiency  is  a  lack  of
comprehensive information as to the characteristics and  background  of  the
The aims of sentencing--themselves obscure--become all the more  so  in  the
absence of comprehensive information on which the  correctional  process  is
to operate. The public as well as the as the courts themselves  are  in  the
dark about judicial approach in this regard.
We are of the view that the taking  of  evidence  as  to  the  circumstances
relevant to sentencing should be encouraged, and both  the  prosecution  and
the accused should be  allowed  to  cooperate  in  the  process."  (Emphasis
45. The Code of Criminal Procedure of 1973 which  incorporated  the  changes
proposed in the said Bill of 1970 states in its  Objects  and  Reasons  that
Section 357 was "intended to provide relief to the proper  sections  of  the
community" and that the amended CrPC empowered the Court  to  order  payment
of compensation by the accused  to  the  victims  of  crimes  "to  a  larger
extent" than was previously permissible under the Code. The changes  brought
about by the introduction of Section 357 were as follows:
(i)  The word "substantial" was excluded.
(ii) A  new  Sub-section  (3)  was  added  which  provides  for  payment  of
compensation even in cases  where  the  fine  does  not  form  part  of  the
sentence imposed.
(iii) Sub-section (4) was introduced which states  that  an  order  awarding
compensation may be made by an Appellate Court  or  by  the  High  Court  or
Court of Session when exercising its powers of revision.
46. The amendments to the Code of Criminal Procedure brought about  in  2008
focused heavily on the rights of victims in a criminal  trial,  particularly
in trials relating to sexual  offences.  Though  the  2008  amendments  left
Section 357 unchanged, they introduced Section 357A under  which  the  Court
is empowered to direct the State to pay compensation to the victim  in  such
cases where
"the compensation awarded  Under  Section  357  is  not  adequate  for  such
rehabilitation, or where the case ends in acquittal  or  discharge  and  the
victim has to be rehabilitated."
Under this provision, even if the accused is not tried but the victim  needs
to be rehabilitated, the victim may request  the  State  or  District  Legal
Services  Authority  to  award  him/her  compensation.  This  provision  was
introduced due to the recommendations made by the Law  Commission  of  India
in its 152nd and 154th Reports in 1994 and 1996 respectively.
47. The 154th Law Commission  Report  on  the  Code  of  Criminal  Procedure
devoted an entire chapter to 'Victimology' in which the growing emphasis  on
victim's rights in criminal trials was discussed extensively as under:
"1. Increasingly the attention of criminologists, penologists and  reformers
of criminal justice system has been  directed  to  victimology,  control  of
victimization and protection of  victims  of  crimes.  Crimes  often  entail
substantive harms to people and not  merely  symbolic  harm  to  the  social
order. Consequently the needs and rights of victims of crime should  receive
priority attention in the total response to crime. One recognized method  of
protection of victims is compensation to victims  of  crime.  The  needs  of
victims and their family are extensive and varied.
                                  xx      xx      xx      xx      xx
9.1 The principles of victimology has foundations in  Indian  constitutional
jurisprudence. The provision on Fundamental Rights (Part III) and  Directive
Principles of State Policy (Part IV) form  the  bulwark  for  a  new  social
order in which social and economic justice would  blossom  in  the  national
life of the country (Article 38). Article 41 mandates inter  alia  that  the
State shall make effective provisions for  "securing  the  right  to  public
assistance in cases of disablement and in other cases of  undeserved  want."
So also Article 51A makes it a fundamental duty  of  every  Indian  citizen,
inter alia 'to  have  compassion  for  living  creatures'  and  to  'develop
humanism'. If emphatically  interpreted  and  imaginatively  expanded  these
provisions can form the constitutional underpinnings for victimology.
9.2 However, in India the criminal law provides compensation to the  victims
and their dependants only in a limited manner. Section 357 of  the  Code  of
Criminal Procedure incorporates this concept to an extent and  empowers  the
Criminal Courts to grant compensation to the victims.
                     xx      xx      xx      xx      xx
11. In India the principles of compensation to  crime  victims  need  to  be
reviewed and expanded to cover all cases. The  compensation  should  not  be
limited only to fines, penalties and forfeitures realized. The State  should
accept the principle of providing assistance  to  victims  out  of  its  own
48. The question then is whether the plenitude of the power  vested  in  the
Courts Under Section 357 & 357-A, notwithstanding,  the  Courts  can  simply
ignore the provisions or neglect the exercise of a power that  is  primarily
meant to be exercised for the benefit of the victims of crimes that  are  so
often committed though less frequently punished  by  the  Courts.  In  other
words, whether Courts have a duty to advert  to  the  question  of  awarding
compensation to the victim and record reasons  while  granting  or  refusing
relief to them?
                     xx      xx      xx      xx      xx
66. To sum up: While the award or refusal of compensation  in  a  particular
case may be within the Court's discretion, there exists a mandatory duty  on
the Court to apply  its  mind  to  the  question  in  every  criminal  case.
Application of mind to the question is best disclosed by  recording  reasons
for awarding/refusing compensation. It is axiomatic that  for  any  exercise
involving application of  mind,  the  Court  ought  to  have  the  necessary
material which it  would  evaluate  to  arrive  at  a  fair  and  reasonable
conclusion. It is also beyond dispute that  the  occasion  to  consider  the
question of award of compensation  would  logically  arise  only  after  the
court records a conviction of the accused. Capacity of the  accused  to  pay
which constitutes an important aspect of any order Under  Section  357  Code
of Criminal Procedure would involve a certain enquiry albeit summary  unless
of course the facts as emerging in the course of  the  trial  are  so  clear
that the court considers it unnecessary  to  do  so.  Such  an  enquiry  can
precede an order on sentence to enable the court to take  a  view,  both  on
the question of  sentence and compensation that it may in its wisdom  decide
to award to the victim or his/her family.
67. Coming then to the case at hand, we regret to say that the  trial  Court
and the High Court appear to have remained oblivious to  the  provisions  of
Section 357 Code of Criminal Procedure. The judgments  under  appeal  betray
ignorance of the Courts below about the statutory provisions  and  the  duty
cast upon the Courts. Remand at this distant point of time does  not  appear
to be a good option either. This may not be a  happy  situation  but  having
regard to the facts and the circumstances of  the  case  and  the  time  lag
since the offence was committed, we conclude this chapter in the  hope  that
the courts
remain careful in future."
9.    In Rohtash @ Pappu Vs. State  of  Haryana  (Crl.A.  No.  250  of  1999
decided on 1.4.2008, a Division Bench of the Punjab  &  Haryana  High  Court
"18.  May be, inspite of best efforts, the State fails in  apprehending  and
punishing the guilty but that does not prevent the State  from  taking  such
steps as may reassure and protect the victims of crime.  Should  justice  to
the victims depend only on the punishment of the guilty? Should the  victims
have to wait to get justice till such time that the handicaps in the  system
which result in large scale acquittals of guilty, are removed? It can  be  a
long and seemingly endless wait. The need  to  address  cry  of  victims  of
crime, for whom the Constitution in its Preamble holds out a  guarantee  for
'justice' is paramount. How can the tears of the victim be  wiped  off  when
the system itself is helpless to punish the guilty for  want  of  collection
of evidence or for want of creating an environment in  which  witnesses  can
fearlessly present the
truth  before  the  Court?  Justice  to  the  victim  has  to   be   ensured
irrespective of whether or not the criminal is punished.
19.   The victims have right to get justice, to remedy the harm suffered  as
a result of crime. This right is  different  from  and  independent  of  the
right to retribution, responsibility of which has been assumed by the  State
in a society governed by Rule of Law. But if the State fails in  discharging
this responsibility, the State must still  provide  a  mechanism  to  ensure
that the victim's right to be compensated for his injury is not  ignored  or
20.   Right of access to justice under Article 39-A and  principle  of  fair
trial mandate right to legal aid  to  the  victim  of  the  crime.  It  also
mandates protection  to  witnesses,  counselling  and  medical  aid  to  the
victims of the bereaved family  and  in  appropriate  cases,  rehabilitation
measures including monetary compensation. It is a paradox that victim  of  a
road accident gets compensation under no fault theory,  but  the  victim  of
crime does not get any compensation, except in some cases where the  accused
is held guilty, which does not happen in a large percentage of cases.
21.   Though a provision has been made for  compensation  to  victims  under
Section 357 Cr.P.C.,  there  are  several  inherent  limitations.  The  said
provision can be invoked only upon conviction, that too  at  the  discretion
of the judge and subject to financial capacity to pay by  the  accused.  The
long time taken in disposal of the criminal case  is  another  handicap  for
bringing justice to the victims who need immediate relief, and  cannot  wait
for conviction, which could take decades. The grant  of  compensation  under
the said provision  depends  upon  financial  capacity  of  the  accused  to
compensate, for which, the evidence is rarely  collected.  Further,  victims
are often unable to make a representation  before  the  Court  for  want  of
legal aid or  otherwise.  This  is  perhaps  why  even  on  conviction  this
provision is rarely pressed into service by the Courts. Rate  of  conviction
being quite low, inter-alia, for  competence  of  investigation,  apathy  of
witnesses or strict standard of proof required to ensure  that  innocent  is
not punished, the said provision is hardly adequate to address  to  need  of
In Hari Krishan and State of Haryana v. Sikhbir  Singh  AIR  1998  SC  2127,
referring  to  provisions  for  compensation,  the  Hon'ble  Supreme   Court
"10. ...... This power was intended to do something to reassure  the  victim
that he or she is not forgotten in the criminal  justice  system.  It  is  a
measure of responding appropriately to crime  as  well  of  reconciling  the
victim with the offender. It is, to some extent, a constructive approach  to
crimes. It is indeed a step forward in  our  criminal  justice  system.  We,
therefore, recommend to all Courts to exercise this power  liberally  so  as
to meet the ends of justice in a
better way."
22. It is imperative to educate the investigating  agency  as  well  as  the
trial Judges about the need to provide  access  to  justice  to  victims  of
crime, to collect evidence about financial status  of  the  accused.  It  is
also imperative to create mechanisms for rehabilitation measures by  way  of
medical and financial aid to the victims. The remedy in civil law  of  torts
against  the  injury  caused  by  the  accused  is  grossly  inadequate  and
23. This unsatisfactory situation is in contrast to global developments  and
suggestions of Indian experts as well. Some of the significant  developments
in this regard may be noticed as under:-
1) UN Declaration of Basic Principles of Justice for Victims  of  Crime  and
Abuse of Power, 1985, highlighting the following areas:-
(i) Access to Justice and fair treatment;
(ii) Restitution;
(iii) Compensation;
(iv) Assistance.
2) Council of Europe Recommendation on the Position of  the  Victim  in  the
Framework of Criminal Law and Procedure, 1985.
3) Statement of the Victims' Rights in  the  Process  of  Criminal  Justice,
issued by the European Forum for Victims' Services in 1996.
4) European Union Framework Decision on the Standing of Victims in  Criminal
5) Council of Europe Recommendations on assistance to Crime victims  adopted
on 14.6.2006.
6) 152nd and 154th report of the Law Commission  of  India,  1994  and  1996
respectively,  recommending  introduction  of  Section  357-A  in   criminal
procedure code, prescribing, inter-alia,  compensation  to  the  victims  of
7) Recommendations of the Malimath Committee, 2003.
24. The subject  matter  has  been  dealt  with  by  experts  from  over  40
countries in series of  meetings  and  a  document  has  been  developed  in
cooperation with United Nations Office at Vienna, Centre  for  International
Crime Prevention and the compilation under the heading "Handbook on  Justice
for Victims" which deals with various aspects of  impact  of  victimization,
victims assistance programmes  and  role  and  responsibility  of  frontline
professionals and others to victims. The South African  Law  Commission,  in
its "Issue  Paper  7"  (1997)  under  the  heading  "Sentencing  Restorative
Justice: Compensation for victims  of  crime  and  victim  empowerment"  has
deliberated on various relevant aspects of this issue.
xx      xx      xx      xx      xx
27. In Malimath Committee Report (March 2003), it was observed:-
"6.7.1 Historically speaking, Criminal Justice  System  seems  to  exist  to
protect the power, the privilege and the values of  the  elite  sections  in
society.  The  way  crimes  are  defined  and  the  system  is  administered
demonstrate that there is an element of truth in the above  perception  even
in modern times. However, over the years the dominant function  of  criminal
justice is projected to be protecting  all  citizens  from  harm  to  either
their person or property, the assumption being that it is the  primary  duty
of a State under rule of law. The State does this by  depriving  individuals
of the power to take law into  their  own  hands  and  using  its  power  to
satisfy the sense of revenge through appropriate sanctions. The  State  (and
society), it was argued, is itself the  victim  when  a  citizen  commits  a
crime and thereby questions its norms and authority. In the process of  this
transformation of torts to crimes, the focus  of  attention  of  the  system
shifted from the real victim who suffered the injury (as  a  result  of  the
failure of the state) to the offender and  how  he  is  dealt  with  by  the
State. Criminal Justice came to comprehend all about  crime,  the  criminal,
the way he is dealt with, the process of proving his guilt and the  ultimate
punishment given to him. The civil law was supposed  to  take  care  of  the
monetary and other losses suffered by the victim. Victims were  marginalized
and the state stood  forth  as  the  victim  to  prosecute  and  punish  the
6.7.2 What happens to the right  of  victim  to  get  justice  to  the  harm
suffered? Well, he can be satisfied  if  the  state  successfully  gets  the
criminal punished to death, a prison sentence  or  fine.  How  does  he  get
justice if the State does not succeed in so doing? Can he ask the  State  to
compensate him for the injury? In principle,  that  should  be  the  logical
consequence in such a situation; but the State which makes the law  absolves
6.8.1 The principle of compensating victims  of  crime  has  for  long  been
recognized by the law though it is recognized more as a token relief  rather
than part of a punishment or substantial remedy. When the sentence  of  fine
is imposed as the sole punishment or an additional punishment, the whole  or
part of it may be directed to be paid to the person having suffered loss  or
injury as per the discretion of the Court (Section 357 Cr.PC).  Compensation
can be awarded only if the offender has been convicted of the  offence  with
which he is charged.
xx      xx      xx      xx      xx
6.8.7 Sympathizing  with  the  plight  of  victims  under  Criminal  Justice
administration and  taking  advantage  of  the  obligation  to  do  complete
justice under the Indian  Constitution  in  defense  of  human  rights,  the
Supreme Court and High Courts in India have of late evolved the practice  of
awarding compensatory remedies not only in terms of money but also in  terms
of  other  appropriate  reliefs  and  remedies.  Medical  justice  for   the
Bhagalpur blinded victims, rehabilitative justice to the  communal  violence
victims and compensatory justice to the Union Carbide victims  are  examples
of this liberal package of reliefs and remedies forged by  the  apex  Court.
The recent decisions in Nilabati Behera V. State of Orissa (1993 2 SCC  746)
and in Chairman, Railway Board V.  Chandrima Das are  illustrative  of  this
new trend of using Constitutional jurisdiction to do justice to  victims  of
crime. Substantial monetary compensations  have  been  awarded  against  the
instrumentalities of the state for failure to  protect  the  rights  of  the
6.8.8 These decisions have clearly acknowledged the  need  for  compensating
victims of violent crimes irrespective of the  fact  whether  offenders  are
apprehended or punished. The principle invoked  is  the  obligation  of  the
state to protect basic rights and to deliver justice to  victims  of  crimes
fairly and quickly. It is time that the Criminal Justice System  takes  note
of these principles of Indian Constitution  and  legislate  on  the  subject
10.   In Re: State of Assam & 2 Others (PIL (Suo  Motu)  No.  26/2013)  vide
judgement dated 24.4.2013, a Division Bench of Gauhati High  Court  observed
"We have heard learned counsel for the  parties  on  the  issue  whether  in
absence of any prohibition under the scheme, interim compensation  ought  to
be paid at the earliest to the victim irrespective of stage  of  enquiry  or
trial, either on application of the victim or suo motu by the Court.
In Savitri v. Govind Singh Rawat, (1985) 4  SCC  337,  question  of  interim
maintenance under Section 125 Cr.P.C. was considered and it was observed :
"3. It is true that  there  is  no  express  provision  in  the  Code  which
authorises a Magistrate to  make  an  interim  order  directing  payment  of
maintenance pending disposal of an application  for  maintenance.  The  Code
does not also expressly prohibit the making of such an order.  The  question
is whether such a power can be implied to be vested in a  Magistrate  having
regard to the nature of the proceedings under Section 125 and other  cognate
provisions found in Chapter IX of the Code  which  is  entitled  "Order  For
Maintenance of Wives,  Children  and  Parents".  Section  125  of  the  Code
confers power on a Magistrate of the first class to direct a  person  having
sufficient means but who neglects or  refuses  to  maintain  (i)  his  wife,
unable to maintain herself, or (ii) his
legitimate or illegitimate minor child, whether married or  not,  unable  to
maintain itself, or (iii) his legitimate or illegitimate child (not being  a
married daughter) who has attained majority, where such child is, by  reason
of any physical or mental abnormality or injury unable  to  maintain  itself
or (iv) his father or mother, unable to maintain himself  or  herself,  upon
proof of such neglect or  refusal,  to  pay  a  monthly  allowance  for  the
maintenance of his wife or such child, father or mother,  as  the  case  may
be, at such monthly rate not exceeding five hundred rupees in the  whole  as
such Magistrate thinks fit. Such allowance shall be payable  from  the  date
of the order, or, if so  ordered  from  the  date  of  the  application  for
maintenance. Section 126 of  the  Code  prescribes  the  procedure  for  the
disposal of an application made under Section 125. Section 127 of  the  Code
provides for alteration of the rate of  maintenance  in  the  light  of  the
changed circumstances or an order or decree  of  a  competent  civil  court.
Section 128 of  the  Code  deals  with  the  enforcement  of  the  order  of
maintenance. It is not necessary to refer to the other details contained  in
the above-said provisions.
6. In view of the foregoing it is the duty of the  court  to  interpret  the
provisions in Chapter IX of the Code in such a  way  that  the  construction
placed on them would not defeat the very object of the legislation.  In  the
absence of any express  prohibition,  it  is  appropriate  to  construe  the
provisions in Chapter IX as conferring an implied power  on  the  Magistrate
to direct the person against whom an application is made under  Section  125
of the Code to pay  some  reasonable  sum  by  way  of  maintenance  to  the
applicant pending final disposal of the  application.  It  is  quite  common
that applications made under Section 125  of  the  Code  also  take  several
months for being disposed of finally. In order to enjoy the  fruits  of  the
proceedings under Section 125, the applicant should be alive till the  -  17
-date of the final order and that the applicant can do in a large number  of
cases only if an order for payment of interim maintenance is passed  by  the
court. Every court must be deemed to possess  by  necessary  intendment  all
such powers as are necessary to make its orders  effective.  This  principle
is embodied in the maxim "ubi aliquid conceditur, conceditur et id sine  quo
res ipsa esse non potest" (Where anything is  conceded,  there  is  conceded
also anything without which the thing  itself  cannot  exist).   [Vide  Earl
Jowitt's Dictionary of English Law, 1959 Edn., p. 1797.]  Whenever  anything
is required to be done by law and it is found impossible to  do  that  thing
unless something not authorised in express terms  be  also  done  then  that
something  else  will  be  supplied  by   necessary   intendment.   Such   a
construction though it may not always be  admissible  in  the  present  case
however would advance the object of the legislation under  consideration.  A
contrary view is likely to result in grave hardship to  the  applicant,  who
may have no means to subsist until the final order is passed.  There  is  no
room for the apprehension that the recognition of such implied  power  would
lead to the passing of interim orders in a large number of cases  where  the
liability to pay maintenance may not exist. It is quite possible  that  such
contingency may arise in a few cases but the  prejudice  caused  thereby  to
the person against whom it is made  is  minimal  as  it  can  be  set  right
quickly after hearing both the parties. The Magistrate may, however,  insist
upon an affidavit being filed by or on behalf  of  the  applicant  concerned
stating the grounds in support of  the  claim  for  interim  maintenance  to
satisfy himself that there is a prima facie case for making such  an  order.
Such an order may also be made in  an  appropriate  case  ex  parte  pending
service of notice of the application subject to any modification or even  an
order of cancellation that may be passed after the respondent is  heard.  If
a civil court can pass such  interim  orders  on  affidavits,  there  is  no
reason why a Magistrate should not rely on them for the purpose  of  issuing
directions regarding payment of interim maintenance.  The affidavit  may  be
treated as supplying prima facie proof of the case of the applicant. If  the
allegations in the application or the affidavit are not true, it  is  always
open to the person against whom such an order  is  made  to  show  that  the
order is unsustainable. Having regard to  the  nature  of  the  jurisdiction
exercised by a Magistrate under Section 125 of the Code, we  feel  that  the
said provision should  be  interpreted  as  conferring  power  by  necessary
implication on the Magistrate to pass an order directing  a  person  against
whom an application is made under it to pay  a  reasonable  sum  by  way  of
interim maintenance subject to the  other  conditions  referred  to  therein
pending final disposal of the application. In taking this view we have  also
taken note of the provisions of Section 7(2)(a) of the  Family  Courts  Act,
1984 (Act 66 of 1984) passed recently by Parliament  proposing  to  transfer
the jurisdiction exercisable by Magistrates under Section 125  of  the  Code
to the Family Courts constituted under the said Act."
Above view has been reiterated, inter alia, in Shail Kumari Devi v.  Krishan
Bhagwan Pathak, (2008)9 SCC 632.
We are of the view that  above  observations  support  the  submission  that
interim compensation ought to be paid at  the  earliest  so  that  immediate
need  of  victim  can  be  met.  For  determining  the  amount  of   interim
compensation, the Court may have regard to the facts  and  circumstances  of
individual cases including the nature of  offence,  loss  suffered  and  the
requirement of the victim. On an interim order being passed  by  the  Court,
the funds available with the District/State Legal Services  Authorities  may
be disbursed to the victims in the manner  directed  by  the  Court,  to  be
adjusted later in appropriate proceedings. If  the  funds  already  allotted
get exhausted, the State may place further funds  at  the  disposal  of  the
Legal Services Authorities."
13.   We are informed that 25 out of  29  State  Governments  have  notified
victim  compensation  schemes.   The  schemes  specify  maximum   limit   of
compensation and subject to maximum limit,  the  discretion  to  decide  the
quantum has been left with the State/District  legal  authorities.   It  has
been brought to our notice that even though almost a period  of  five  years
has expired since the enactment of Section 357A, the award  of  compensation
has not become a rule and interim compensation, which is very important,  is
not being granted by the Courts.  It has also  been  pointed  out  that  the
upper limit of compensation fixed by some of the States is  arbitrarily  low
and is not in keeping with the object of the legislation.
14.   We are of the view that it is  the  duty  of  the  Courts,  on  taking
cognizance of a criminal offence, to ascertain  whether  there  is  tangible
material to show commission of crime, whether  the  victim  is  identifiable
and whether the victim of crime needs immediate financial relief.  On  being
satisfied on an application or on its own motion, the Court ought to  direct
grant  of  interim  compensation,  subject  to  final   compensation   being
determined later.  Such duty continues at every stage  of  a  criminal  case
where compensation ought to be given and has not  been  given,  irrespective
of the application by the victim.   At the stage  of  final  hearing  it  is
obligatory on the part of the Court to advert to the provision and record  a
finding whether a case for grant of compensation has been made out  and,  if
so,  who  is  entitled  to  compensation  and  how  much.   Award  of   such
compensation can be interim.  Gravity of offence  and  need  of  victim  are
some of the guiding factors to be  kept  in  mind,  apart  from  such  other
factors as may be found relevant  in  the  facts  and  circumstances  of  an
individual case.  We are also of the view that there  is  need  to  consider
upward  revision  in  the  scale   for   compensation   and   pending   such
consideration to adopt the scale notified by the  State  of  Kerala  in  its
scheme, unless the scale awarded by any other State or  Union  Territory  is
higher.  The  States  of  Andhra  Pradesh,  Madhya  Pradesh,  Meghalaya  and
Telangana are directed  to  notify  their  schemes  within  one  month  from
receipt of a copy of this order.   We  also  direct  that  a  copy  of  this
judgment be forwarded to National Judicial  Academy  so  that  all  judicial
officers in the country can be  imparted  requisite  training  to  make  the
provision operative and meaningful.
15.   In the present case, the impugned judgment shows  that  the  de  facto
complainant, PW-2 Raman Anand, filed Criminal Revision No.1477 of  2004  for
compensation to the family members of deceased Devender Chopra and  his  son
Abhishek Chopra.  The same has been dismissed by the High Court without  any
reason.  In fact even without such petition, the High Court  ought  to  have
awarded compensation.  There is no  reason  as  to  why  the  victim  family
should not be awarded compensation under Section 357-A by the State.   Thus,
we are of the view that the State of Haryana is liable to  pay  compensation
to the family of  the  deceased.   We  determine  the  interim  compensation
payable for the two deaths to be rupees ten lacs, without prejudice  to  any
other rights or remedies of the victim family in any other proceedings.
16.   Accordingly, while dismissing the appeal, we direct that the widow  of
Devender Chopra, who is mother of deceased Abhishek Chopra representing  the
family of the victim be paid interim compensation of rupees  ten  lacs.   It
will be payable by the Haryana State Legal  Services  Authority  within  one
month from receipt of a copy of this order.  If the funds are not  available
for the purpose with the said authority, the  State  of  Haryana  will  make
such funds available within one month from the date of receipt of a copy  of
this  judgment  and  the  Legal  Services  Authority   will   disburse   the
compensation within one month thereafter.
      The appeal stands disposed of accordingly.
                                                         [ V. GOPALA GOWDA ]
NEW DELHI                    [ ADARSH KUMAR GOEL ]
November 28, 2014
[1]    (2008) 12 SCC 51
[2]    (2013) 6 SCC 770
[3]    (2014) 4 SCC 786
[4]    (2014) 5 SCC 252
[5]    (2014) 4 SCC 427
[6]    (2014) 1 ILR-CUT-202