- The basic rule of this chapter is contained under section 177, which provides that every offence shall be tried by the Court in whose local jurisdiction it takes place.
- The subsequent section i.e., Ss. 178 – 188 enlarge the ambit of the ‘local jurisdiction’.
- It is intended to minimize the inconvenience that might be caused by strict adherence to the basic rule contained u/s. 177.
- It is further intended to facilitate the prosecution of offenders by providing a wider choice of Courts for initiating the inquiry or trial.
- It is to be noted that an accused has no vested right to be tried by a particular Court or procedure.
Scope and Application
- The basic rule regarding jurisdiction of Courts is contained u/s. 177.
- Crimes are in their nature local; and the jurisdiction of Criminal Courts is local.
- As a general rule, A Magistrate in whose local jurisdiction the offence has taken place is authorized to take cognizance and either try the case or commit it to the Court of Sessions.
- The territorial jurisdiction of the police station for the purpose of investigation is co-extensive with the jurisdiction of the Court to try the offence…
Effect of change in Territorial Jurisdiction of the Court
- If a Court takes cognizance of an offence by resorting to power u/s. 177, thereafter the jurisdiction of such Court changes, a question arises, whether the Court will lose the power to try such case, from thereon.
- It has been held that the change in jurisdiction of the Court to try such offence shall remain unaffected by any subsequent change in the territorial jurisdiction of the Court.
Sec. 178 – Place of inquiry or trial
- 178 provides the procedure to determine the jurisdiction when there is a conflict between different areas, and there might be a doubt as to which Magistrate has the jurisdiction to try the case.
- It provides for the following four contingencies
- When it is uncertain in which of several areas an offence is committed;
- Where an offence is committed partly in one local area and partly in another;
- The offence is a continuing one, and continues to be committed in more local areas than one;
- Where an offence consists of several acts done in different local areas.
Sec. 179 – Offence triable where act is done or consequence ensues
- Under this section the following two Courts would have the jurisdiction to try the case:
- The Court within whose local limits the act amounting to the offence has been done
- The Court within whose local limits the consequences of such act have ensued.
- Therefore Sec. 179 contemplates two Courts who have jurisdiction, however the trial is permitted to take place only in one of them.
- The act contemplated under this section becomes an offence due to a cumulative effect of the things done and the consequence which follows.
Sec. 180 – place of trial where act is offence by reason of relation to other offence
- this section applies to cases where the offence which committed, qualifies/amounts to be an offence because of another offence taking place.
- The appropriate example of such a case would be an ‘offence of abetment’ and ‘commission of the offence that is abetted’.
- A charge of abetment may be inquired into or tried:
- Either by the Court within whose local jurisdiction the abetment was committed; or
- By the Court within whose local jurisdiction the offence abetted, was committed.
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Written by: Arvind Yadav (Advocate)