The Criminal Procedure Code of 1973 establishes a comprehensive framework for the transfer of criminal cases, delineating six types of transfers to ensure a fair and impartial trial. This legal apparatus, encompassing Sections 406 to 412, plays a pivotal role in addressing issues such as jurisdictional conflicts, local biases, and the convenience of parties and witnesses.
SUPREME COURT’S DISCRETIONARY POWER (SECTION 406)
Section 406 confers discretionary power upon the Supreme Court to transfer cases and appeals. This authority extends from transferring cases between states to cases pending before subordinate courts. Applicants, including those fearing injustice or unfair treatment, can file transfer requests. The Supreme Court exercises its power with a commitment to upholding principles of fair and natural justice. Notably, this discretionary power is limited; the court cannot transfer pending investigations solely to file an FIR.
HIGH COURT’S JURISDICTION AND DISCRETION (SECTION 407)
Section 407 empowers High Courts to transfer cases and appeals under specific circumstances. Grounds for transfer include ensuring a fair trial, addressing extraordinary difficulties, complying with CrPC provisions, and enhancing the general convenience of parties and witnesses. The High Court can issue diverse orders, including directing prosecution, transferring cases between criminal courts, placing cases before the Sessions Court for trial, or adjudicating cases itself. The High Court exercises this power based on reports from lower courts, applications by interested parties, or its own discretion. However, the court must refrain from entertaining applications previously rejected by another Sessions Court in a different Sessions Division.
SESSIONS JUDGE’S AUTHORITY (SECTION 408)
Section 408 empowers Sessions Judges to transfer cases and appeals within their Sessions Division. This authority serves the ends of justice and can be exercised at the Sessions Judge’s discretion or based on reports or applications from lower courts. Provisions under Section 407 also apply to Sessions Judges when making transfer orders.
WITHDRAWAL BY SESSIONS JUDGE (SECTION 409)
Sessions Judges possess the authority to withdraw or transfer cases and appeals from Assistant Sessions Judges or Chief Judicial Magistrates. However, in the case of Additional Sessions Judges, this is contingent upon the trial not having commenced. Sessions Judges can choose to try the case themselves or transfer it to another court in accordance with the provisions of the Code.
WITHDRAWAL FROM JUDICIAL MAGISTRATES (SECTION 410)
Chief Judicial Magistrates are empowered to withdraw or recall pending cases before any Magistrate under their authority. Subsequently, they can refer these cases to another competent Magistrate for trial. Similarly, Judicial Magistrates can withdraw and take cognizance of cases before other Magistrates, as outlined in Section 192(2) of the CrPC, 1973.
WITHDRAWAL BY EXECUTIVE MAGISTRATES (SECTION 411)
Section 411 empowers Executive Magistrates to withdraw or recall pending cases before a Subordinate Magistrate. This flexibility allows Executive Magistrates to dispose of proceedings in their court or transfer the case to another Subordinate Magistrate competent to handle it, based on the situation’s circumstances and requirements.
RECORDING OF REASONS (SECTION 412)
Section 412 mandates the recording of reasons for any transfer order made under Sections 408, 409, 410, or 411. This requirement ensures that transfer decisions are not arbitrary but founded on fair, just, and compelling reasons.
In conclusion, the Transfer Of Criminal Cases under the CrPC is a vital mechanism designed to safeguard the principles of justice, foster fair trials, and address various complexities inherent in legal proceedings. The Supreme Court, High Courts, Sessions Judges, Chief Judicial Magistrates, and Executive Magistrates collectively wield the authority to effect transfers based on specific circumstances. By recording the reasons for transfers, transparency is maintained, and the process is executed in a just and fair manner. Ultimately, the CrPC’s provisions aim to streamline the judicial process, providing an equitable forum for dispute resolution and upholding justice for all parties involved.
2-https://m.economictimes.com/magazines/panache/court-says-no-material-to-show-magistrate-had-biases-against-kangana-ranaut-on-transfer-plea-of-javed-akhtars-defamation-case/amp_articleshow/90316817.cms -THE ECONOMIC TIMES