JAMMU, July 11: In a petition filed by Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) raising question whether by virtue of the Government Notification dated 24th May, 1978, a Sessions Judge at Jammu is empowered to try a case investigated by the Delhi Special Police Establishment relating to a district other than district Jammu, High Court today issued notices to Registrar General, Secretary Department of law and others.
After hearing Advocate Monika Kohli for the CBI, Justice Janak Raj Kotwal observed that having regard to the importance of the question so involved, the Law Department, through its Administrative Secretary and the High Court through Registrar General are impleaded as party respondents and issued notice for response.
In the meanwhile, High Court stayed the trial before the Sessions Judge at Jammu.
In the petition, it has been submitted that as per Schedule-1 of J&K CrPC the offence registered under Section 467 RPC is exclusively triable by the Court of Sessions. The Chief Judicial Magistrate, Jammu after taking into consideration Schedule 1 of CrPC committed the case to the Court of Principal Sessions Judge, Jammu vide its order dated 23-8-2016.
The Principal Sessions Judge, Jammu assigned the same to the court of Additional Sessions Judge, Jammu, which vide its order dated 18-4-2017 set aside the committal order dated 23-8-2016 passed by Chief Judicial Magistrate, Jammu.
“No part of crime even remotely alleged to have taken place within the jurisdiction of Session Division Jammu, therefore, this court lacks the territorial Jurisdiction to try the offence”, the Additional Sessions Judge Jammu observed in the order and returned the challan alongwith case property to the Chief Judicial Magistrate with the direction to pass an appropriate order in accordance with law.
Thereafter, the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Jammu after taking into consideration the impugned order dated 18-04-2017 erringly on 21-12-2017 ordered: “Even if the occurrence is alleged to have been taken place within the territorial jurisdiction of District Udhampur, even then the CJM, Jammu is having the jurisdiction being Special Magistrate for trial of the cases investigated by the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946”.
CBI aggrieved of the order dated 18-4-2017 passed by the Additional Sessions Judge, Jammu and order dated 21-12-2017 passed by the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Jammu challenged the same on the grounds that Chief Judicial Magistrate, Jammu vide order dated 21-12-2017 has reviewed his own order dated 23-08-2016 which is against the law as Chief Judicial Magistrate/ Special Magistrate, CBI Jammu has no power to review his own earlier order.
It was further submitted that CJM Jammu and Additional Sessions Judge Jammu while passing orders dated 21-12-2017 and 18-04-2017 erred in appreciating the arguments advanced by the Prosecutor of CBI and erroneously passed the orders which are against the law.
It was further submitted that vide notification dated 24-05-1978 u/s 14 (1) Chief Judicial Magistrate, Jammu has been entrusted with the jurisdiction to try cases investigated under the Delhi Special Police Establishment (DSPE) Act 1946 where the occurrence has taken place outside the ordinary territorial jurisdiction of Chief Judicial Magistrate, Jammu.
The notification u/s 14 of J&K Criminal Procedure Code was to avoid the multiplicity of jurisdiction. So that all the cases investigated by CBI under the DSPE Act are to be tried at one place. However, the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Jammu has given power through the said notification for trying the cases investigated by CBI, for the offence committed under RPC, in all the districts of Jammu.