CONSTITUTION OF CRIMINAL COURTS & OFFICES (SEC.6 – 25)
BROAD CLASSIFICATION (SEC.6 – 8)
SEC. 6 – CLASSES OF CRIMINAL COURTS.
- Every State shall have the following classes of Criminal Courts:
- Courts of Session;
- Judicial Magistrates of Ist Class;
- Judicial Magistrate of IInd Class;
- Executive Magistrates.
- A Session Judge has power because of his appointment to a particular Session Division and not by virtue of appointment as a Session Judge.
- In the case of Sheela Barse v. Union of India the Apex Court laid emphasis on speedy trial, creation of adequate number of Courts, and setting up Judicial Officers Academy for training of Judicial Officers.
SEC. 7 – TERRITORIAL DIVISIONS
- State shall be a Sessions Division/Divisions > Every Session Division shall be a District or consist of Districts.
- A sessions division shall not consist of half a district or even one and a half district, it shall consist of one district or a plurality of districts.
- The State Government may after consultation with the High Court, alter the limits or the number of such divisions or districts.
- It may also divide any district into sub-divisions.
SEC. 8 – METROPOLITAN AREAS
- Presidency Towns of Bombay, Madras and Calcutta and Ahmedabad shall be deemed to be metropolitan areas; or
- Any city or area having population greater than one million may be declared as metropolitan area by the State Government.
Alteration in the limits
- The State Government is empowered to alter, extent or reduce the limits of a metropolitan area.
- However, such alteration shall not reduce the number of population less than one million.
- Moreover, such alteration shall not affect any inquiry, trial or appeal pending before such alteration took place.
*Population means the population ascertained in the last preceding census.
COURT OF SESSIONS (SEC. 9-10)
SEC.9 – COURT OF SESSIONS
- The State Government shall establish a Court for every Sessions Divisions.
- Every Court of Sessions shall be presided by a Judge, appointed by the High Court.
- High Court may also appoint an Additional Sessions Judge or Assistant Sessions Judge to exercise the jurisdiction of a Court of Sessions.
Place of Sitting
- As the High Court may specify by way of a notification.
- In case the Sessions Court is of the opinion that for the general convenience of parties and witnesses the place of sitting shall be shifted to another place, then after obtaining the consent of the prosecution and the accused the place of sitting of the Court of Sessions may be changed.
- In case of vacancy any urgent application shall be disposed off by the following judges in the given hierarchy:
- Additional Sessions Judge or Assistant Sessions Judge
- Chief Judicial Magistrate
State of Rajasthan v. Fakir Mohd.
After rejection of a bail application by an Additional Session Judge, the bail petition does not lie before the Sessions Judge.
Bhupinder Kumar v. State of Rajasthan
The Sessions Judges do not have inherent powers which is conferred on the High Court under Section 482 of the Cr.P.C.
Ranjit Singh v. Chief Justice
The High Court may notify and direct the Sessions Judge to hold his sitting in a place other than his ordinary place of sitting.
SEC. 10 – SUBORDINATION OF ASSISTANT SESSIONS JUDGES
- All the Asst. Sessions Judge shall be subordinate to Sessions Judge.
- The Sessions Judge may make rules to distribute business among them.
- In case Session Judge is absence or in case of inability to work, the Asst. Session Judge or Add. Sessions Judge may dispose of any urgent application.
Assignment of work to Additional Judges
- The Session Judge can assign disposal of urgent application in the following cases:
- Inability to act;
- Physical incapacity
- Pressure of work
COURT OF JUDICIAL MAGISTRATE (S.11 – 15)
SEC.11 – COURTS OF JUDICIAL MAGISTRATE
- The State Government, after consultation with the High Court may provide for establishment of as many Courts of Judicial Magistrates of first and second class.
- The presiding officer shall be appointed by the High Court.
Delegation of powers to a Civil Judge
- The High Court has the power to confer powers of Judicial Magistrate (First or Second class);
- On a member of Judicial Services working as a Judge in a Civil Court.
- It can be done when it is expedient and necessary to do so.
Place of sitting
- Sessions Judge cannot change the place of sitting of a Judicial Magistrate.
- Only the State Government has the power to change the place of sitting in respect of a Judicial Magistrate.
SPECIAL COURTS *discussed in detail under section 13
- Establishment – The State Government, after consultation with the High Court may establish for any local area one or more special courts of JMIC or JMIIC.
- Jurisdiction – Particular case or a particular class of cases.
- Divesting jurisdiction of Local Courts – After the establishment of special courts, the local Court i.e. JMIC or JMIIC shall not deal with the such particular case or class of cases.
Fakhruddin v. State
Where Special Court has been created for trying economic offences, application for anticipatory bail lies before such special court and not the session court.
SEC.12 – CHIEF JUDICIAL MAGISTRATE, ADDITIONAL CHIEF JUDICIAL MAGISTRATE ETC.
Chief Judicial Magistrate
- The High Court shall appoint a JMIC as a Chief Judicial Magistrate.
Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate
- The High Court may also appoint a JMIC to be an Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate.
Sub – divisional Judicial Magistrate
- The High Court may designate a JMIC of a Sub – Division as the Sub – divisional Judicial Magistrate.
Supervision & Control
- The general supervision and control shall vest in the Chief Judicial Magistrate.
- However, the Sub – divisional Judicial Magistrate may exercise such control and power over other Judicial Magistrates as the High Court may specify by the general or specify order.
SEC. 13 – SPECIAL JUDICIAL MAGISTRATES
- The High Court on request of Central or State Government may confer powers of a Special Judicial Magistrate on the person who fulfils the qualification criteria.
- Not exceeding one year at a time, may be extended by the Order of the High Court.
- Holds a post or has held any post under the Government; and
- Possesses specified qualifications in relation to legal affairs.
- Particular case or particular class of cases.
SEC. 14 – LOCAL JURISDICTION OF JUDICIAL MAGISTRATES
- The Chief Judicial Magistrate may define the limits of local area in which the Judicial Magistrate may exercise their powers.
- The same shall be subject to the control of High Court.
SEC. 15 – SUBORDINATION OF JUDICIAL MAGISTRATES
- The Judicial Magistrates shall be subordinate to Chief Judicial Magistrate and subject to general control of Sessions Judge.
- The Chief Judicial Magistrate shall be subordinate to the Session Judge.
- The Chief Judicial Magistrate may make rules as to distribution of business amongst the Judicial Magistrate subordinate to him.
COURTS OF METROPOLITAN MAGISTRATE (S.16 – 19)
SEC. 16 – COURTS OF METROPOLITAN MAGISTRATE
- Courts of Metropolitan Magistrate shall be established in every Metropolitan area (as defined u/s. 8)
- Presiding Officer of the Court shall be appointed by the High Court.
- The jurisdiction and powers of the metropolitan magistrate shall extent to the limits of the metropolitan area.
SEC. 17 – CHIEF METROPOLITAN MAGISTRATE & ADDITIONAL CHIEF METROPOLITAN MAGISTRATE
- The High Court shall appoint a metropolitan magistrate to be the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate.
SEC. 18 – SPECIAL METROPOLITAN MAGISTRATE
- The High Court, on request of the State or Central Government may appoint a special metropolitan magistrate to deal with a particular case or particular class of cases.
Qualifications of presiding officer
- The person shall possess such qualification or experience in relation to legal affairs, as the High Court may specify.
Term of Office
- The term of office of such magistrate shall be one year at a time.
- The same may be extended by the High Court.
- A special metropolitan magistrate has the same powers as a metropolitan magistrate and the Government cannot curtail his powers by an order.
Kadra Pahadiya v. State of Bihar
S.13 and S.18 of the Cr.P.C. do not exclude appointment of members of the subordinate judiciary as Special Judicial Magistrates/Special Metropolitan Magistrate.
EXECUTIVE MAGISTRATE (SEC. 20 – 23)
SEC. 20 – EXECUTIVE MAGISTRATE
Five classes of Executive Magistrate
- District Magistrate;
- Additional District Magistrate;
- Sub-Divisional Magistrate;
- Executive Magistrate;
- Special Executive Magistrate
- The State Government may appoint as many Executive Magistrates as it deems necessary.
- One of such Executive Magistrates shall be appointed as the District Magistrate.
- The State Government may appoint Additional District Magistrate.
Conferring powers on Commissioner of Police
- The State Government may confer powers of the Executive Magistrate to the Commissioner of Police in relation to a metropolitan area.
- Once the Commissioner of Police is appointed as Executive Magistrate, he can be appointed as an Additional District Magistrate, who shall have the powers of a District Magistrate.
State of Karnataka v. Praveen Bhai Thogadia
An Executive Magistrate appointed as Additional District Magistrate can pass orders under S.144 of Cr.P.C.
SEC. 21 – SPECIAL EXECUTIVE MAGISTRATE
- The Special Executive Magistrates are appointed by the State Government for a term it may deem fit.
- The jurisdiction of the Special Executive Magistrate shall extend over:
- a particular area; or
- for the performance of particular functions.
SEC. 22 – LOCAL JURISDICTION OF EXECUTIVE MAGISTRATES
- The District Magistrate may define the limits of jurisdiction within which the executive magistrate may exercise their power.
- The same power is subject to the general control of the State Government.
SEC. 23 – SUBORDINATION OF EXECUTIVE MAGISTRATES
- All Executive Magistrates (except Additional Executive Magistrate) shall be subordinate to the District Magistrate.
- Every Executive Magistrate exercising power in the Sub-division shall be subordinate to the Sub-divisional Magistrate.