The principle underlying this section is embodied in the saying: “No person can be a Judge in his own cause” (Nemo judex in causa sua or Nemo debet esse judex in propria causa).

Question: When is a Judge or Magistrate disqualified from trying a case? Find the answer only on Legal Bites. [When is a Judge or Magistrate disqualified from trying a case?] Answer A judge is obliged to disqualify him or herself in a case where he or she is biased and to hear all cases where he or she is not biased. Section 479 in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 provides the case in which Judge or Magistrate is personally interested. According to the section “No Judge...

Question: When is a Judge or Magistrate disqualified from trying a case?

Find the answer only on Legal Bites. [When is a Judge or Magistrate disqualified from trying a case?]

Answer

A judge is obliged to disqualify him or herself in a case where he or she is biased and to hear all cases where he or she is not biased. Section 479 in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 provides the case in which Judge or Magistrate is personally interested. According to the section

“No Judge or Magistrate shall, except with the permission of the Court to which an appeal lies from his Court, try or commit for trial any case to or in which he is a party, or personally interested, and no Judge or Magistrate shall hear an appeal from any judgment or order passed or made by himself.

Explanation – A Judge or Magistrate shall not be deemed to be a party to, or personally interested in, any case by reason only that he is concerned therein in a public capacity, or by reason only that he has viewed the place in which an offence is alleged to have been committed, or any other place in which any other transaction material to the case is alleged to have occurred, and made an inquiry in connection with the case.”

The principle underlying this section is embodied in the saying: “No person can be a Judge in his own cause” (Nemo judex in causa sua or Nemo debet esse judex in propria causa).

The disqualification consists in being either:

  • a party to; or
  • personally interested in, a case, but it can be cured by obtaining beforehand permission of the superior Court.

The thing prohibited is either holding a trial or hearing an appeal from his own judgment or order. It is one of the oldest and plainest rules of justice and of common sense that no man shall sit as a Judge in a case in which he has a substantial interest.

No Judge can act in any matter in which he has any pecuniary interest, nor where he has an interest, though not a pecuniary one, sufficient to create a real bias. The reason for the rule is, that a person who, by his interest, pecuniary or personal, is likely to have a bias in the matter of the prosecution, ought not to sit as a Judge.

Further, no Judge or Magistrate, except a High Court Judge, can try an offence referred to in section 195, when it is committed (1) before himself, or (2) in contempt of his authority, or (3) is brought under his notice as such Judge or Magistrate in the course of a judicial proceeding. The only exceptions are offences provided for in sections 345 and 349 (section 352).

Under the Explanation, a Magistrate or a Judge who is merely concerned with a case by reason of his discharging some other public function or being concerned with it in some public capacity is not on that ground alone to be deemed to be personally interested. The Explanation does not apply when the Magistrate himself has directed the prosecution.

The Supreme Court has held in Rameshwar Bhartia v. State of Assam, (1953) SCR 126, that merely by giving sanction for prosecution, the Magistrate does not become personally interested in the case, and the trial and conviction are not illegal.

Important Mains/Long Questions for Judiciary, APO & University Exams

Updated On 2023-01-08T22:41:03+05:30
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