In order that proceedings in the wrong place may be set aside, it must be shown that the trial had occasioned a failure of justice.

Question: The trial of an offence is held in the wrong district. State, with reasons, whether the trial is vitiated in this case or not. [WBJS. 1997] Find the answer only on Legal Bites. [The trial of an offence is held in the wrong district. State, with reasons, whether the trial is vitiated in this case or not.] Answer At the outset, it may be mentioned that the jurisdiction of a criminal court is of two kinds. One has reference to the power of the court to try particular kinds...

Question: The trial of an offence is held in the wrong district. State, with reasons, whether the trial is vitiated in this case or not. [WBJS. 1997]

Find the answer only on Legal Bites. [The trial of an offence is held in the wrong district. State, with reasons, whether the trial is vitiated in this case or not.]

Answer

At the outset, it may be mentioned that the jurisdiction of a criminal court is of two kinds. One has reference to the power of the court to try particular kinds of offences. This jurisdiction goes to the root of the matter, and if a court which is not empowered to try a particular offence does try that offence, the entire trial shall be void. Section 461, which deals with irregularities which vitiate proceedings, provides by clause (1) that if any Magistrate not empowered by law on this behalf tries an offender, his proceedings shall be void.

The other type of jurisdiction is what is called territorial or local jurisdiction, which is determined according to the rules contained in Sections 177 to 188 of the Code. Section 462 provides for the consequences of the failure to follow these rules. Section 462 is as follows:

“No finding, sentence or order of any Criminal Court shall be set aside proceedings in wrong merely on the ground that the inquiry, trial or other proceedings in the place of which it was arrived at or passed, took place in a wrong sessions division, district, sub-division or other local area, unless it appears that such error has in fact occasioned a failure of justice.”

It is obvious that the same importance which is attached under the Code to the powers of criminal courts is not attached by it to the territorial or local jurisdiction of the courts. The reason for such difference between the effect of a case being tried by a court not competent to try the offence and the effect of a trial by a court which is competent to try the offence but which has no territorial jurisdiction over the areas where the offence was committed is understandable.

The power to try offences is conferred by the legislature on all courts according to its view with respect to the capability and responsibility of those courts. The higher the capability and sense of responsibility, the larger is the jurisdiction vested in the court over the various offences. On the other hand, territorial jurisdiction is provided just for the purpose of convenience, keeping in mind the administrative point of view with respect to the work of each court and the convenience of the parties and the witnesses who have to appear before the court.

Section 462 would apply to only those cases where the trial has proceeded to its termination. The court is satisfied that no failure of justice has been occasioned by the trial having taken place in the wrong court. [Purushottamdas Dalmia v. State of West Bengal. AIR 1961 SC 1589]

In order that proceedings in the wrong place may be set aside, it must be shown that the trial had occasioned a failure of justice. A failure of justice does not simply mean an erroneous decision. It means the procedure has not been followed, which would give the person affected a fair opportunity to defend himself.


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

Updated On 2023-01-08T20:00:17+05:30
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