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Special Court Empowered To Try General IPC Offences Arising Out Of Case Probed By NIA: Karnataka High Court

Mustafa Plumber
12 Sep 2022 8:15 AM GMT
Special Court Empowered To Try General IPC Offences Arising Out Of Case Probed By NIA: Karnataka High Court
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The Karnataka High Court has held that the Special NIA Court is empowered to conduct trial for general offences punishable under Indian Penal Code if the FIR emanates from the very same transaction being probed by the NIA. A single judge bench of Justice M. Nagaprasanna dismissed the petition filed by Sayyed Sohel Torvi an accused in the Bengaluru riots case of 2020, questioning the...

The Karnataka High Court has held that the Special NIA Court is empowered to conduct trial for general offences punishable under Indian Penal Code if the FIR emanates from the very same transaction being probed by the NIA.

A single judge bench of Justice M. Nagaprasanna dismissed the petition filed by Sayyed Sohel Torvi an accused in the Bengaluru riots case of 2020, questioning the order of the special court dated September 30, 2021 by which his application made under section 20 r/w Section 8 of the NIA Act for transfer of his case to the Court having jurisdiction to try IPC offences was rejected.

The accused is charged for offences punishable under sections 120(B), 143, 145, 147 and 188 read with 34 and 149 of IPC.

He argued that the Special Court is created to hear offences under the Act, it can try only offences scheduled thereto. What is alleged against the petitioner is not a scheduled offence under the UAPA or the scheduled offence under the Act and therefore, the case ought to have been transferred to the concerned Court having jurisdiction to try the IPC offences notwithstanding the fact that they arose out of the very same incident.

NIA counsel argued that if a case arising out a particular incident gets ingredients that would become offences under two enactments, one particular Court is empowered to try both those 6 offences. In the case at hand, the incidents that have happened on 11-08-2020 gave raise to two sets of offences against all the accused – one under the UAPA and the other under the IPC. Therefore, the NIA Court in terms of Sections 14 and 20 of the Act r/w Section 223 of the CrPC is empowered to try those offences.

Findings:

The bench referred to Section 8 of the NIA act which directs that if an offence is connected with the scheduled offence appended to the Act, such offence can be investigated by the NIA. It said,

"Therefore, the offence that is alleged should have been committed by the accused and the other offence i.e., the general offence should be in connection with the alleged offence under the Act."

Further it referred to Section 14(1) which directs that the Special Court may also try any other offence with which the accused under the IPC is charged at the same trial if the offence is connected with other offences that the accused is charged with.

Then relying on section 223 of the Criminal Procedure Code wherein if a particular offence concerns two or more people which arise out of the same transaction, they can be tried together, the bench said,

"It is not in dispute that the petitioner is not charged with Section 18 of the UAPA which deals with punishment for conspiracy but is charged under Section 120B read with Sections 143, 145 and 147, 188 and 34 of the IPC. Therefore, all the offences against the petitioner are the ones punishable under the IPC. It is no doubt true that the NIA Court can try only the offences that are appended to its schedule."

Referring to judgments of the Supreme Court the bench said,

"What would unmistakably emerge is that Section 223 of the CrPC which was Section 239(d) of the old Code allows joinder of persons at a criminal trial and Section 235(1) allows joinder of charges subject to the conditions mentioned in the two provisions. In the case at hand, it is not in dispute that the petitioner is part of the mob that had indulged in acts which become punishable under the IPC and UAPA."

Further it said,

"Therefore, under Section 223 of the CrPC, the two offences would become triable by the NIA Court. Section 14 of the Act empowers the Court to try any other offence with which the accused may, under the Code be charged, at the same trial, if the offence is connected with such other offence. If, in the course of any trial under the Act of any offence, it is found that the accused person has committed any other offence under the Act or any other law the Special Court may convict such person of such other offence and pass any sentence or award punishment authorised by the Act."

Following which it held, "On a conjoint reading of Section 14 of the Act, Section 223 of the CrPC and the judgments rendered by the Apex Court, what would unmistakably emerge is that the petitioner can also be tried by the NIA Court, notwithstanding the fact that the offences alleged against the petitioner are the ones under the Code (IPC), in the light of the fact that they arose out of the very same transaction."

Case Title: SAYYED SOHEL TORVI v. NATIONAL INVESTIGATING AGENCY

Case No: WRIT PETITION No.19019 of 2021

Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Kar) 358

Date of Order: 03RD DAY OF SEPTEMBER, 2022

Appearance: Advocate MOHAMMED TAHIR for petitioner; Special PP P.PRASANNA KUMAR, for respondent

Click Here To Read/Download Order


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