Special Court Can Take Cognizance Of An Offence Without Committal If The Special Act Empowers It To Do So: SC [Read Judgment]

Special Court Can Take Cognizance Of An Offence Without Committal If The Special Act Empowers It To Do So: SC [Read Judgment]

When there is express provision in the Special Act empowering the Special Court to take cognizance of an offence without the accused being committed, it cannot be said that taking cognizance of offence by Special Court is in violation of Section 193 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, the Supreme Court has held on Tuesday.

In this case [A.M.C.S. Swamy, ADE/DPE/Hyd (Central) vs. Mehdi Agah Karbalai], the High Court had quashed the proceedings under Electricity Act on the ground that the Special Court took cognizance directly without an order of committal as contemplated under Section 193 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.

As per Section 193 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, no Court of Session shall take cognizance of any offence as a Court of original jurisdiction unless the case has been committed to it by a Magistrate except as otherwise expressly provided by the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, or any other law for the time being in force.

Taking note of Section 151 of the Electricity Act, the bench comprising Justice R. Banumathi and Justice R. Subhash Reddy observed:

"Section 151 of the Electricity Act, 2003 is altogether a new provision. Section 151 of the Act provides that no court shall take cognizance of an offence punishable under the Act except upon a complaint in writing made by the Appropriate Government or Appropriate Commission or any of their officer authorised by them or a Chief Electrical Inspector or an Electrical Inspector or licensee or the generating company, as the case may be, for this purpose. Second proviso to Section 151 of the Electricity Act, 2003, specially empowers the Special Court constituted under Section 153 of the Electricity Act, 2003, to take cognizance of an offence without the accused being committed. In view of the specific provision under Section 151 of the Electricity Act, 2003, we are of the view that Special Court is empowered to take cognizance without there being an order of committal as contemplated under Section 193 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973. When there is express provision in the Special Act empowering the Special Court to take cognizance of an offence without the accused being committed, it cannot be said that taking cognizance of offence by Special Court is in violation of Section 193 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973."

The bench then set aside the High Court order and restored the Trial court proceedings.

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