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Transfer of challan triable by Special Court constituted U/S.11 of the NIA Act to Special Courts constituted under other sections of Act is not allowed: High Court of Jammu And Kashmir

Scheduled offense investigated by the NIA can be tried only by a Special Court that has been constituted by the Central Government under Section 11 of the Act. Only one Special Court in terms of Section 11 of the NIA Act has been constituted for whole of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and there is no other Special Court, constituted by the Central Government under Section 11 of the Act, which is located within the jurisdiction of this High Court.This was held in Davinder Singh V. Union of India and others.[Trp (Crl) No. 11/2020] in the High Court of Jammu And Kashmir by single bench consisting of JUSTICE SANJAY DHAR.

Facts are that NIA has submitted a challan against the petitioner and other accused U/S.173 (2) of Cr. P. C alleging commission of offenses under IPC, UAPA, Arms Act and Explosive Substances, Act before the Court of Special Judge Jammu. The petitioner U/S.407 of CrPC seeking transfer of from the Special Court Jammu to the Special Court in Srinagar for trial.

The counsel for petitioner contended that most of the witnesses whose statements are yet to be recorded in trial Court pertain to Kashmir division and it would be convenient to hold the trial at Srinagar. It is further contended that the petitioner is a resident of Indra Nagar, Srinagar he has no relation to Jammu where the trial is to be conducted.

The counsel for respondent contended that there is no ground for transfer of the case from Jammu to Srinagar. There is only one Special Court in whole of the Union Territory, which has been designated as a Special Court in terms of S.11 of the NIA Act as such the challan which is subject matter of the instant petition cannot be tried by any other Court in Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.

The court made reference to Section 11 of the NIA Act which empowers the Central Government to constitute one or more Special Courts for trial of scheduled offenses. Section 13 of the same Act provides for jurisdiction of the Special Court. The Court interpreted of law under section 11, 13 and 22 of the  NIA act and observed that, “A case pertaining to scheduled offense investigated by the NIA can be tried only by a Special Court that has been constituted by the Central Government under Section 11 of the Act. Transfer of such a case can be made to only to any other Special Court constituted by the Central Government under Section 11 of the Act and not to any other Special Court constituted under any other provision of the Act.”

Considering the law and the facts of the case the court held that, the Special Court constituted at Srinagar lacked inherent jurisdiction to try the cases pertaining to offenses under scheduled enactments which have been investigated by the National Investigating Agency. Thus the challan cannot be tried by the Special Court at Srinagar, dismissing the petition.

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