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. This was seen in the case of SAYYED SOHEL TORVI v. NATIONAL INVESTIGATING AGENCY(WRIT PETITION No.19019 of 202) and the judgement was presided over by the Coram of THE HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE M. NAGAPRASANNA.
Facts of the case-
In the present case the accused was 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.
On the other hand 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 offence 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 Sections 14 and 20 of the Act r/w Section 223 of the CrPC is empowered to try those offences.
The 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. 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.”
Following this the bench 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.”
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Judgement reviewed by Alaina Fatima.