In a case where the offence is charged in both POCSO and SCST Act, The jurisdiction to try the offence lie with POCSO : Bombay HC

TITLE : Aniket v State of Maharashtra

CORAM : Hon’ble justice Mangesh S Patil, Hon’ble Justice Smt. Vibha Kankanwadi and Hon’ble Justice R.G Avachatt

DATE :  19th December, 2023

CITATION : Criminal Application no 2173 of 2023


A crime was registered against Aniket, petitioner for offences punishable under Section 363, 376 and 376(3) of IPC and Sections 3 and 4 of the POCSO Act. Additionally, Section 3 of the SCST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 came to be invoked. He appeared in front of Section 483 of CrPC was turned down by sessions judge. He appealed in front of this court under the same section. The mother of the victim raised objections as to maintainability of the said application. According to her, in view of Section 14-A(2) of the S.C & ST act, remedy of appeal under special court is already provided and thus is not maintainable.


Section 14-A(2) states that of the SCST Act states that :

Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (3) of section 378 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974), an appeal shall lie to the High Court against an order of the Special Court or the Exclusive Special Court granting or refusing bail.

Section 483 of CrPC states that :

  1. Duty of High Court to exercise continuous superintendence over Courts of Judicial Magistrates. Every High Court shall so exercise its superintendence over the Courts of Judicial Magistrates subordinate to it as to ensure that there is an expeditious and proper disposal of cases by such Magistrates.

Section 42-A of the POCSO Act states that If there is any law or act in derogation with POCSO Act, it will subside as POCSO Act has overriding effect on the provisions of any such law to the extent of inconsistency.

Section 28(2) While trying an offence under this Act, a Special Court shall also try an offence {other than the offence referred to in sub-section (j), with which the accused may, under the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, be charged at the same trial.


Whether interpretation that Section 42-A of POCSO Act shall prevail over Section 14-A of Atrocities Act, in the matter of grant or refusal of bail, would result into abrogating right of victim, to prefer an appeal under Section 14-A of Atrocities Act against grant of bail to accused ?


The court held that Special court constituted under POCSO Act has jurisdiction to try offences under any other Act including SCST Act. The reverse is not the same, by virtue of Section 42-A of POCSO Act as SCST act being inconsistent with Section 28(2) of the POCSO Act.

The court stated that :

“We fail to understand as to why the provision, “Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (3) of Section 378 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973” has been prefixed to the further provision of sub-section (2) of Section 14-A.”

In a case wherein the accused is charged with offences under both, S.C. & S.T. Act and POCSO Act, the jurisdiction to try the said offence would exclusively be with a Special Court constituted under Section 28 of the POCSO Act.

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Written by- Sanjana Ravichandran

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