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There are various functionaries under the Code of Criminal Procedure,1973 who help to regulate the various provisions of the code. The functionaries are essential for the proper functioning of the code. The various functionaries mentioned under the code are the Police, Public Prosecutors, Assistant Public Prosecutors, Additional Prosecutors, Prison authorities and the Defence counsel. The powers and functions of the functionaries are clearly mentioned in the code.
Hierarchy of court (section 6-23)
The setup of criminal courts in India is of 2 types i.e. District and Metropolitan areas.
The setup of criminal courts in district areas is at 3 levels: –
At the lower level of the judiciary the courts are called courts of Judicial Magistrate which are of 3 types: –
At the middle level of the judiciary, the courts at the sessions level include: –
At the higher level of the judiciary, there are the High Court and Supreme Court.
The courts at the session’s level are referred to as metropolitan courts and they are of 2 types: – Metropolitan magistrate courts and Special Metropolitan Magistrate
Chief Judicial Magistrate/Chief Metropolitan Magistrate exercises supervisory authority or administrative authority of all the magistrates in sessions/division or metropolitan areas.
Classes of criminal courts
Section 6 of the Cr.P.C provides for the classes of criminal courts in every State apart from the High Courts and the Supreme Court, namely –
Hierarchy of Criminal Courts
The hierarchy of the Criminal Courts in India can be understood through the following chart:
The Supreme Court of India – The Supreme Court Of India being the apex court of India was established under Article 124 of the Constitution of India.
The High Courts – Article 141 of the Constitution Of India governs the High Courts and the High Courts are bound by the judgment of the Apex Court.
Lower Courts of India have been classified as follows:
Separation of Judiciary from the Executive
The Code under Section 3(4) separates the judiciary from the executive and states that, subject to the provisions of the Code:
Court of Session
Section 9 of the Cr.PC empowers the State Government to establish the Sessions Court and such court would be presided over by a Judge appointed by the High Court. The Additional and Assistant Sessions Judges are also appointed by the High Court to exercise jurisdiction in the Court of Session. The Sessions Court ordinarily sits at such place or places as ordered by the High Court, but if in a case, the Court of Sessions decides to cater to the general convenience of the parties and witnesses, then, it may, with the consent of the prosecution and the accused preside its sittings at any other place. As per Section 10 of the Cr.P.C, the assistant sessions judges are answerable to the sessions judge.
Court of Judicial Magistrate
Section 11 of the Cr.P.C states that in every district (not being a metropolitan area), the State Government after consultation with the High Court has the power to establish courts of Judicial Magistrates of the first and second classes. If the High Court is of the opinion that it is necessary to confer the powers of a Judicial Magistrate of the first or second class on any member of the Judicial Service functioning as a Judge in a civil court, then the High Court shall do the same.
Chief Judicial Magistrate and Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate
As per Section 12 of the Code in every district other than metropolitan areas, Judicial Magistrate of the first class shall be appointed as the Chief Judicial Magistrate. The High Court is also empowered to designate a Judicial Magistrate of First Class as Additional CJM and by such designation, the Magistrate shall be empowered to exercise all or any of the powers of a Chief Judicial Magistrate.
Sub-Divisional Judicial Magistrate
In a sub-division, the judicial magistrate of the first class may be designated as the Sub-divisional Judicial Magistrate. Such magistrate shall be subordinate to the Chief Judicial Magistrate and will thus work under its control. Further, the Sub-divisional Judicial Magistrate shall control and supervise the work of the Judicial Magistrates (except the Additional CJM) in that subdivision.
Special Judicial Magistrates
By Section 13 the High Court is empowered to confer upon any person who holds or has held any post under the Government, the powers conferred or conferred by or under this Code on a Judicial Magistrate of first or second class. Such Magistrates shall be called Special Judicial Magistrate and shall be appointed for a term not exceeding one year at a time. In relation to any metropolitan area outside the local jurisdiction of a Special Judicial Magistrate, he may be empowered by the High Court to exercise the powers of a Metropolitan Magistrate.
Local Jurisdiction of Judicial Magistrate
According to Section 14, the Chief Judicial Magistrate shall define the local limits of the areas within which the Magistrates appointed under Section 11 or under Section 13 may exercise all or any of the powers with which they may be vested under this Code. The Special Judicial Magistrate may hold its sitting at any place within the local area for which it is established.
The jurisdiction in case of Juveniles (Section 27)– This section directs that a juvenile (person below the age of 16) can not be given a death penalty or a punishment of imprisonment for life. Chief Judicial Magistrate or any other Court specially empowered under the Children Act, 1960 (60 of 1960) tries such type of cases.
Subordination of judicial magistrate
Section 15(1) provides that a Sessions Judge shall be superior to the Chief Judicial Magistrate and the Chief Judicial Magistrate shall be superior to the other Judicial Magistrate. This can be clearly understood by the above-mentioned diagram explaining the hierarchy of courts.
Courts of Metropolitan Magistrate
They are established in every metropolitan area. The presiding officers shall be appointed by the High Court. The jurisdiction and powers of such Metropolitan Magistrates shall extend throughout the metropolitan area. The High Court shall appoint Metropolitan Magistrate as the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate.
Special metropolitan magistrates
The High Court may confer upon Special Metropolitan Magistrates the powers which a Metropolitan Magistrate can exercise in respect to particular cases or particular classes of cases. Such Special Metropolitan Magistrates shall be appointed for such term, not exceeding one year at a time.
The Special Metropolitan Magistrate may be empowered by the High Court or the State Government to exercise the powers of a Judicial Magistrate of the first class in any area outside the metropolitan area.
Subordination of Metropolitan Magistrate
Section 19 of the Code provides that the Sessions Judge shall be superior to the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate and Chief Metropolitan Magistrate and other Metropolitan Magistrates shall be subordinate to the CMM.
The Chief Metropolitan Magistrate has the power to give special orders or make rules regarding the distribution of business among the Metropolitan Magistrates and allocation of business to an Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate.
As per Section 20, in every district and in every metropolitan area, Executive Magistrates shall be appointed by the State Government and one of them shall be appointed as the District Magistrate. An Executive Magistrate shall be appointed as an Additional District Magistrate and such Magistrate shall have such powers of a District Magistrate under the Code.
As executive magistrates are supposed to execute administrative functions they were neither given power to try accused nor pass verdicts. They are mainly concerned with administrative functions. The executive magistrates have the power to determine the amount of bail according to the provisions of the warrant issued against the accused, pass orders restraining people from committing a particular act or preventing persons from entering an area (Section 144 Cr.P.C), they are the authority to whom people are taken to when they are arrested outside the local jurisdiction, the executive magistrates are the only one with the power to disperse a crowd or an unlawful assembly, further, they are authorized to use force while doing the same according to the gravity and requirements of the situation. Executive Magistrates are assisted by the police while executing their functions.
As per Section 21, Special Executive Magistrates shall be appointed by the State Government for particular areas or for the performance of particular functions.
Local jurisdiction of the executive magistrate
Section 22 of the CrPC empowers the District Court to define the areas under which the Executive Magistrates may use all or any of the powers which are exercisable by them under this code but under some exceptions, the powers and jurisdiction of such Magistrate shall extend throughout the district.
Subordination of executive magistrate
As per Section 23, the Executive Magistrates would be subordinate to the District Magistrate however Additional District Magistrate shall not be subordinate to the District Magistrate. Every Executive Magistrate but, the Sub-divisional Magistrate shall be subordinate to the Sub-divisional Magistrate.
The executive magistrates shall follow the rules or special orders given by the district magistrate, regarding the distribution of business among them. The district magistrate also has the powers to make rules or special orders relating to the allocation of business to an Additional District Magistrate.
The Police Act, 1861 establishes the police force. The Act says that “the police force is an instrument for the detection of crime and its prevention.” The Director-General of Police is vested with the overall administration of police in an entire state, however, in a district, under the general control and directions of District Magistrate, administration of police is done by DSP (District Superintendent of Police).
A certificate is provided to every police officer and by virtue of such certificate, he is vested with the functions, privileges and powers of a police officer. Such certificate will cease to be in effect once he/she is no longer a police officer.
The Code confers upon the police officers certain powers such as the power to investigate, search and seizure, make an arrest and investigate the members enrolled as police officers. Extensive powers are conferred to the officer in charge of a police station.
Public prosecutor (section 24 to 25 A)
A Public Prosecutor is considered as the agent of the state to represent the interest of common people in the criminal justice system. The prosecution of the accused is the duty of the state but not individually the duty of the aggrieved party. They are appointed in almost all countries. The Public Prosecutor is defined in Section 24 of Cr.P.C. They serve as the basic principle of Rule of Law i.e. auld alteram partem (no person shall be condemned unheard).
Section 2(u) of the Code of Criminal Procedure defines Public Prosecutor. “A person who is appointed under Section 24 of Cr.PC and it also includes any person who is acting under the directions of the Public Prosecutor.
By: Parveen Bansal ProfileResourcesReport error
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