CrPC Section 13: Powers and Functions of Special Judicial Magistrates


CrPC Section 13: Powers and Functions of Special Judicial Magistrates

1. State the Code:

Section 13 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (CrPC) deals with the powers and functions of Special Judicial Magistrates.

2. Explain it:

This section empowers the state government to appoint Special Judicial Magistrates (SJMs) for specific purposes, primarily to expedite the disposal of certain categories of cases.

SJMs are typically appointed to handle cases involving:

  • Traffic offenses: Minor traffic violations, driving license issues.
  • Domestic violence: Cases under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005.
  • Juvenile justice: Cases involving juveniles under the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015.
  • Environmental offenses: Cases under the Environment Protection Act, 1986.
  • Other specific offenses: The state government can designate specific types of offenses for SJMs to handle.

The powers of SJMs are limited to the specific categories of cases they are appointed to handle. They are empowered to:

  • Take cognizance of offenses: Initiate proceedings in designated cases.
  • Issue warrants: Issue warrants for the arrest of accused persons.
  • Conduct trials: Conduct summary trials for minor offenses.
  • Pass judgments: Deliver judgments and impose sentences within the limits prescribed by law.
  • Grant bail: Grant bail to accused persons in designated cases.

3. Illustrate it:

For example, a Special Judicial Magistrate appointed to handle traffic offenses can:

  • Take cognizance of cases: When a police officer files a charge sheet for a minor traffic violation.
  • Issue warrants: If an accused person fails to appear in court.
  • Conduct trials: Hear evidence and pass judgments in traffic violation cases.
  • Impose fines: Impose fines on convicted individuals for traffic offenses.
  • Grant bail: Grant bail to accused persons in traffic violation cases.
Also Read  Section 389 CrPC: Suspension of Sentence Pending Appeal & Bail Release

4. Common Questions and Answers:

Q1. What are the differences between a Judicial Magistrate and a Special Judicial Magistrate?

A1. A Judicial Magistrate has broader jurisdiction and can handle a wider range of cases, while a Special Judicial Magistrate has limited jurisdiction and is specifically appointed to handle designated categories of offenses.

Q2. Can a Special Judicial Magistrate handle all types of cases?

A2. No, the powers of a Special Judicial Magistrate are limited to the categories of cases they are appointed to handle.

Q3. What is the significance of Special Judicial Magistrates in the Indian legal system?

A3. They play a crucial role in expediting the disposal of cases, reducing the workload on other courts, and providing specialized expertise in specific areas.


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