CrPC Section 201: Magistrate Incompetent to Take Cognizance – Procedure Explained

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CrPC Section 201: Magistrate Incompetent to Take Cognizance – Procedure Explained

1. State the Code:

Section 201 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) deals with the procedure to be followed when a Magistrate finds themselves incompetent to take cognizance of an offence. This means the Magistrate lacks the jurisdiction or authority to try the case.

2. Explanation:

Section 201 outlines the following:

  • Incompetence to take cognizance: If a Magistrate finds themselves unable to take cognizance of an offence due to lack of jurisdiction or any other reason specified in the CrPC, they are required to follow the procedures outlined in this section.
  • Transfer of Case: The Magistrate must transfer the case to a competent court. This transfer can be to a higher court or a different Magistrate’s court within the same jurisdiction.
  • Procedure for Transfer: The Magistrate must record their reasons for transferring the case, along with any relevant documents, and send the case to the competent court along with a copy of their order.
  • Responsibility of Receiving Court: The receiving court, upon receipt of the case, is required to examine the case and decide whether they have jurisdiction or not. If they find they lack jurisdiction, they will further transfer the case to a competent court.

3. Illustration:

Imagine a case where a Magistrate in a small town receives a complaint about a murder committed in a neighboring district. The Magistrate realizes that they lack territorial jurisdiction over the crime scene. In this scenario, they would use Section 201 to transfer the case to a competent Magistrate in the district where the crime took place.

Also Read  Section 231 CrPC: Evidence for Prosecution in India's Code of Criminal Procedure

4. Common Questions and Answers:

  • Q: What are some reasons a Magistrate might be incompetent to take cognizance?A: Reasons can include:
    • Lack of territorial jurisdiction
    • Lack of pecuniary jurisdiction (the case involves an amount exceeding the Magistrate’s financial limit)
    • The offence is outside the Magistrate’s jurisdiction
    • The Magistrate has personal involvement in the case, leading to bias.
  • Q: What happens if a case is wrongly transferred due to mistaken understanding?A: The receiving court can review the order and, if necessary, send the case back to the original court or further transfer it to a different court with proper jurisdiction.
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