JURISDICTION UNDER INDIAN PENAL CODE

INTRODUCTION

The term jurisdiction refers to the limits within which a court of law can exercise its powers concerning cases, appeals, proceedings or decrees of the courts etc.

The purpose for presenting the idea of jurisdiction was to guarantee that the court of law can settle and attempt only those matters which fall within the regional and pecuniary limits of the court.

In India, there are basically five types of jurisdiction covered by the courts. The jurisdiction of courts is as follows:

  1. Appellate jurisdiction: according to this jurisdiction the court gets the authority to rehear or review the judgements given by the lower courts.
  2. Original jurisdiction: this jurisdiction allows the court to hear new cases having original provisions.
  3. Pecuniary jurisdiction: this jurisdiction lays down the limits regarding courts for the monetary value or cost of suits.
  4. Subject matter jurisdiction: this jurisdiction also limits the court to exercise its power over particular type of court for regarding a certain subject matter.
  5. Territorial jurisdiction: this jurisdiction being the most important among all places a limit on the courts for exercising their power within specific territorial limits as specified.

SECTION 1 OF INDIAN PENAL CODE

Section 1 of the Indian Penal Code explains the extent and application of the act. According to it IPC extends to whole of India including the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir.

Here, the territory of India comprises of the territories of states, the union territories and any such other territory as may be acquired. Section 1 implies that any action committed within the territory of India which may have criminal implication shall be governed by this code i.e. The Indian Penal Code.

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TYPES OF JURISDICTION UNDER INDIAN PENAL CODE

  1. Intra territorial jurisdiction

Section 2 of the Indian Penal Code provides that every person shall be made liable for punishment under the Indian Penal Code for every act or omission which is contrary to the provisions of which he shall be liable within the code.

Section 2 of IPC provides that an offence must be committed by a person; it doesn’t provide that it is necessary for that person to be the citizen of India. If a person is within the territory of Indian subcontinent then he shall be made liable under Indian Penal Code.

Accordingly the person will be liable only under the provisions of this code it only covers the jurisdiction for offences committed under the IPC and not any other Indian laws.

It may be noted that the person committing any act or omission should be covered under the provisions of this code, the person will be guilty of the offences committed within the territory of India only.

The only essential required under this section is that the person committing the crime should commit any act or omission within the territory of India.

Illustration for the same is a foreigner who committed a wrong with in the territory of the country cannot plead ignorance of Indian law and will be held liable for the offence under the provision laid down under the Indian penal code.

Exceptions Under The Intra Territorial Jurisdiction

Some classes of people are considered as exception from the liability under jurisdiction of Indian Penal Code these exceptions are as follow

  • foreign sovereign
  • diplomats
  • foreign army
  • worship
  • president and governors
  • enemy aliens

The landmark case on the point is R vs. Esop. The accused was charged for an offence that he committed within the territory of India whereas he defended himself with the fact that he was not a native of the country but a foreigner originated from Baghdad where the action did not amount to any offence in this case the court rejected his plea and he was made liable for the offence.

STATE OF MAHARASHTRA V. M.H. GEORGE

A landmark case on intra territorial jurisdiction here The Supreme Court of India in the 1965 case of State of Maharashtra v. M.H.George presented its decree on the issue as to whether a foreigner committing an offence within the Indian territory will be held liable under the Indian Penal Code or not. Herein, The Supreme Court of India observed that it is not necessary for an Indian law to be published so as to acknowledge the foreigners with the same. Instead, ignorance of the law by a person travelling to India on grounds of unawareness of the same counts as irrelevant for the Indian courts. Therefore, a foreigner who is committing an offence within India’s territorial limits cannot use lack of knowledge or unawareness as defense of ignorance of the law of the land. Thus will be held liable for such an offence. 

  • Extra Territorial Jurisdiction

This jurisdiction is covered under Section 3 and Section 4 of Indian Penal Code this type of situation arises when the crime is being tried in a country other than the country where the crime has been committed.

As defined in the section 3 of the Indian penal code, the person committing any act or omission will be charged for the offence exactly in the same manner as it would have been within the territory of India.

This section covers the provisions regarding the extra-territorial operation as well as Jurisdiction of Indian legislation relating to the criminal laws, but only if the necessary terms of the sections are satisfied and duly fulfilled. 
The major ingredient or we can also state it as a major factor of this provision contained in the words “any person liable by any Indian law”. This clearly states that the section is operational only where an Indian law specifically provides that an act has been committed outside India and is in the circumstances to be dealt with under that particular law in India.

Section 4 of Indian Penal Code explains the ambit of application of the Section 3 of IPC section 4 explains when a person has committed an offence outside the territory of India but the offence has been found within the territory of India then there are 2 courses of actions which may proceed the first is extradition and the second is extra territorial jurisdiction under extradition the person committing the crime can be sent to the country where the effect of his wrongdoing took place under extra territorial jurisdiction the person maybe tried in accordance with the criminal laws of India

 Section 3 of IPC lays down the conditions that are to be satisfied

  • first there should be any act or omission committed which if committed in India would be punishable under Indian penal code
  • Second the person committing any such act or omission is liable under some Indian law to be tried in India for that offense.

If the above two conditions are satisfied then the person will be made liable under this code.

KARI SINGH V. EMPEROR

A landmark case on extra territorial jurisdiction The Calcutta High Court in this pre-independence case ofKari Singh v. Emperor discussed the scope of Section 3 of Indian Penal code  and came up with two conditions which discuss the applicability of this provision, namely;

  1. An allegation as to whether the accused who has committed an offence is a citizen of India or otherwise, and the act committed would have been punishable under the Code if carried out in India, and 
  2. The person accused must have been held liable under some Indian law in order to be tried under an Indian court. 

REFERENCE:

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