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2013 (10) TMI 904

Head Note / Extract:
Jurisdiction of special judge - Transfer of case from the Magistrate to the Special Judge - Held that:- it is apparent from a reading of Section 56 of the FERA as also Section 61 of the FERA that exclusive jurisdiction has not been conferred on the Magistrate to try cases relating to a violation of the provisions of the FERA. Absent jurisdictional exclusivity, the principle of law laid down in Antulay is not applicable and the Special Judge could have been conferred jurisdiction to try the case against the petitioners - The right of appeal available to the petitioners in the present case is not taken away by transferring the case from the Magistrate to the Special Judge. The petitioners continue to have the right to appeal, but it is only the forum that has changed. They can now prefer an appeal from the order of the Special Judge to the High Court. Therefore, it is not as if the petitioners are denuded of any right to agitate their cause in a superior forum by the transfer of the case to the Special Judge - Therefore, it cannot be seriously urged that the petitioners were prejudiced by a change of the appellate forum.

High Court could have exercised its judicial power of transfer under Section 407 of the Code (if called upon to do so) and it could also have exercised its administrative power of transfer under Article 227 of the Constitution, which it did, as is evident from the letter dated 6th May 2002 issued by the Registrar General of the High Court of Jharkhand to the Secretary to the Government, Law (Judl.) Department, Government of Jharkhand. The fact that for an administrative exigency, the High Court decided to exercise its plenary administrative power does not per se lead to the conclusion that the transfer of the case from the Magistrate to the Special Judge was unlawful. The legality of the action cannot be called in question in this case since no prejudice has been caused to the petitioners by such a transfer - Decided against appellant.


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