(1.) THIS petition under Section 497-A of the Code of Criminal Procedure, hereinafter to be referred to as the Code, raises an important question of the extent of the powers of the High Court and the Court of Sessions, to grant anticipatory bail to a person, against whom a case has been registered with a police station, which is situated outside the limits of their territorial jurisdiction.
(2.) A criminal case under sections 406 and 420 IPC has been registered against the petitioner with police station Manakpora, New Delhi. The petitioner is a resident of village Bajarani, Tehsil Doda, a place within the territorial limits of the State of Jammu and-Kashmir, He has filed the present petition in this Court for granting the anticipatory bail in. exercise of its powers u/e 497-A. An objection has been taken on behalf of the State that this Court has, no jurisdiction to pant anticipatory bail to a person against whom a case has been registered with a police station which is situated outside the local limits of its jurisdiction under the Code. The objection is, in my opinion, well founded and must succeed. Section 497-A is, for the sake of convenience, reproduced as below :
(1) When any person has reason to believe that he may be arrested on an accusation of having commuted a non-bailable offence, be may apply to the High Court or the Court of Session for a direction under this section, and that Court may, if it thinks fit, direct that in the event of such arrest, he shall be released on bail. (2) When the High Court or the Court of Session makes a direction under sub-section (1), it may include any conditions in such direction in the light of the facts of particular case, as it may think. fit, including : (i) a condition that the person shall make himself available for interrogation by a police officer and when required; (ii) a condition that the person shall not, directly or indirectly make an inducement, threat or promise to any person acquainted with the facts of the case so as to dissuade him from disclosing such facts to the Court or to any police officer :- (iii) a condition that the person shall not leave the State without the previous permission of the Court; (iv) such other condition as may be imposed under sub-section (2-a) of section 437 as if the bail were granted under that section. (3) If such person is thereafter arrested without warrant by an officer incharge of a police station on such accusation and is prepared either at the time of arrest. or at any time while in the custody of such officer to give bail, he shall be released on bail, and if Magistrate taking cognizance of such offence decides that a warrant should issue in the first instance against that person he shall issue a bailable warrant in conformity with the direction of the Court under sub-section (1)."
In order to determine its true intent and scope, Section 49 7-A has to be read with a few other section-, of the Code. Section 6 enumerates the classes of Criminal Courts. These are :
(i) High Court; (ii) Courts constituted (iii) Courts of Sessions; and (iv) Courts of Magistrates. Section 6-A further classifies the Courts of Magistrates into Courts of Judicial Magistrates, namely,. Chief Judicial Magistrate, Judicial Magistrates of the First Class, Judicial Magistrates and Executive Magistrates,. namely, District Magistrate, Addl. District Magistrates, Sub-Divisional Magistrates, Executive Magistrates of the First Class, Executive Magistrates of the Second Class, and Special Executive Magistrates. 4, Sessions Judge, in terms of Section 9, exercises his jurisdiction under the Code within the limits of the sessions division, to be known as the district, for which he is appointed as a Sessions Judge. Consequently, a Sessions Judge who has ceased to be A Sessions Judge of one. district, and has not become the Sessions Judge of another district, cannot exercise the powers of a Sessions Judge. These powers are always relatable to a territory, and cannot be exercised in isolation thereof. Section 10 as that the Government shall appoint District Magistrates, and the High Court, the Chief Judicial Magistrates, for such districts, who shall exercise their power as such Magistrates within the territorial limit of their respective districts. The other executive and Judicial Magistrates, in terms of Section 17. shall be appointed for such districts, but the local areas in the district within : which they shall exercise their powers under the Code,. shall have to be defined by the Government, in to far as the Executive Magistrate are concerned, and by the Nigh Court, in so far as the Judicial Magistrates are concerned Section 29 provides that subject t to the other provisions of the Code, under a Special Act any offence under the Ranbir Penal Code may be tried by the High Court, or by the Court of Sessions, or by any other court by which such offence is shown to be triable in the 8th column of the Second Schedule. From a careful reading of this section it clearly transpires that whereas the jurisdiction or every other criminal court to try an offence is restricted by the 8th Column of the Second Schedule the jurisdiction of the High Court and the Court of Sessions is not so limited, and these courts are competent, to try all offences, provided the cases are property brought to these courts for their trial High Court has been defined by Clause (f) of Section 4 to mean "the highest court of criminal appeal and revision in the Jammu and Kashmir State".
(3.) A combined reading of these sections would thus indicate that whereas the High Court will exercise its powers under the Code throughout the territory of the State of Jammu and Kashmir, the Sessions Judge and other Magistrate will exercise their powers within their defined areas in the territory of the State. It further follows that none of these courts shall exercise any power conferred on it, including the power to grant anticipatory bail under Section 497-A, at any place outside the territorial limits of the State of Jammu and Kashmir.;