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Local Jurisdiction and consequences of not

following the same

Submitted by:- Submitted to:-

Puneet Chauhan Dr. Sangita Bhalla
Section – B
Sem - 5

I would like to that Dr. Sangita Bhalla for giving me this

opportunity to work on this project and to present my views
on the same.
1. Introduction
2. Basic rule regarding place of inquiry and trial
3. Rules to cover cases where Basic rule is difficult to apply
(i) Local areas of the commission of offence uncertain
(ii) Offence committed partly in one area and partly in other.
(iii) Continuing offence
(iv) Several acts culminating in one offence in local areas
4. Place of inquiry or trial where offence is committed on a
journey or voyage
5. Place of offences of offence triable together
6. Consequences of failure to follow the rules regarding local
7. Bibliography

The basic rule in the context of local jurisdiction is contained in

section 177 which provides that ordinarily every offence is to be
inquired is to be taken into or to be tried by a court within whos local
jurisdiction it was committed. The jurisdiction of a police officer to
investigate a case would depend upon a large number of factors
including those contained in section 177, 178 and 181 CrPc. It is
interesting to note that same principal has been adopted by our
courts in granting anticipatory bail. As early in 1994 the Punjab
Haryana High Court in Harjit Singh v. union of India opined that
anticipatory bail can be granted by high court having territorial
jurisdiction over the place of commission of offence. The supreme
court of india also , of late, seems to favour this view.
The subsequent sections namely Sections 178 to 186 and Section
188, considerably enlarge the ambit of the “local jurisdiction” in
which the enquiry or trial of the offences might take place. This is
intended to minimise the inconvenience that might be caused by the
strict adherence to the basic rule incorporated in Section 177.

Basic rule regarding place of inquiry and trial

Section 177 provides the ordinary place of inquiry and trial. It says,
’every offence shall ordinarily be inquired into and tried by a court
within who’s local jurisdiction it was committed.’ The rule is of
expediency. Considering the size of the country, the distance of the
courts from the place of crime and difficulties of transport in the
interior, it would seem expedient and desirable that the inquiry and
trial should ordinarily take place in the vicinity of crime. As the
witnesses can be reasonably be expected to be available in that
locality. It would be convenient both to the prosecution and the
defence if the trial took place in the court of that locality. It is also
felt that the sense of social security is better maintained by requiring
the dispensation of criminal justice to be done in the vicinity of the
Where the offence consists in acts of omission , such offence,
according to section 177 is to be tried in the court under whos
jurisdiction it falls under.
If a court has taken cognizance of an offence according to the rule
contained in the section 177 and thereafter a change takes place in
the territorial jurisdiction of the court, a question may arise as to
whether the court loses its jurisdiction to try that offence. It has
been held that the jurisdiction of the court to try such offence shal
remain unaffected by any subsequent change in the territorial
jurisdiction of the court.
The place of inquiry or trial of an offence is primarily to be
determined by the averments contained in the complaint of the
police report as to where and how the offence was committed. In
the absence of any proof to the contrary the court has to be
presumed to have jurisdiction in the basis of facts made out by the
Rules to cover cases where Basic rule is difficult to

The following rules are devised by section 178 in order to prevent an

accused person from getting off completely because there might be
some uncertainty and doubt as to what particular court or
Magistrate has the local jurisdiction to inquire into or try the case.
The prosecution intending to take advantage of these rules would
have to aver that the offence was committed in the circumstances
mentioned in the rules.

Local areas of the commission of offence uncertain

When it is uncertain in which of the several local areas was the
offence committed. It may be inquired into or tried by a court having
jurisdiction over any such local areas.
The words “local areas” mean obviously the local areas to which the
Code applies and not any local area in a foreign country. In a case
involving criminal breach of trust, the property was received in place
X and was dishonestly disposed of by the accused in either place X or
place Y. This can be inquired by a court having jurisdiction over X or

Offence committed partly in one area and partly in other

Where an offence is committed partly in one area and partly in
other, it may be tried by court having jurisdiction over any of the
local areas.
Continuing offence
Where an offence is a continuing one, and continues to be
committed in more than one local areas it can be tried y courts
having jurisdiction over any of them.
A conspiracy to commit an offence has been treated as a continuing
offence. Travelling without passport is also a continuing offence.

Several acts constituting the offence done in different local

Where an offence consists of several acts done in different local
areas, it may be inquired into or tried by a court having jurisdiction
over any of such local areas.
Place of inquiry or trail where the offence is
committed on journey or voyage
When an offence is committed while the person by or against whom
or the thing in respect of which the offence is committed is in the
course of performing a journey or voyage the offence may be
inquired into or tried by a court through or into who’s local
jurisdiction that person or thing passed in the course of the journey
or voyage.
When an offence is committed in a journey or voyage it might
sometimes be difficult to know the exact locality of the actual
commission of the offence therefore in determining the venue of
trial in such cases there might be doubts inconveniences and
difficulties. Section 183 in intended to remove such doubts and
difficulties by providing numerous alternatives while deciding as to
the venue of the inquiry or trial. The court having local jurisdiction at
the place of termination of journey is also competent to try the
accused for an offence committed in the course of journey.
Place of offence for offences triable together
184. where-
(a) The offences committed by any person are such that he may be
charged with and tried at one trial for each such offence by virtue of
the provisions of Section 219, Section 220 or Section 221 or
(b) the offence or offences committed by several persons are such
that they may be charged with and tried together by virtue of the
provisions of section 221

When an accused person under section 219, 220, or 221 can be

charged with and tried at one trial for all or more offences, it is
reasonable to assume that the venue for the trial can be laid in any
local jurisdiction within in which any of those offences may be
inquired into or tried under the abovementioned rules of chapter XIII
of code. Similarly when two or more persons may be charged with
and tried together for different offences under section 223, the
prosecution would have similar choice of venue for the trial.
Apart from the rule contained in section 184, it would be obvious
that the provisions of section 223 are not controlled by section 177.
It has been observed that there should be no reason why the
provisions of section 219 to 223 might not also provide exceptions to
section 177, if they do permit a trial of a particular offence along
with others in one court.
Consequences of failure to follow the rules regarding
local jurisdiction

At the outset it may be mentioned that jurisdiction of criminal court

is of two kinds. One has referenceto the power of the court to try
particular kinds of offences. This jurisdiction goes to the root of the
matter and if a court which is not empowered to try a particular
offence does try that offence, the entire trial shall be void. Section
461, which deals with irregularities which vitiate proceedings,
provides by clause (1) that if any magistrate not empowered by law
in this behalf tries an offender, his proceedings shall be void. The
other type of jurisdiction is what is called territorial or local
jurisdiction which is determined according to the rules contained in
section 177 to 188 of the code. Section 462 provides for the
consequences of the failure to follow these rules.
It is obvious that the same importance which is attatched under the
code to the powers of criminal courts is not attatched by it to the
territorial or local jurisdiction of the courts. The reason for such
differecnces between the effect of a case tried by a court not
competent to try the offence but which has no territorial jurisdiction
over the areas where the offence was committed, is
understandable.the power to try offences is conferred by the
legislature on all courts according to its view with respect to the
capability and responsibility of those courts, and higher the
capability and sense of responsibility, the larger is the jurisdiction
vested in the court over the various offences. On the other hand the
territorial jurisdiction is provided just for the purpose of convenience
keeping in mind the administrative point of view with respect to the
work of each court and the convenience of the parties and the
witnesses who have to appear before court.

1) R.V. Kelkars – Criminal Procedure

2) www.manupatra.com
3) www.lawyer-forum.org