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Report No. 38

Section 78A (New)

Section 78A is new. Under section 70 of the English Act, an offence under the Act can be tried (briefly) by the court within whose jurisdiction the offence was committed or the offender is in custody or apprehended, or within whose jurisdiction the postal article passed in the course of transmission by post1. A similar provision in our Act would be useful. The general rules regarding local jurisdiction of Criminal Courts are contained in section 177 et seq. of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898. But there are no special rules to cover the case of offences committed regarding a postal article, which, in the very nature of things, has to travel from one place to another.

While the cases where the offender himself is in journey, would be dealt with by section 183 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898, the case where the postal article passed through several jurisdictions in course of transmission would not fall under any special provision. Section 184 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898 does provide (inter alia), that offences against a law relating to the Post Office may be inquired into or tried in a Presidency town where the offender and all the witnesses for the prosecution are to be found. But that section is confined to Presidency towns. It would be convenient to have a provision on the lines of section 70 of the English Act. Necessary changes has been proposed.

The following comment has been made2 as regards proposed section 72A, sub¬section (2) (in the comment on the draft Report):

"Difficulties are bound to arise in the course of actual application of the proposed section if it is to co-exist with Criminal Procedure Code and co-act. It appears to this Government that since the proposed section is a special law and by virtue of the provisions of sections 1(2) and 5(2) of the Code will prevail over the provisions of the Code, it is not necessary to go out of one's way to save the jurisdiction of courts under the Criminal Procedure Code by means of a saving clause. Sub-section (2) of the proposed section may, therefore, be omitted."

The comment was considered by us. In our view, it is necessary to have a savings provision, particularly because there are provisions in the Code3 under which also jurisdiction can be exercised.

1. This is in addition to the provisions relating to offences committed during journeys and offences committed in more than one country or place-Criminal Law Act, 1826 (7 Geo., C. 64), section 13 (a).

2. S. No. 170 (A State Government).

3. See sections 183 and 184, Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898 (as examples).

Indian Post Office Act, 1898 Back

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