There are Code of Criminal Procedure (Cr P C), 1898 for ordinary criminal proceedings and the Code of Civil Procedure (C P C), 1908 for ordinary civil proceedings in Bangladesh. For special Courts like Family Court or Nari-o-shishi-nirjaton-damon-tribunal or Special Tribunal Special proceedings to be followed as stated in that special law through which the Special Courts or Tribunals are established. If there is no special court but a special law is there, it should be tried following the proceedings of CPC in civil matters and Cr P C in criminal matters.
A case means- A case is commonly relates to a criminal matter and a suit relates to a civil matter. However, when a suit is disposed of through a decree, an execution case to be filed by the decree holder to the same Court passing the decree, if the judgement/ decree not executed as per order of the decree.
A case relates to a criminal matter an application/ petition filed to the police station or thana in hand written or composed copy known as ejahar(FIR). Police may write down ejahar(FIR) as per information given by a person and in every police station some officers are doing so or even some persons known as “Munshi’ are doing this although it is the duty of police to do so.
— When an ejahar is filed police shall register it on only basis and provide a copy of that to the informant and thereafter investigate the matter and also reproduce it in prescribed form known as First Information Report (FIR).
— When an ejahar (FIR) is filed, it must be sent to the nearest/ concern Judicial Magistrate Court for cognizance with in twenty four hours alongwith all relevant papers, seizure lists, chalan of arrestee/ detainee etc,. This case is known as GR or General registry case which can be collected from the GR section.
— No fees is necessary for filing an ejahar(FIR) or no lawyer needs to be appointed as the Public Prosecutors (PP) or Court Sub-Inspectors (CSI) shall help the court like a lawyer of the complainant in respect of police station case.
— If any case is filed directly to the Court (Magistrate i.e. CJM/CMM as the territorial jurisdiction lie) , it is known as CR case or Complaint Registry Case. When police refuses to register a case, an aggrieved person can file a case directly to the concern Magistrate Court having jurisdictions to take the matter into cognizance. A person may need to take oath for filing a CR case and also to appoint a lawyer which is costly. A CR case is registered on yearly basis.
— A Magistrate can take a matter into cognizance without any petition if it comes to his knowledge that an offence was committed with in his jurisdictions which shall be register as misc. case.
— A General Diary (GD) is not a case rather it is merely an information given to the police. Police can not investigate without permission of the Court/Magistrate regarding a matter of GD (commonly relates to non-cognizable offence). However, when a GD is registered and thereafter converted to FIR, police may conduct investigation without permission of the Magistrate/ Court. If the contents of GD relates to an offence and it is found true after investigation, it may be registered as non-FIR or non-GR case.
— Whenever any case is lodged before special Courts or Tribunals, it shall be registered at the ame of that court or Tribunal such as Special case no…./2016 or Nari-o-shishu-nirjaton-damon-tribunal case no……./2016.
— There is no time limitation of filing a criminal case. However, it is better to file as early as possible otherwise the evidences may be destroyed and the criminals may be fled may or commit more offences or threat to the victims.
— It is not necessary that the victim shall file the case. Any person can file a case before police station i.e. GR case but, an aggrieved person can file a case i.e. CR before Concern Court.
In Bangladesh Sessions Courts and Magistrate Courts are empowered by law to adjudicate criminal cases–
The Judicial Magistrates are commonly applying their cognizance powers in criminal matters under section 190 and 200 of the Cr P C. However, the Executive Magistrate are also empowered under some particular sections such as section 144/ 145 etc,.
A Judicial Magistrate means- Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM), Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate(ACJM), Senior Judicial Magistrate(Sr.JM) and Judicial Magistrate(JM) in respect of District area and
A Metropolitan Magistrate means– Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM), Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (ACMM) and Metropolitan Magistrate (MM) in respect of metropolitan area.
So, the CJM or CMM shall take cognizance of a criminal case which is also mentioned in article 33 of the Constitution.
The CJM/ CMM can take a matter into cognizance either by himself or empower any other Magistrate subordinate to him to do so on his behalf.
— When the CJM/ CMM acts as trial Court they can punish an offender for 5 years imprisonment or fine upto taka 10000 although they are appointed from the Additional District and Sessions Judges. However, the government by notification in the official gazette empowers the CJM/CMM/ACJM/ACMM to punish an offender upto 7 years imprisonment.
— When any Magistrate try or adjudicate an offender for multiple offences, he can punish him twice than his ordinary power but not exceeding 14 years imprisonment and must mention in his judgement as to the process of execution i.e. whether it should be executed concurrently or consecutively.
— The Sr JM/ MM can punish an offender for maximum 5 years imprisonment and impose 10000 taka as fine or twice of the above for joint trial of multiple offences.
The above CJM/CMM/ACJM/ACMM/Sr JM/MM are now exercising jurisdictions of a 1st class Magistrate.
— The Judicial Magistrate(s) (fresher or appointed as Magistrate after passing Bangladesh Judicial services examination) are exercising jurisdictions of 2nd or/and 3rd class Magistrates i.e. 3 years imprisonment and/or fine of taka 5000.
The Sessions Judge means (i.e. District Sessions Judge/ Metropolitan Sessions Judge/ Additional District Sessions Judge/ Additional Metropolitan Sessions Judge or Joint District Sessions Judge/ Joint Metropolitan Sessions Judge) can not take a matter into cognizance unless they are empowered to do so. They are trial courts and adjudicates all offences for which punishments are more than 5 years imprisonment.
— The Joint District and Sessions Judge/ Joint Metropolitan Sessions Judge is empowered to punish an offender for maximum 10 years imprisonment and fine as per law or unlimited.
— The District and Sessions Judges or Metropolitan Sessions Judges or any Judges working as Additional to them can punish a criminal or accused for death penalty or imprisonment for life or any punishments as per law including unlimited fine.
However, a death penalty can be executed after confirmation of the High Court Division i.e. whenever any death sentences shall be given, the file or records of that case shall be forwarded to the High Court Division and be registered as death reference case.
A convict may file an appeal or not but the records or file must be forwarded to the High Court Division.
So, a case can be filed either before police station or thana or before the Court of Magistrates or before special Courts or the Court may take a matter into its cognizance by suo motu.
Written by, Advocate Shoaibur Rahman Shoaib
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