CrPC Section 6: Classes of Criminal Courts

Besides the High Courts and the Courts constituted under any law, other than this Code, there shall be, in every State, the following classes of Criminal Courts, namely:-

  1. Courts of Session;
  2. Judicial Magistrate of the first class and, in any Metropolitan area, Metropolitan Magistrate;
  3. Judicial Magistrate of the second class; and
  4. Executive Magistrates.

Simplified Explanation:

Section 6 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), 1973, delineates the classes of Criminal Courts in India, other than the High Courts and the Supreme Courts, which are primarily involved in the administration of justice on criminal matters. This section categorizes the courts into several tiers, indicating a hierarchical structure that helps efficiently manage and resolve criminal cases. Here’s a simplified overview of the types of courts mentioned in Section 6:

  1. Courts of Session: Positioned at the district level, these courts handle severe criminal cases beyond lower courts’ jurisdiction. The Court of Session is presided over by a Judge appointed by the High Court. Sessions courts are responsible for trialling offences punishable with death, imprisonment for life, or imprisonment for a term exceeding ten years.
  2. Judicial Magistrates of the First Class and, in any Metropolitan area, Metropolitan Magistrates: These magistrates have the authority to try less severe offences and impose sentences including imprisonment, fines, and other forms of punishment. Metropolitan Magistrates specifically serve in metropolitan areas, dealing with crimes committed within such jurisdictions.
  3. Chief Judicial Magistrate and Chief Metropolitan Magistrate: In each district and metropolitan area, there’s a Chief Judicial Magistrate and a Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, respectively. They have coordinating and supervisory roles over other magistrates within their jurisdiction and can try offences as prescribed by law.
  4. Judicial Magistrates of the Second Class: These magistrates have jurisdiction over less severe cases than first-class magistrates. Their powers in terms of sentencing are also limited accordingly.
  5. Executive Magistrates: These magistrates are responsible for maintaining law and order. They have powers related to the prevention of offences, dispersal of unlawful assemblies, and other functions focused on the administrative aspects of criminal law enforcement.

Section 6 is fundamental in outlining the organizational framework of criminal courts in India, ensuring a structured and tiered approach to the administration of criminal justice. This hierarchical system allows for the distribution of cases according to the seriousness of offences, ensuring that higher courts deal with more severe cases. In comparison, lower courts handle less serious matters, thereby facilitating a more efficient legal process.

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