Actually no other meaning can be assigned to to the order of Hon SC, and this is what I had stated in my post when the jurisdiction order of SC appeared first time on this forum.
The stage is actually commencement of cross examination of prosecution witness. If the cross has started then the court can further proceed, kind of deemed transfer, but if the cross has not commenced then the case must be returned to complainant for filing to proper court.
Why this makes sense..
1. The trial is summary but routinely taken as normal Summon in violation of S.143.
2. Complainant is expected to give all his evidence (along with his witness evidence) under S.200.
3. This evidence shall be treated as Examination In Chief of complainant / witness without any further examination in chief in presence of accused.
So as per the law, once the charges framed and accused plea is recorded and he is taken on bail, the next stage is cross examination of prosecution under S.145(2). And thats what Hon SC meant.
But there are a few practical issues...
1. Trial courts generally take the examination in chief of complainant even after accused has appeared...kind of mere formality... Although this is not mandated.
2. Many trial courts summon the Banks on asking of prosecution to prove the dishonor only...again not mandated.
3. The more important question... Can the complainant examine any other material witness after the accused has made his presence ? For example if there are 4 witnesses listed in the witness list, then Can the court examine only 2 at the time of S.200 and decide to call the remaining 2 after the accused has made his presence ?
This question is still unexplored, in normal criminal law this happens almost in every trial, but under NI Act this should not be allowed unless and until there is some very strong cause for the same. Simply because it is a summary trial and there is no provision of examination in chief in presence of accused.
So till this complex issues is settled, the order of Hon SC may create confusion here and there, and the transfer can be safely dealt with as follows...
1. Stage wherein Summon order is issued to accused and he has not made his presence yet.... Transfer.
2. Stage when the accused has made his presence and charges framed and taken on bail only....Transfer.
3. Stage when after the bail of the accused, the complainant has moved for any remaining witness in the list but that witness has not appeared......Transfer
4. Stage when that new witness has appeared and started deposing ... I do not know, ideally transfer as this process of calling the remaining witness does not appear to be mandated. Complainant is expected to examine all his listed witness under S.200 only under this act.
5. The cross of prosecution started.....No transfer