- The Supreme Court held that, a criminal case under section 406 CrPC cannot be transferred merely because the party does not understand the language of the court which is hearing the case.
- Justice Aniruddha Bose said “Convenience” of a person who is involved in the case had never been a criterion for a case to be transferred out of a State.
- Rajkumar Sabu, a merchant against whom a trademark violation case is pending in Salem Court, filed a transfer petition stating that he’s unable to understand the Tamil language and hence the case should be transferred to a court in Delhi.
- The petitioner challenged the decision made in the case of Sri Jayendra Saraswathy Swamigal (II) T.N. vs State of Tamil Nadu & Ors. However, Justice Aniruddha Bose observed that language was just a factor and was not criteria based on which the transfer of the case was directed.
- The court observed that no evidence was placed by the petitioner to prove he was crippled if the trial continued in Tamil Nadu.
- Justice Bose said, “In my opinion, if a court hearing a case possesses the jurisdiction to proceed with the same, solely based on the fact that one of the parties to that case is unable to follow the language of that court would not warrant exercise of jurisdiction of the Supreme Court to transfer the case under Section 406 of the 1973 Code”. He also added that the petitioner could take the help of the translator available in the Salem Court.
- The court also noted that convenience of one of the parties cannot be a ground for allowing his transfer application. Justice Bose held transfer of criminal case under section 406 of the 1973 Code can be directed when such transfer would be “expedient for ends of justice”.
- Mr. Sabu also contended in his transfer petition that it would be more convenient if the civil suits are heard in the Delhi High Court. However, the court while dismissing the petition said that the suits being heard by the Delhi High Court would have points that could overlap with thoseinvolved in the criminal case pending in the Salem Court. Also the ground of overlapping points in any event cannot justify the petitioner’s case for transfer as the criminal case shall have to proceed in the court of Judicial Magistrate and not in the High Court where the civil suits are heard.
- Further the court dismissed the transfer petition and also observed that no complaint was made by the petitioner regarding the proceedings being carried out in the Salem Court.
What do you think mere language problem should be a reason for the transfer of the case?
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