The Governors of the Provinces and the Federations were conferred with concurrent jurisdiction to publicize ordinances to prevent grave threat to the harmony or peace of the Provinces within the territory of India and also to constitute Courts to penalize offenses.
The Special Tribunals were constituted under Criminal Law Amendment Ordinance of 1943. The ordinance was publicized in order to create Special Courts to try criminal offenses, the authority, control and power of the Courts including the process to be pursued by them. The provisions for bail, appeals to higher courts and rules of evidence are also prescribed under the Ordinance. Precisely, the Ordinance was an autonomous enactment which aimed at speedy trial of offenses. The ordinance expressly excludes the jurisdiction and intervention by other courts.
The basic objective behind the ordinance was to restructure society from disorders which endangered it and also to prevail over emergency situations as specified in the Preamble. The Ordinance endowed the powers of Special Judges with the Judge, Assistant Judge and Additional Judge of the Sessions Court through notification, who had been serving as a judge for two years. The First Class Judicial Magistrates with two years of knowledge was designated as Special Magistrates.
For the purpose of making particular conditions with respect to the Special Tribunals, an act was passed by the Parliament to be Special Tribunals (Supplementary Provisions) Act, 1946. The main purpose of the Act is to formulate certain stipulations related to the orders and statements approved by Special Tribunals, when such Tribunals terminates to function. The Act is extended to the Territory of India and exempts the States constituted before the first day of November 1956.
The Act specifies that the punishments and orders made by the tribunal shall pass on to the Sessions Court when the tribunal constituted under the 1943 Ordinance ceases to operate. This provision is included in consonance with the Criminal Procedure Code of 1898 and the Sessions Court conferred with the powers should have authority to try the offense for which the sentence is passed. Where there is more than one Sessions Court, the High Court shall determine the jurisdiction by appeal or reference preferred in this behalf. If the offense has been committed in the Presidency town, then the powers of special tribunal shall pass on to the Chief Presidency Magistrate.
But the 1946 Act was repealed by the Special Tribunals (Supplementary Provisions) Repeal Act which was enacted on twenty fourth day of December 2004. Presently, the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 under Section 11provides for the establishment of Special Courts. Accordingly, the State Government shall establish one or more than one Special Courts in any of the area acting under the Judicial First Class Magistrate. But the High Court shall confer the powers of a Special Judge to a competent Civil Court Judge under its discretion. This can be done by the government after consultation with the High Court of the concerned states. The Act excludes the jurisdiction of any other court situated in the areas of the Special Courts from trying offenses prescribed to the Special Courts. The Judge of a Special Court shall be fixed by the High Court.
In India, there are many special Courts constituted under the powers conferred by different legislation to try offenses affecting women, children, sexual offenses, taxation, banking etc. the main purpose of these courts are speedy trial and early administration of justice. Even though the parent Act of 1946 has been repealed the elaborate provisions are contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure Code to Constitute Special Courts. Due to the excessive number of cases, Special quasi judicial bodies like tribunals are established to dispose of cases within the restricted period.