The Terrorist Affected Areas (Special Courts) Act, 1984

The terrorist Affected areas (special Courts) Act, 1984 was enacted to provide a speedy trial for certain offences in the terrorist affected areas and matters connected therewith. The above Act applies to the whole of India except the state of Jammu and Kashmir. It came into force on the 14th day of July 1984. 

1. Section 3 Declarations of Terrorist Affected Areas 

This section empowers the central government by notification to declare any area to be a terrorist affected area and constitute such area into a single judicial zone or as many judicial zones as it may deem fit. Provided in its opinion, the offences are of the nature specified in the schedule on such a scale, and in such a manner that it is convenient to commence the period specified in the notification. The notification issued under this section in respect of an area should specify the period during which the area shall for this Act be a "terrorist affected area".

2. Section 4 Establishment of Special Courts 

To provide speedy trial to the scheduled offences, the central government may by notification establish a special court in such a judicial zone or at any place outside the judicial zone but within the state in a certain situation where the circumstances so demand. An additional special court may also be established outside the state in relation to the judicial zones, where it deems fit as per the information provided by the state government by notification of the central government. 

3. Section 5 composition and appointment of judges   

A special court shall be presided by a judge appointed by the central government with the advice of chief justice of the high court. Additional judges are also appointed this way in a special court. Qualification requirements for such judge or an additional judge of the special court must be that before their appointment they must be appointed a session judge or an additional session judge in any state. They must, in case of their absence, provide in writing for distribution of business as well as the disposal of urgent business among themselves.     

4. Section 6 Place of sitting

A special court may conduct the proceeding at any place other than ordinary place of sitting provided that if the public prosecutor thinks that there is a threat to the protection of the accused or the witness or otherwise in the interest of justice the whole trial or part of it is conduct someplace other than the ordinary sitting. Special courts after hearing the accused make an order to that effect unless, for reasons to be recorded in writing, the special court thinks fit to make any other order.   

5. Section 8 Powers of Special Courts with Respect to Other Offences 

A special Court when trying any scheduled offence may also try any offence other than the scheduled offence with which the accused may be charged with under the code at the same trial if the offence is connected with the scheduled offence. 

8(2) if in the course of any trial an accused person has committed any offence other than the scheduled offence then the special court may convict that person of such offence and pass the necessary judgment authorized by law for the punishment of such offence.

6. Section 14 Appeal

An appeal shall lie as a matter of right from any judgement, sentence or order not being interlocutory order of a special court to the Supreme Court both on fact and law. Every Appeal under this section shall be made within 30 days of the judgement, order or sentence appealed from. Provided that the Supreme Court may entertain an appeal after the expiry of the said period if it is satisfied that the appellant has sufficient cause for not appealing within the permissible period of 30 days.   

7. Section 15 Modified Application of Certain Provision of the Code 

Every scheduled offence under this Act shall be deemed to be a cognizable offence regardless of the code and any other law which says otherwise. Section 167 of the code shall be subject to modifications as the reference to Judicial Magistrate shall be construed as a reference to Judicial Magistrate and Executive Magistrate. Reference to thirty days, ninety days and sixty days wherever they occur shall be construed to thirty days, one year and one year respectively. Those sections of the code are also subject to modification where references to Court of Session and high court are made they shall be construed as special court and Supreme Court respectively.    

Section 15A Abolition of Certain Special Courts 

Where the area comprising a judicial zone has ceased to be a terrorist affected area and no cases are pending before a Special Court or an Additional Special Court established in relation to such judicial zone, the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, abolish such Special Court or Additional Special Court. 

8. Section 16 Overriding Effect of the Act  

Provisions of the code, as far as they are not inconsistent with the provisions of this Act apply to the proceedings before a special court and for the said provision of the code, the special court shall be deemed to be a court of session. The provisions of section 326 and 475 of the code of civil procedure as far as may be applied to the proceedings before the special courts and for this purpose, any reference made in these provisions to the magistrate shall be construed as a reference to the special court. In case of inconsistency in the provisions, the provisions of the code in this Act shall prevail.   

9. Section 19 Saving

For any such law relating to the naval, military or air forces or any other armed forces of the union, a special court shall be deemed to be the court of ordinary criminal justice.  

10. Section 20 Amendment of Act 1 of 1872

In the Indian Evidence Act after the section, 111 section 111A has been inserted by way of this section 

111A: Presumption as to certain offences 

Where a person is accused of having committed any offence in any area declared as a disturbed area for the time being in force or making provision for suppression or reduction of disturbance. In any area in which there has been over more than a month, extensive disturbance of the public place and it is shown that such a person has been at such an area at the time of attack or resist forces maintaining public order will be presumed that such a person has committed the offence.  

11. Section 21 Repeal and Saving 

The terrorist affected areas special court act, 1984 has been repealed. Anything did, or any action taken under this Act shall be said to have been taken or done under the corresponding provisions of this Act.