Section 16 in The National Investigation Agency Act, 2008

Title: Procedure and powers of Special Courts

Description: (1) A Special Court may take cognizance of any offence, without the accused being committed to it for trial, upon receiving a complaint of facts that constitute such offence or upon a police report of such facts. (2) Where an offence triable by a Special Court is punishable with imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or with fine or with both, the Special Court may, notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1) of section 260 or section 262 of the Code, try the offence in a summary way in accordance with the procedure prescribed in the Code and the provisions of sections 263 to 265 of the Code shall, so far as may be, apply to such trial Provided that when, in the course of a summary trial under this sub-section, it appears to the Special Court that the nature of the case is such that it is not desirable to try it in a summary way, the Special Court shall recall any witnesses who may have been examined and proceed to re-hear the case in the manner provided by the provisions of the Code for the trial of such offence and the said provisions shall apply to, and in relation to, a Special Court as they apply to and in relation to a Magistrate: Provided further that in the case of any conviction in a summary trial under this section, it shall be lawful for a Special Court to pass a sentence of imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year and with fine which may extend to five lakh rupees. (3) Subject to the other provisions of this Act, a Special Court shall, for the purpose of trial of any offence, have all the powers of a Court of Session and shall try such offence as if it were a Court of Session so far as may be in accordance with the procedure prescribed in the Code for the trial before a Court of Session. (4) Subject to the other provisions of this Act, every case transferred to a Special Court under sub-section (2) of section 13 shall be dealt with as if such case had been transferred under section 406 of the Code to such Special Court. (5) Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code, but subject to the provisions of section 299 of the Code, a Special Court may, if it thinks fit and for reasons to be recorded by it, proceed with the trial in the absence of the accused or his pleader and record the evidence of any witness, subject to the right of the accused to recall the witness for cross-examination.

Title: Protection of witnesses.

Description: (1) Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code, the proceedings under this Act may, for reasons to be recorded in writing, be held in camera if the Special Court so desires. (2) On an application made by a witness in any proceeding before it or by the Public Prosecutor in relation to such witness or on its own motion, if the Special Court is satisfied that the life of such witness is in danger, it may, for reasons to be recorded in writing, take such measures as it deems fit for keeping the identity and address of such witness secret. (3) In particular, and without prejudice to the generality of the provisions of sub-section (2), the measures which a Special Court may take under that sub-section may include— (a) the holding of the proceedings at a place to be decided by the Special Court; (b) the avoiding of the mention of the names and addresses of the witnesses in its orders or judgments or in any records of the case accessible to public; (c) the issuing of any directions for securing that the identity and address of the witnesses are not disclosed; and (d) a decision that it is in the public interest to order that all or any of the proceedings pending before such a Court shall not be published in any manner. (4) Any person who contravenes any decision or direction issued under sub-section (3) shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees.

Title: Sanction for prosecution

Description: No prosecution, suit or other legal proceedings shall be instituted in any court of law, except with the previous sanction of the Central Government, against any member of the Agency or any person acting on his behalf in respect of anything done or purported to be done in exercise of the powers conferred by this Act.

Title: Trial by Special Court to have precedence

Description: The trial under this Act of any offence by a Special Court shall be held on day-to- day basis on all working days and have precedence over the trial of any other case against the accused in any other court (not being a Special Court) and shall be concluded in preference to the trial of such other case and accordingly the trial of such other case shall, if necessary, remain in abeyance.

Title: Power to transfer cases to regular courts

Description: Where, after taking cognizance of any offence, a Special Court is of the opinion that the offence is not triable by it, it shall, notwithstanding that it has no jurisdiction to try such offence, transfer the case for the trial of such offence to any court having jurisdiction under the Code and the Court to which the case is transferred may proceed with the trial of the offence as if it had taken cognizance of the offence.