Section 17 in The National Investigation Agency Act, 2008

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that it is in the public interest to order that all or any of the proceedings pending before such a Court shall not be published in any manner.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.

Title: Appeals

Description: (1) Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code, an appeal shall lie from any judgment, sentence or order, not being an interlocutory order, of a Special Court to the High Court both on facts and on law. (2) Every appeal under sub-section (1) shall be heard by a bench of two Judges of the High Court and shall, as far as possible, be disposed of within a period of three months from the date of admission of the appeal. (3) Except as aforesaid, no appeal or revision shall lie to any court from any judgment, sentence or order including an interlocutory order of a Special Court. (4) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (3) of section 378 of the Code, an appeal shall lie to the High Court against an order of the Special Court granting or refusing bail. (5) Every appeal under this section shall be preferred within a period of thirty days from the date of the judgment, sentence or order appealed from: Provided that the High Court may entertain an appeal after the expiry of the said period of thirty days if it is satisfied that the appellant had sufficient cause for not preferring the appeal within the period of thirty days: Provided further that no appeal shall be entertained after the expiry of period of ninety days.