CRIMINAL JURISDICTION OF SUBORDINATE COURTS
—(1) Subject to this Code, Magistrates’ Courts shall have jurisdiction and power to —
try any offence for which the maximum term of imprisonment provided by law does not exceed 5 years or which is punishable with a fine only;
conduct a committal hearing into any offence with a view to committal for trial by the High Court;
inquire into a complaint of any offence and summon and examine any witness who may give evidence relating to such offence;
summon, apprehend and issue warrants for the apprehension of criminals and offenders, and deal with them according to law;
issue a warrant to search or cause to be searched any place wherein any stolen goods or any goods, article or thing with which or in respect of which any offence has been committed is alleged to be kept or concealed;
require any person to furnish security for the peace or for his good behaviour according to law; and
do any other thing that Magistrates’ Courts are empowered to do under this Code or any other written law.
(2) The jurisdiction and powers conferred on Magistrates’ Courts under subsection (1)(a) and (b) must be exercised by a Magistrate sitting in a court house of the Magistrate’s Court or at such other place as may be prescribed.
—(1) District Courts shall have jurisdiction and power to try any offence for which the maximum term of imprisonment provided by law does not exceed 10 years or which is punishable with a fine only.
(2) Every District Court shall have in the exercise of its jurisdiction all the powers of a Magistrate’s Court.
—(1) Where an offence is triable by a District Court but not by a Magistrate’s Court, the Public Prosecutor may in writing authorise a Magistrate’s Court in any particular case to try the offence.
(2) Notwithstanding section 7(1), a Magistrate’s Court may try any offence —
under any law other than the Penal Code, if the offence is shown to be triable by a Magistrate’s Court under that law.
(3) Notwithstanding section 8(1), a District Court may try any offence other than an offence punishable with death —
if that offence (which is one under any law other than the Penal Code (Cap. 224)) is shown to be triable by a District Court under that law; or
if the Public Prosecutor applies to the District Court to try such offence, and the accused consents, or if more than one are charged together with the same offence, all such accused persons consent.
(4) Nothing in this section shall be construed as enlarging the power conferred on the Magistrate’s Court or District Court under section 303.
—(1) A prosecution for —
must not be instituted except with the consent of the Public Prosecutor.
(2) A person may be charged or arrested, or a warrant for his arrest may be issued and executed, and any such person may be remanded in custody or released on bail, notwithstanding that the consent of the Public Prosecutor has not been obtained, but the case shall not be further prosecuted until that consent has been obtained.
(3) When a person is brought before a court before the Public Prosecutor has consented to the prosecution, the charge shall be explained to him but he shall not be called upon to plead.
(4) The consent of the Public Prosecutor —
need not refer to a particular offence but may be expressed in general terms; and
must as far as practicable specify the place in which and the occasion on which the offence was committed.
(5) No consent shall remain in force unless acted upon within one month from the date on which it was given.