Under Section 406 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, the Supreme Court can direct any particular case or appeal to be transferred from one High Court to another High Court or from a Criminal Court subordinate to one High Court to another Criminal Court of equal or superior jurisdiction subordinate to another High Court. By the application of this provision, FIRs or criminal complaints can be essentially clubbed/ consolidated or transferred. The clubbing of FIRs is sought on the basis that the allegations contained in the said FIRs are identical and are against same individual. For a better insight into this matter let us analyze a recent case: Arnab Ranjan Goswami versus Union of India.  Facts Arnab Goswami , the Editor-in-Chief of Republic TV Network broadcasted a report on Palghar mob lynching , wherein 3 men including 2 sadhus (Hindu monks) were brutally killed. He claimed that Indian National Congress had orchestrated the Palghar lynching and questioned Sonia Gandhi’s silence over the incident. His report was later held as defamatory, communal and triggering – one on 16th April 2020 on Republic TV and another on 21st April 2020 led to the lodging of multiple (16) FIRs and criminal complaints against him in the States of Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, Jharkhand and in the UT of Jammu and Kashmir as well. Later on a petition was filed by Goswami under Article 32 of the Indian Constitution whereby individuals may seek redressal for the violation of their fundamental rights pleading the Apex court to quash all the FIRs. The court eventually quashed all other identical FIRs against Goswami in different States in connection with the Palgarh lynching except for the one lodged in Nagpur which stood transferred to Mumbai by the apex court earlier. “ No other FIR or, as the case may be, the complaint shall be initiated or pursued in any other forum in respect of the same cause of action ” – The SC stated. Justice Chandrachud also referred to TT Antony case of Kerala  and stated that “subjecting an individual to numerous proceedings on the same cause doesn’t achieve the legitimate state aim to prosecute crime”. In the present case, marking a stay on the proceedings related to all FIRs but one, the court has showed an inclination towards combining or clubbing all the FIRs in a single one. Insight Moreover, as I see it, the circumstances of the present case do not mandate either transfer or clubbing of FIRs because the filing of multiple FIRs across the country doesn’t directly support miscarriage of justice. One may argue that asking a person to defend multiple charges in multiple venues is a miscarriage of justice but in the precedents the court observed that miscarriage of justice under Section 406 is more about ensuring that the trial or investigation is free and fair without any bias. However, the court also said that the convenience of the parties may also be valid considerations. But I believe that the convenience of witnesses and the prosecutors should take precedence over convenience of the accused. Moreover, there is a misconception that clubbing of the FIRs will terminate the situations like Double Jeopardy , although Double jeopardy does not prevent multiple charges for the same crime from different jurisdictions. If a crime violated the laws of multiple states, then each state may press charges against the accused; double jeopardy is an entirely different state of affairs. But now a herculean question pops up that - Why can’t clubbing of FRIs exercised constitutionally , if it can be exercised under the provisions of the CrPC ? The answer to this question lies in the fact that the Writ Jurisdiction of the Supreme Court is meant for the protection of the rights given by the Constitution and if people start invoking the Writ Jurisdiction of the court seeking relief in matters for which provisions already exist in the CrPC , it will amount to misuse of the powers conferred to the court under its Writ Jurisdiction . Footnotes :-  Arnab Ranjan Goswami versus Union of India. (W.P Crl 130 of 2020)  T.T. Antony Vs . State of Kerala & Ors. (2001) 6 SCC 181
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