Report No. 37
101. Other cities of special importance.-
Besides the Presidency towns, there are other cities which have assumed special importance now, in view of their population, commercial importance etc. It is our view, that the institution of Presidency Magistrates has proved to be a useful one, and that the system can be extended to other cities which may be comparable to Presidency towns. To achieve that object, it is desirable that provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure applicable to Presidency towns be extended to such cities, after consideration of their importance, population, degree of urbanisation, level of the bar, feasibility of attracting good judicial talent etc.
We may, in this connection, state here, that in respect of the city of Ahmedabad, by a Gujarat Act,1 the system of Magistracy has been equated to that in force in the Presidency towns, and the city of Ahmedabad has (for the purposes of the Code of Criminal Procedure) attained the status of a Presidency town2 by virtue of the amendment made in the Code by that Act.
1. The Ahmedabad City Courts Act, 1961 (Gujarat Act 19 of 1961), sections 13 to 16.
2. For a detailed discussion of the differences between Presidency towns and other Places, see Appendix 5.
102. There is, however, one very important aspect which has to be taken care of, before any city is brought within the above scheme.
In the Presidency towns, there is no District Magistrate. There is a Commissioner of Police appointed under the Police Act in force in the particular Presidency town, and he has certain special powers. There are also certain special powers conferred on the Chief Presidency Magistrate by the Police Acts in force in the Presidency towns. The Police Acts, thus, contain provisions supplementing (and, sometimes modifying) the Code.
The hiatus that would be caused in Presidency towns by the absence of a District Magistrate (and other relevant provisions) is, thus, met by suitable provisions in the local legislation. An example of such local legislation is furnished by the provisions in the Bombay Police Act.1 Thus, suitable legislative and other action has to precede or accompany the application of provisions applicable to Presidency towns to a particular area. It is for this reason, that we ourselves are not proposing the amendment in each section of the Code in this respect.2
1. The Bombay Police Act, 1951 (Bombay Act 22 of 1951), section 96, and also sections 2(5), 2(6), 7(a), 36, 37(1), 38(1), 39, 55 and 95.
2. At one stage of our consideration of the subject such amendments had been thought of, but later, they were abandoned.
103. Certain powers will, even after the scheme of separation, continue to vest in both categories of Magistrates. It is, therefore, expedient to have a provision1 that will ensure that the word "Magistrate", used without qualifying words, includes both.
This finishes our consideration of section 6.
1. cf. section 6A(2), as proposed.
104. Section 7.-
We now come to section 7. The power under section 7(2), to alter the limits etc. of sessions divisions, should be exercised in consultation with the High Court. We recommend that section 7(2), be amended1 accordingly.
1. See section 7, as proposed.
105. Section 7(4) and Presidency Magistrates.-
We discussed at length a suggestion1 to abolish the institution of Presidency Magistrates. Though one State Government has no strong views in the matter, another State Government has stated that the abolition of Presidency Magistrates would increase appeals to the High Court.2 We are not in favour of recommending the abolition of Presidency Magistrates. In fact, we regard the institution as a useful one,3 and are inclined to recommend the extension of the institution to other big cities.4
1. F. 27/3/55-Judl. II (Home Ministry) Appendix 1, Item No. 4.
2. The views of State Governments on certain suggestions were obtained by the Ministry of Home Affairs, which had forwarded .to us the suggestions as well as the views.
3. Paras. 66 to 70, supra.
4. Para. 70, supra.
106. Section 8.- No changes are needed in section 8.
107. Section 9 and earlier Report.-
Section 9 deals with the Court of Session, appointment of Sessions Judges etc. We have already submitted a report1 on this section, recommending the changes that appeared to be necessary in view of the constitutional provisions as to "control", as interpreted by the Supreme Court.2 The section may be amended3 accordingly.
1. 32nd Report of the Law Commission (Appointment, Transfer etc. of Sessions Judges).
2. See State of Assam v. Runga Muhammad, AIR 1967 SC 903.
3. See section 9, as proposed.
108. Section 9(3).-
With respect to section 9(3), some points regarding Assistant Sessions Judges are discussed below.1
1. See discussion regarding section 30, infra.
109. Section 9(4).-
With reference to section 9(4), it has been suggested1 that the Sessions Judge appointed as the Additional Sessions Judge of another Sessions Division should sit at the headquarters of the Sessions Division of which he is the Additional Sessions Judge. This would mean abolition of the discretion which the Sessions Judge has at present regarding venue. No such change is, in our view, required.
1. F. 27(5)/54-Judi. II (Home Ministry), Appendix II, Item 3.
110. Section 10.-
Section 10 deals with the District Magistrate and Additional District Magistrate. Following changes are needed in this section-
(i) An Executive Magistrate of the first class should be appointed as a District Magistrate.1 Compare the Punjab amendment, section 10(1).
(ii) Further, an Executive Magistrate of the first class should be appointed as an Additional District Magistrate. Compare the Punjab amendment, section 10(2).
(iii) Provision for appointment of a Chief Judicial Magistrate2 should be made. Compare section 10(1A), Punjab.
Necessary changes3 are recommended.
1. See discussion under section 6A.
2. See also discussion relating to section 6A and section 12.
3. See section 10, as proposed.