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Report No. 136

2.12. Law Commission in 19th Century.-

It is not merely in the constitutional or statutory provisions or uncodified rules relating to precedent that the aspect of uniform interpretation finds a reflection. One can discern its role as having been visualised by those who had occasion to deal with the shaping of the Indian Legal System in the course of the last two centuries or so. One of the considerations which supplied the inspiration for the setting up of the Law Commissions in the 19th Century was the desire to secure uniformity of law. It is true that this was at the time when the stress was more on removing local variations in the law as enacted or as followed by custom, rather than on avoiding divergences in judicial decisions.

But the latter consideration was also within the mind of the authorities. For example, one of the measures of judicial reform achieved in the latter half of the 19th century was the fusion of the parallel jurisdictions earlier possessed by two sets of courts which were functioning within and outside the Presidency towns. The great inconvenience of conflicting pronouncements of law by the erstwhile Supreme Courts (for the Presidency Towns) and by the erstwhile Sudder Diwani Adalats (for areas outside the Presidency Town) was perceived by those who were entrusted with the task of advising in such matters. That is how the High Courts Act, 1861 was born, whereunder these pre-existing jurisdictions were combined into one forum which would lay down the law authoritatively for its own area.

Conflicts in High Court Decisions on Central Laws - How to Foreclose and how to Resolve Back

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