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Report No. 60

3.52. Section 3(25)-"High Court".-

(a) The existing definition of "High Court" does not cover criminal proceedings. It may be noted that the General Clauses Bill of 1897 (as introduced) contained a separate clause for criminal proceedings also. But the Select Committee rejected1 this change, stating that the arrangements relating to the Recorder of Rangoon and Criminal Courts in Burma were complicated. This reason does not hold good now.

(b) The definition in section 4 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898, provided that where, with reference to criminal proceedings, no High Court is established in any part of India, the expression "High Court" means such officer as the State Government may appoint him in that behalf. This provision, however was obsolete.

We think that there is no need to exclude criminal proceedings from the definition at this stage. Also, instead of defining a "High Court" as the highest court of appeal etc. and then excluding the Supreme Court by express words, it is preferable to re-draft the definition so as to include the court of Judicial Commissioners wherever they exist.

(c) In the light of the above points, a revised definition of the expression "High Court" is recommended as below:

1. Gazette of India, 6th March, 1897, Pt. V, p. 77 (Report of the Select Committee).

Revised section 3(25)

3(25). "High Court", used with reference to civil or criminal proceedings, shall mean the High Court or the Court of Judicial Commissioner having jurisdiction over the part of India which the Act or Regulation containing the expression operates.

General Clauses Act, 1897 Back

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