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Report No. 14

36. The High Court.-

The High Court of the erstwhile State of Andhra started functioning from the 5th July, 1954, that is, about ten months after the State was formed. A large volume of work approximately half the pending file was transferred to the High Court from the Madras High Court. The High Court started working with only three judges. It is learnt that for a considerable time due to inadequacy of judges, largely proceedings capable of being heard by single judges were dealt with. The Government, when moved by the High Court to increase the number of judges, finding the number of second appeals, revisions and the like disposed of to be satisfactory, proceeded to assess the requirement of judges on the basis of the quantity of the work done by single judges in these matters.

This was an obviously erroneous approach. Delays in the appointment of judges took place and resulted in accumulation of arrears. Only three judges worked from.-7-1954 to.-11-1954 when two more judges were appointed. On 21-2-1955 the number of judges was increased to six and on.-3-1955 to eight. Seven judges worked from.-9-1955 to.-11-1956. The addition of five judges of the erstwhile Hyderabad High Court brought the number of judges to twelve. On 19-12-1956 one more judge was appointed. Recently by the appointment of one permanent judge and three additional judges for a period of two years the number of the High Court judges has risen to sixteen.

37. The following table (Table No. 15) shows the pendency of different categories of proceedings in the High Court on.-1-1957 (including those from the Telangana region).

Table No. 15

Category of Proceeding

Number pending on.-1-1957

First Appeals

3379

Second Appeals

3456

Appeals against orders

1531

Letters Patent Appeals

130

Special Tribunal Appeals

93

Original Side Appeals

4

Writ Appeals

94

Special Appeals

3

Writs including Tax Revision Cases

1903

Civil Revision Petitions

3577

Civil References

62

Petitions for leave to appeal to Supreme Court

46

Original Petitions

17

Original Suits

1

Civil Miscellaneous Petitions

7593

Civil Miscellaneous Second Appeals

332

Criminal Appeals

492

Criminal Revision Petitions

829

Referred trials (Confirmation Cases)

16

Reference (other than those under section 307 Cr. P. C.)

16

Miscellaneous

145

38. As already stated, approximately 1350 first appeals will have to be transferred to the District Judges if our recommendations are accepted. This should give substantial relief to the High Court. Though we do not have the particulars relating to disposals in 1957, yet we are sure that as an increased number of judges have worked throughout the year, there will have resulted a fall in the number of pending matters. There is however need for continuous vigilance, as the accompanying Table (No. 16) shows that certain categories of proceedings have been pending for over a decade. Although the criminal work is not greatly in arrears there is room for improvement in that field also. It is therefore necessary that steps be taken for the appointment of more additional judges to bring the file under control.

39. Combination of civil and criminal jurisdiction.-

The judiciary of the State is completely separated from the executive. In the Telangana region, as already stated, the same set of judicial officers exercise both civil and criminal powers, perhaps, due to the small volume of litigation. This method seems to be working fairly satisfactorily though it may occasionally result in officers not being able to dispose of cases de die in diem. By judicious posting of cases, we think, this difficulty can be overcome. But if the jurisdiction of Munsifs is raised and the number of civil suits on their files increases, this system of conferring civil and criminal jurisdiction on the same officer may not continue to work satisfactorily. The criminal work in the courts of Session and Magistrates does appear however to be under control; but there is room for greater efficiency in the Magistrates' Courts.

40. Court fee on writ applications.-

In this State, a court fee of Rs. 100 is payable on every application presented to the High Court under Articles 226 and 227 of the Constitution of India other than an application for the issue of a writ of Habeas Corpus. It appears to us that the levy of such a high court fee on these applications would amount in many cases to a deprivation of the fundamental rights of the poorer classes of citizens. We may mention in this connection that even in the Supreme Court, the fee levied on an Article 32 petition is only Rs. 10.

41. Touting.-

A number of witnesses stated that the evil of touting was prevalent particularly in certain parts of the Andhra region. We were told that these "village barristers" employ advocates of their choice to whom they direct the litigants and that these touts "swallow" a considerable portion of the fee payable to the advocates. A very senior member of the Bar stated in unambiguous words that, "there are some people who are engaged as unofficial solicitors. They take money from clients". We trust that the legal profession in Andhra Pradesh will take strong measures to combat this evil.

Table No. 16

Nature of Proceeding

Year of Institutions

1945

1946

1947

1948

1949

1950

1951

1952

1953

1954

1955

1956

Regular First Appeals

..

..

..

1

6

16

76

454

559

512

524

550

Regular Second Appeals

15

7

9

7

3

11

23

57

155

604

879

792

Appeals against Orders

..

..

..

1

1

11

23

32

167

339

384

402

Appeals against Appellate Orders

..

..

..

..

..

1

3

14

34

56

111

113

Letters Patent Appeals

..

..

..

..

1

..

2

4

4

28

21

70

Special Tribunal Appeals

..

..

..

..

..

..

..

..

10

30

33

20

Original Side Appeals

..

..

..

..

..

..

..

..

..

..

11

6

Writ Appeals

..

..

..

..

..

..

..

..

3

2

7

82

Writs

..

..

..

..

..

7

25

14

23

33

541

994

Special Appeals

..

..

..

..

..

..

..

..

..

..

..

3

Civil Revision Petitions

6

..

..

3

5

5

30

62

59

350

1047

1173

Tax Revision Petitions

..

..

..

..

..

..

..

..

1

..

8

60

Referred Cases

..

..

..

..

..

..

..

..

1

2

..

23

Leave to Appeal to Supreme Court

..

..

..

..

..

1

..

..

5

1

4

34

Original Petitions

..

..

..

..

..

..

..

..

..

..

11

6

Civil Suits

..

..

..

..

..

..

..

..

..

1

..

..

Civil Miscellaneous Petitions

..

..

..

..

3

13

51

93

190

981

1884

4378

Criminal Appeals

..

..

..

..

..

..

..

..

..

..

32

281

Criminal Revisions

..

..

..

..

..

..

..

..

48

1

66

425

Referred Trials

..

..

..

..

..

..

..

..

..

..

..

11

References under section 307 Cr.P.C.

..

..

..

..

..

..

..

..

..

..

..

..

Other references

..

..

..

..

..

..

..

..

..

..

2

14

Miscellaneous

..

..

..

..

..

..

..

..

4

..

2

99



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