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Report No. 14

Inspection Report

Name of the Court Inspected

Duration of inspection

No. of suits examined

No. of Darkhasts examined

No. of Miscellaneous proceedings

State of file

Remarks about administration by the Civil judge

Important points to be brought to the notice of the High Court, if any









The District Judge also periodically convenes a judicial conference of all the judicial officers in the district at which common problems are discussed and ideas exchanged.

22. Each District Judge is required to submit to the High Court a confidential report on all Assistant Judges and Civil Judges serving under him on the following occasions:-

(1) On March 31st each year, on all Assistant Judges and Civil Judges then serving under him.

(2) On his own transfer from the district, on all Assistant Judges and Civil Judges then serving in that district, and

(3) On the transfer of any Assistant Judge or Civil Judge serving under him, on that individual Assistant Judge or Civil Judge.

23. These confidential reports are intended to be of assistance to the High Court who may not have the same opportunity of observing the work and capacity of the Civil Judges as is enjoyed by the District Judge, in considering all matters relating to the discipline and promotion of the subordinate judiciary. The reports are required to contain the considered opinion of the District Judge founded on a real knowledge of the work of the Civil Judge based not merely on appeals coming before him but also on a scrutiny of cases and proceedings which do not come in appeal and also on the Civil Judge's methods of work and administrative capacity. There however appears to be further room for improving the methods of supervision.

We have already suggested the laying down of a time limit for the delivery of judgments. The compilation and publication in the administration reports of the number of pending suits classified according to the year of institution will serve a useful purpose. Again the annual administration reports give the average duration of suits in the courts of civil judges generally. This is apt to give a misleading impression, and it would appear to be desirable to give the figures for the courts of senior judges, who exercise unlimited jurisdiction and of junior judges who correspond to munsifs separately. More detailed explanation for the pending old suits may also be obtained.

24. In every court there are generally two superior ministerial officers, namely, a Clerk of the Court and the Nazir. The Clerk of the Court is the Chief ministerial officer for the purpose of the court work and the Nazir, the Chief ministerial officer for the purpose of execution work, service of processes and accounts.

25. The work of service of summonses, notices and orders and the preparation of processes for execution of decrees and orders is commonly entrusted to a class of process servers who are called "Bailiffs". The methods adopted for apportioning and supervising the duties of the Bailiffs vary from district to district. The Nazir is directly responsible for supervision over the work of the Bailiffs. It is his duty to see that the processes given to the Bailiffs are accurately drawn up and the proper address of the party on whom service is to be effected given and that the Bailiff is given all papers to be sent with the process. The work done by the Bailiffs is scrutinized and checked by frequent and regular inspection of documents such as the Bailiff's "Kamgiri Book", his diaries and the Patrol

Book kept in the office of the village officers of the villages visited by the Bailiffs. The diary to be kept by the Bailiff gives such particulars as the villages visited, and number of processes given for service in each village, the number of processes served, manner of service, reasons for non-service, number of miles travelled daily, the names of the villages in which the Village Officer's Patrol Book is signed by the Bailiff and the Village Officer or any other well-known person in the village.

The Patrol Book which is kept at the village Officer's place contains columns for signature of the process server, the dates of arrival and departure at and from the village, a summary of work done and the name of the village to be visited next. It is further provided that whenever a Bailiff visits a village he should ascertain from the Patrol Book the name of the Bailiff who had visited it immediately before him and the date of his visit and should make a note of the same in his diary. These notes are intended to further assist the Nazir in checking the work of the Bailiffs from time to time and to ascertain the correctness of the diaries of the other Bailiffs.

26. In this State the separation of the Judiciary from the Executive was effected by the Separation of Judicial and Executive Functions Act (XXIII of 1951). The separation was actually brought on from 1st July, 1953. Before the separation the magistracy was subordinate to the District Magistrate who in his capacity as the Collector was the executive head of the district and also the head of the police. After the separation the District Magistrate exercises no control over the Judicial Magistrates who have been made administratively subordinate to the Sessions Judge and the High Court.

27. The Magistrates fall into two classes (1) Executive Magistrates and (2) Judicial Magistrates. Their respective powers have been given in the Third Schedule to the Code of Criminal Procedure as amended in Bombay by the Separation Act. The District Magistrates, Sub-divisional Magistrates and Taluka Magistrates are in the category of Executive Magistrates. The Judicial Magistrates, consist of Magistrates of First, Second and Third Class, but it was decided that there need not be any second or third class Magistrates and that all Judicial Magistrates should be of the first class.

28. Government has issued the necessary notification under Article 237 of the Constitution to enable the High Court to exercise the same control over Judicial Magistrates as over the Civil Judges under Article 235.

29. The High Court has not prescribed any time limit for delivery of judgments by criminal courts though the courts are directed to hear the arguments and deliver judgments as soon as possible after the evidence is recorded. We are of the opinion that such time limits should be prescribed and enforced.

30. After the separation of the judiciary from the Executive, the Judicial Magistrates are subordinate to the Sessions Judges who have a general control over all Judicial Magistrates' courts in the district and their establishments. The system of control is largely similar to that which is used in the case of civil courts. The Sessions Judges inspect or cause to be inspected by Additional Sessions Judges every court subordinate to them as far as possible not less than once in two years.

At each inspection over and above the work of noting deficiencies, clear instructions are required to be given for the guidance of the Judicial Magistrates and members of the establishment concerned, At the end of the inspection the Sessions Judge has to circulate to all subordinate courts the points of importance. The Sessions Judges are also directed to examine in full detail the records of several pending cases and proceedings taken from the file of a Judicial Magistrate's court. In order to understand the Magistrate's methods and to draw his attention to the instances of failure, to take full advantage of the facilities given by the Criminal Procedure Code for expediting the course of the trial, a report of the inspection is submitted to the High Court in the following form:-

(1) Name of Court.

(2) Duration of inspection.

(3) Number of cases examined.

(4) Number of miscellaneous proceedings.

(5) State of file.

(6) Remarks about administration by the Magistrate.

(7) Important points to be brought to the notice of the High Court, if any.

31. The rules also contain instructions in detail about the points on which attention is to be focussed during the inspection of the Magistrates' courts.

Since expedition is of the utmost importance in criminal cases, a closer control, and more frequent check on the work of the judicial magistrates appear to be necessary. If cases in Magistrates' courts are to be disposed of within two months of the apprehension of the accused as suggested by us biennial inspection would appear to be inadequate. There should be annual inspections of magistrates courts as in other States and it seems that the calendar statement system can be introduced with advantage.

32. No serious delays occur in the disposal of criminal cases in the courts of session in this State. As an illustration the following statement is given to show the institution, disposal and average duration of criminal work in the Poona District for the years 1953, 1954 and 1955.




Average duration

Sessions Cases




62 days




75 days




45 days

Criminal Appeals




58 days




39 days




32 days

The same however cannot be said of the magistrates courts where there are pending a fair number of cases older than six months and some over a year. The position seems to be particularly bad in the courts of the Presidency Magistrates where there seems to be heavy congestion. Counsel with experience of these courts complained of over-posting, frequent adjournments and even piecemeal hearing.

So far as magistrates courts in the mofussil are concerned stricter supervision on the lines suggested by us would appear to be necessary. In Greater Bombay apart from increasing the number of magistrates, the appointment of honorary 'magistrates who would relieve the regular magistrates of the large number of petty cases which take up much of their time would serve a useful purpose. The institution of a mobile court like the one functioning in Calcutta and Madras can be usefully introduced in the city.

33. Section 41(2) of the Bombay Pleaders Act (XVII of 1920) reads as under:-

"Where a pleader employed in any such proceeding is from indisposition or any other reasonable cause, unable to attend on such day or at the time when the proceeding is called on, he shall notify the same to the court and thereupon the proceeding shall be stayed for such time as the court may deem reasonable".

Though the High Court has time and again issued circulars directing the subordinate courts to be strict in granting adjournments, yet the above statutory provision frequently nullifies the effect. We have been told that the pleaders not infrequently resort to the afore-mentioned provision when they want an adjournment of a case. "Indisposition" as a ground for adjournment has not been statutorily recognized in any other State in our country. We recommend the early repeal of this provision, which is capable of abuse.

34. Sessions cases are tried with the aid of jury in Greater Bombay only. We have already noticed the reports about its unsatisfactory working and suggested its abolition.

35. At present, the High Court is functioning with seventeen judges including the Chief Justice and three additional judges appointed for a period of one year. Some of the judges hold sittings at Nagpur and Rajkot. The accompanying Tables show the work turned out by the High Court in its original and appellate jurisdiction during the three years 1954-56 and the number of proceedings pending on 1st January, 1957 according to their years of institution. It is evident from the figures given in the Tables (Table Nos. 1, 2 and 3) that the work in the High Court is under control. There is however an accumulation of first and second appeals, a fair number of the first appeals being five years old. The recent increase in the strength of the court should help in reducing their number.

This is the only High Court which does not give the average duration of first and second appeals in the High Court, in the annual administration reports though this used to be done previously. We trust that in this matter the Bombay High Court will fall into line with the other High Courts.

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