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Report No. 14

Table No. 3

Insolvency Jurisdiction

Name of Proceeding

1954

1955

1956

Pending at the beginning

Institutions

Disposal

Pending at the beginning

Institution

Dispoal

Pending at the beginning

Institution

Disposal

Pending on 1st Jun, 1957

Insolvency petitions

778

169

158

789

163

153

799

135

131

803

Insolvency notices

59

430

406

83

457

449

91

439

437

93

Table No. 3A

Nature of Proceeding

Year of Institutions

1944

1945

1946

1947

1948

1949

1950

1951

1952

1953

1954

1955

1956

Insolvency Petitions

2

3

8

8

11

11

10

13

18

29

62

96

118

Insolvency notice

..

..

..

..

..

..

..

..

..

..

..

93

36. The High Court of Bombay exercises ordinary original civil jurisdiction over Greater Bombay as defined in the Greater Bombay Laws and the Bombay High Court (Declaration of Limits) Act, 1945. The High Court exercised till 1948 ordinary original civil jurisdiction in all matters irrespective of valuation except those cognizable by the Presidency Small Causes Court.

In 1948 the City Civil Court was established by the Bombay City Civil Court Act, 1948 with jurisdiction to try suits valued upto Rs. 10,000; the jurisdiction of that court was raised to Rs. 25,000, with effect from 20th January, 1950. The City Civil Court is also the Court of Session for Greater Bombay. This court started functioning with four judges. Two more judges were appointed in 1951. In 1955 the strength of the judges was raised to nine which number continues till this date. The accompanying table (Table No. 4) shows the number of suits instituted and disposed of in the City Civil Court from 1948 to the end of June, 1957 and the average disposal per day.

Table No. 4

S. No.

Year

Suits instituted inclusive of transferred of suits from the High Court

Suits disposed of

Total number of judge days

Number of working days per on Civil side

Average of Judges sittings

Average disposal per day

1

1948

902

166

62

56

1.2

3

2

1949

2325

1274

282

204

1.4

4

3

1950

2400

1664

317

216

1.5

5

4

1951

3300

2385

609

190

3.2

4

5

1952

3558

2917

578

192

3

5

6

1953

2603

2516

492

196

2.5

5

7

1954

3000

2397

584

196

3

4

8

1955

3184

3242

863

193

4.5

4

9

1956

2940

3090

805

193

4.2

4

10

1957

1552

1448

393

88

4.5

4

Ending June

25764

21099

Note.- This table not include the average disposal per day in respect of matters under Arbitration Act, Public Trust Act, Displaced Persons (Debts Adjustment) Act, etc. and the matters required to be disposed by a judge sitting in Chambers under the Rules of the Bombay Civil City Court.

37. The Principal Judge of the City Civil Court, Bombay stated in his evidence that although there was a sudden rise in the institution of suits since 1951 there was no corresponding increase in the number of judges till 1955 and that the shortage of judges had resulted in accumulation of arrears. Whatever may be the reason for the accumulation there is no doubt that there are considerable arrears in the court and that steps should be taken to clear them, if necessary, by appointing temporary judges for a period.

38. The judicial business transacted by the Presidency Small Causes Court is given in the accompanying Table (Table No. 5). As will be seen from the above table the number of year old suits is high. The Chief Judge of the Presidency Small Causes Court, Bombay attributed the accumulation of arrears inter alia to shortage of judges.

38. He also drew our attention to certain defects in the rent control law. To quote him, "in day to day administration of the Rent Control Act, I have found very serious difficulties in the machinery of execution, especially in suits for eviction which have led to very bitter complaints from the landlords. In my opinion, they are absolutely justified The circumstances under which these delays arise are these: After a landlord files a suit for eviction, normally it takes a year and a year-and-half to obtain eviction. If it is a question of rent, it may be disposed of early, but if it is on the ground of personal requirements or purchase of the premises or tenancy or anything under section 13, then it takes a year and a year-and-half, before a suit is disposed of, mostly because there are many suits of this nature that have been filed.

The real tribulations of the landlords begin when they seek to execute a decree. Invariably there is obstruction. Landlord has to take up an obstruction notice and it takes some time before this notice reaches the destination because there are several such notices pending. It is our experience that 95 per cent. of the obstruction cases are bogus. They are probably done on the advice of the lawyers and there is no provision in the law by which you can say that obstruction should be removed. Sometimes this process goes on and it takes a landlord five to six years before he gets possession". We feel that the provisions of the Act should be examined and action taken to remedy the defects.

40. The accompanying Table (Table No. 6) shows the judicial business transacted by the District Courts (including Courts of Assistant Judges) and Civil Judges, Junior and Senior Division. It will appear from the figures furnished in the above table that there is a considerable accumulation of year old suits in the courts of Civil Judges and these amount to very nearly a third of the total number of suits pending. It would appear to be necessary to appoint temporary civil judges for some time to dispose of long pending suits but in the absence of adequate data, we are unable to make any definite recommendation in this behalf.

The Civil Judges (Junior Division) who correspond to munsif elsewhere have jurisdiction to try regular suits upto Rs. 10,000 and small cause suits valued between Rs. 100 and Rs. 500 depending upon the length of their service. Similarly the civil judges, Senior Division who have unlimited pecuniary jurisdiction can try small cause suits valued between Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,500 depending upon the number of years of service put in by the officers. When even a newly appointed civil judge, Junior Division, can try original suits valued upto Rs. 10,000 it is illogical to restrict his small cause powers to suits valued only upto Rs. 100 to start with. We feel that the small cause powers conferred upon the civil judges, Junior and Senior Division, should be enhanced to Rs. 500 and Rs. 2,000 irrespective of the length of service of the officers.



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