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Report No. 14

8. State of the file.-

Table No. 1 below shows the civil and criminal work done by the High Court from 1950 to the 30th October, 1957. The figures relating to the years 1951 to 1956 (30th October, 1956) relate to the old High Court of Nagpur. The figures pertaining to the new High Court relate only to the period of 12 months, from 1st November, 1956 to 1st October, 1957. Table No. 2 shows the year of institution of proceedings pending on 1st January, 1957 in the new High Court.

Table No. 1

Statement Showing Civil and Criminal Work Done By The High Court of Madhya Pradesh During The Years 1951-1957 During the Years 1951-1957

Year

1951

1952

1953

1954

1955

1956 upto 30-10-56

1956 From.-11-56 to 31-12-56

1957 Upton 30-10-57

No. of Judges

9

9

10

10

10

10

JBL

Indore

GWL

Total

First Appeals against Decrees

I

171

189

188

187

198

199

56

14

5

75

122

D

132

114

114

223

209

117

23

9

2

34

231

P

904

979

1053

1017

1006

509(784)

542

195

88

825

716

Second Appeals against Decrees

I

924

971

904

842

1061

966

116

81

56

253

664

D

948

810

1153

1038

871

746

38

20

19

77

960

P

2984

3145

2896

2700

2890

1323(2129)

1401

662

242

2305

2279

Appeals against Orders

I

188

252

203

203

272

215

33

18

6

57

222

D

272

357

265

237

229

227

12

9

2

23

141

P

424

315

254

220

263

-115(285)

136

149

34

319

400

Letters Patent Appeals

I

29

40

65

117

166

217

30

..

..

30

100

D

32

39

41

59

98

125

18

..

..

18

312

P

104

105

129

187

255

347(360)

359

8

5

372

160

Civil Revisions

I

950

811

957

982

1040

907

64

173

37

274

888

D

1011

774

897

953

1098

833

38

116

17

171

726

P

434

471

531

560

502

235(713)

261

464

91

816

978

Writ petitions

I

270

223

278

534

577

546

47

45

1

93

280

D

216

216

305

473

407

435

30

15

5

50

227

P

253

260

233

238

408

217(350)

234

112

47

393

452

Criminal Appeals

I

N.A.

N.A.

N.A.

348

407

376

79

72

15

166

592

D

N.A.

N.A.

N.A.

377

402

320

26

58

22

106

552

P

N.A.

N.A.

127

138

136

-147(322)

200

107

75

382

422

Criminal Revision

I

N.A.

N.A.

N.A.

935

900

767

108

70

41

219

792

D

N.A.

N.A.

N.A.

784

920

688

50

34

41

145

866

P

N.A.

N.A.

370

421

101

250(400)

308

131

35

474

392

(a) I=Institution.

D = Disposal

P = Pendency

JBL = Jubbelpore

GWL=Gwalior

(b) The figures shown in brackets against pendency under the year 1956 show the number of cases pending on.-11-56, when the new cour was constituted.

(c) On.-11-56, the following number of proceedings were transferred to the High Court of Bombay.

(I) First Appeals 579
(2) Second Appeal 1787
(3) Appeals against Orders 136
(4) Letters Patent Appeals 260
(5) Civil Revisions 341
(6) Writ Petitions 302
(7) Criminal Appeals 52
(8) Criminal Revisions 230

These figures have not been included in Disposal or Pendency columns of 1956.

9. Adequacy of strength.-

At the time of the reorganization, 6868 matters were pending in the old High Court of Nagpur, out of which 3524 matters were transferred to the High Court of Bombay. With the abolition of the High Court of Madhya Bharat and the Judicial Commissioners' courts for Bhopal and Vindhya Pradesh, 2513 matters pending in these courts were transferred to the new High Court, thus bringing the total pending matters in the High Court to 5857, with which the new Court started on 1st November, 1956. During the period of one year from 1st November, 1956 to 30th October, 1957, a total of 5657 matters were instituted.

The disposal during this period was 5215, with the result that at the end of the period of twelve months, the total of pending matters in the High Court rose to 6309, as against 5857 with which it had started. The strength of the High Court during this period was 10 judges. It is still too early to estimate the volume of future institutions, but taking the institutions during this period of twelve months as average, it is evident, that with a strength of ten judges it will not be possible for the High Court to cope with the current institutions. The average disposal per judge works out at about 520 cases per year as against 850 in the High Court of Allahabad.

This low average disposal is apparently due to the wastage of judge-power arising out of the High Court working at three different places and the difficulties arising as a consequence of the shifting of the High Court to a new location. Whatever may be the reason, on the basis of current disposals it would appear that at least twelve to thirteen judges would be necessary to cope with the current institutions. It was said that one more Judge would be necessary to deal with special matters like Election petitions etc. Some more judges would be necessary to deal with the accumulated arrears. An additional judge or two for a short period seem to be necessary. The situation may be watched for some time and, if necessary, temporary judges may be appointed to clear off the arrears.

10. Congestion of First and Second Appeals.-

It will appear from Table Nos. 1 and 2 that there is a great deal of congestion of First and Second Appeals which have been pending in the Court for many years. At the current rate of disposal of First and Second Appeals it would appear, that two to three years will be necessary to dispose of the existing accumulation of First and Second Appeals. We have not been able to ascertain the average duration of the First and Second Appeals that were disposed of by the High Court during the years 1956 to 1957, but it may be noticed that in the old High Court of Nagpur, the average duration of First and Second Appeals in 1954 was 2503 days (i.e., about 6 years and 10 months) and 1604 days (i.e. about 4 years and 5 months) respectively. Special efforts are therefore necessary to bring about a quick disposal of these classes of proceedings.

The appellate jurisdiction of District Judges in the Mahakoshal area was raised to Rs. 10,000 in 1956 but this change was not given retrospective effect. If such retrospective effect is given throughout the entire state-and is made applicable even to suits instituted prior to the amendment, it should give substantial relief to the High Court.



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