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Report No. 14

Appendix I

Questionnaire

Part I

Section A

(I) General

1. Do you consider the present system of administration of justice based on the British model suited to our needs having regard to-

(a) our poverty, and

(b) the mass of our population being in the villages?

2. Suggestions have been made for the establishment of "a system of judicial administration suited to the genius of the country", or, what has been called, "an indigenous system". Have you any suggestions to offer in this connection?

3. Would you consider the adoption, in whole or in part, of the system of judicial administration in countries other than Anglo-Saxon countries as being more suitable to our needs? If so, please offer detailed suggestions.

4. Do you consider our court structure complicated and in need of simplification? If so, please state suggestions with a view to such simplification.

(ii) Separation of the Judiciary from the Executive

5. How far has the separation of the judiciary from the executive progressed in your State? What steps would you suggest for expediting the carrying out of this separation?

The Judiciary-its Recruitment, Conditions Of Service And Training

(iii) The Supreme Court

6. Do you consider the present method of selecting the Judges of the Supreme Court from the Judges of the High Court, retired or about to retire, a satisfactory one?

7. What are your views on appointing to the Supreme Court Bench distinguished members of the Bar?

8. Do you consider it feasible to select for the Supreme Court Bench constitutional and other expert lawyers, particularly academic lawyers, from the Universities?

9. Would you be in favour of providing that the Supreme Court should deliver only one judgment as the judgment of the Court?

(iv) High Courts

10. It is stated that the High Court judiciary of recent years compares unfavourably with what it used to be in earlier days. Do you agree with this view. If so, what in your opinion are the causes of this change?

11. Is the falling off in the High Court judiciary due to:

(a) decreasing respect in governmental circles for the lawyer and for the judicial office,

(b) unsatisfactory methods of selection,

(c) insufficient remuneration and pension?

12. Has it happened in your State that unsatisfactory appointments to the High Court judiciary have been made under the influence of the executive?

13. Has the provision with regard to consultation with the Governor of the State in the matter of appointment to the High Court worked satisfactorily in your State?

14. Would you consider it advisable to provide that appointments to the High Court judiciary be made by the President after consultation with the Chief Justice of India and on the recommendation of the Chief Justice of the High Court of the State?

15. Are you in favour of raising the age limit at which the Judges of the High Court are bound to retire?

16. What are your views on the High Court judiciary being constituted on an all-India cadre, the Judges being freely transferred from one State High Court to another?

(v) Subordinate Courts

17. Do you consider the subordinate judiciary in your State (from the Munsif or Magistrate to the District or Sessions Judge) efficient? How does the capacity of the present judicial officers compare with those of about 10 years ago? If the judiciary is not efficient, what, in your opinion, are the causes of such inefficiency? Do you think that the conditions under which the judicial officers work (e.g., the residential and court accommodation allotted to them or deficient law libraries attached to the courts) have affected their efficiency? Have you any suggestions to make for an alteration in the existing system of their recruitment?

18. Are you in favour of recruitment to the judicial service by a competitive examination of a general character (as in the case of all-India Services) which would also test the candidate's knowledge of law and procedure?

19. Is the recruitment to the judiciary in your State mainly or wholly from the Bar. If not, would you be in favour of such recruitment wholly from practising members of the Bar? Please offer detailed suggestions.

20. Do you consider it necessary that members recruited to the services either by examination or by selection from the Bar should receive a special training before they are entrusted with the performance of judicial duties? If so, please indicate the nature of the training concerned necessary and the manner in which it should be imparted.

21. Would you consider it necessary that judicial officers who are likely to be entrusted with the disposal of litigation in industrial and commercial towns like Kanpur or Ahmedabad should receive special training? If so, please state the nature of the training envisaged and the manner of imparting it.

22. Does corruption prevail among the judiciary in your State? Have moral standards deteriorated? If so, what, in your opinion, are the reasons and what remedies would you suggest?

23. What tests would you suggest for assessing the efficiency of a judicial officer both in regard to the quality as well as the quantity of his work?

24. Has there been a deterioration in the exercise of superintendence and control by the Superior courts over subordinate courts? Have you any suggestions to make?

25. The power to make appointments to the subordinate judiciary is at present vested in the executive who have to act in consultation with the High Court and under rules made after consultation with the State Public Service Commission and with the High Court. Do you consider this method of appointment satisfactory? What is your view as to the powers of appointment to the subordinate judiciary being exercised by the executive on the recommendation of the High Court?

26. Do you consider that the age of superannuation of the District Judges could be raised with advantage?

(vi) Panchayat Courts

27. Have you any panchayat courts in your State? If so, what is your experience of the working of these Courts?

28. How would you constitute these courts? Would you prefer the members of the panchayat to be elected or appointed? If appointed, by what authority?

29. With what powers would you invest panchayat courts? Would you entrust them with civil matters only or both civil and criminal cases? What limits would you set to their civil and/or criminal jurisdiction? Would you entrust them with cases involving rights over immovable property? If so, would you set limits to the value of such property?

30. Do you consider it feasible to have a single panchayat court for a group of neighbouring villages? Would you consider courts so constituted more likely to be impartial?

31. Would you be in favour of investing panchayat courts with exclusive jurisdiction in cases entrusted to them? If so, would you suggest safeguards, by way of revision or otherwise, against capricious or arbitrary exercise of jurisdiction by them?

(vii) Law Reports

32. Are you in favour of the present system of relying on decided cases as precedents? Have you any suggestions to make as to any alternative system?

33. Do you not consider the present system of the publication and citation of law reports an impediment to the administration of justice? Would you be in favour of preventing the citation in courts of cases other than those reported in the official series, the reporting in which would be controlled by editing boards in the states and at the Centre constituted of eminent lawyers, the board's discretion to report being in no way fettered by the views of the Judges? Have you any other suggestions to offer in order to make law reports really helpful to a correct decision?

34. Would you be in favour of providing that courts consisting of more than one Judge should pronounce judgments of the court and not of individual Judges and that dissenting judgments, where permitted, should not, as a rule, be reported?

(viii) Legal Education

35. In your opinion should university degrees in law continue to be accepted by the law courts as a qualification for legal practice? Or, would you be in favour of admission to the Bar being regulated by tests carried out by a Central body invested with the power to impart education in law and conduct examinations in it?

36. If you are in favour of maintaining the present system of accepting university degrees as a qualification for legal practice, would you suggest any measures for the enforcement of adequate and uniform standards throughout the country?

37. Are you in favour of excluding any subjects which at present form the syllabus of law studies in the universities and including therein fresh subjects?

38. Would you consider a good liberal education comprised in obtaining university degrees in arts, science or commerce a necessary preliminary to entering upon the study of law? Or, would you be in favour of a course of general education forming a part of the syllabus of legal education?

39. Is legal education imparted at universities enough to give the necessary equipment to the lawyer for the preparation and conduct of cases in court? Or, if some further equipment is necessary, what in your opinion, should be the nature of such equipment and what measures should be adopted to impart that equipment?

40. In your opinion should practising lawyers be teachers in law schools or should teaching be left to academic lawyers?

41. What in your view is the cause of the decline in India in recent years of the true academic lawyer and the jurist?

42. Are you generally in favour of the recommendations in regard to legal education contained in the proposals made by the All-India Bar Committee in 1953?

43. What suggestions have you to offer in connection with legal education from the point of view of the expected change of the language of statutes and courts from English into Hindi?

(ix) Legal Practitioners

44. Have you any suggestions to offer in regard to the creation of a uniform and an All-India Bar over and above the proposals formulated by the All-India Bar Committee of 1953?

45. Would you favour a system of division of the Bar into Seniors and Juniors? If so, on what basis? What should be the respective rights and obligations of each section?

46. What are your suggestions for eliminating the evil of tourism?

(x) Legal Aid

47. Are there any agencies or institutions in your town, district or State for giving legal aid or advice to poor persons? If so, please give briefly details of their objects, membership and activities.

48. Do you consider the rendering of legal aid to the poor citizen or a citizen of moderate means an obligation of the State? If so, would you provide for the giving of such legal aid in all civil or criminal proceedings?

49. Should the scope of legal aid in criminal cases, which is being given in the shape of providing the services of the lawyers for defence of persons charged with offences punishable with death, be enlarged so as to make such services available to the accused in all courts in respect of lesser offences? If so, to what extent and in what class of cases?

50. What, in your opinion, is the true scope of any comprehensive scheme of legal aid? Should it be limited to a mere remission of court fees and other legal charges or should it include within its ambit legal advice, representation by lawyers and out-of-pocket charges?

51. Would you confine the grant of legal aid to litigants who are very poor or would you be in favour of extending it by fixing:

(a) a limit based on income and capital; and

(b) a scale of contribution to be paid by the litigants within those limits? Please make detailed suggestions.

52. Can you suggest any tests apart from income for determining the claim of a litigant to legal aid? What safeguards would you suggest to prevent any abuse of a scheme of legal aid?

53. To what agency (for example, Bar Association, Legal Aid Committee, courts or a State department) would you entrust the administration of a scheme of legal aid? Would you subject any agency administering legal aid, there than the courts or the States, to control or supervision by the courts or the State?

54. Can you suggest any measures by which the legal profession may make a contribution towards the successful working of a scheme of legal aid?

(xi) English, Hindi and Regional Languages

55. Having regard to the constitutional provisions in regard to the official language of the Union and the States what would you envisage in future to be the language of-

(a) Subordinate Courts in a State;

(b) High Courts in States;

(c) law reports of State High Courts;

(d) law reports of the Supreme Court?

Please give your views in detail remembering the need of co-ordination between the courts and the judiciary of the different States and the Union and of the Bar throughout the country?

(xii) Miscellaneous

56. What are your views on the Supreme Court and the High Courts functioning in circuits? Do you think that such a course will tend to public convenience and advantage and not affect the prestige of the Courts or be too expensive?

57. What are your views on the vacations at present enjoyed by the civil courts? Would the curtailment or abolition of the vacations adversely affect their efficiency?

58. Is it your opinion that the efficiency of courts has suffered on account of inadequate allotment of funds by the State Governments for the purpose of administration or Justice? Have arrears of work accumulated in your State in the Subordinate Courts owing to the failure of the State to appoint an adequate number of judicial officers?



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