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Report No. 14

11. Supervision of civil courts.-

The same detailed supervision does not however exist in respect of the civil work. It is true that district judges regularly inspect courts subordinate to them once a year and reports based on their inspections are submitted to the High Court. A judge of the High Court also inspects the district court once in two years. But it cannot be said that these inspections have the same kind of effectiveness as the supervision on the criminal side.

12. The periodical returns submitted by the subordinate civil judiciary are scrutinised by the district judges. Small cause suits over three months old, regular civil appeals over six months old, miscellaneous appeals over three months old and all regular suits pending over one year are classified as "long pending cases" and the reasons for their pendency have to be explained. The returns also show the number of old suits pending according to their years of institution. Only quarterly returns are sent to the High Court. In the High Court these returns are examined only by the judge in administrative charge of the district.

Due to heavy work or lack of interest or aptitude for administrative work, the nature of the scrutiny by the different High Court Judges of the civil returns varies considerably. No one judge is responsible for an over-all scrutiny of civil returns as is the case of criminal returns. The High Court does not appear to have given as great attention to the supervision of civil work as in the case of criminal work. Nor has it insisted upon the District Judges paying as much attention to the supervision of civil work as on the District Magistrates in regard to the criminal side. We are of the view that the supervision at present exercised over the civil courts can be far more vigilant and that there is room for considerable improvement in this direction.

13. In this State, there is a rule that judgments in civil cases have to be delivered within fourteen days from the date on which the arguments are concluded and the case reserved for judgment. In the returns the judicial officers have to explain cases where this period has been exceeded. This return has a generally salutary effect. A special feature of these returns is that the average duration of cases disposed of after full trial is furnished separately in respect of each court in the administration reports.

In all other States except Andhra Pradesh such average duration is given only in respect of a class of courts. That does not reveal the state of things in the different courts. By following the system of furnishing returns, obtaining in this State and in Andhra Pradesh, attention would at once be drawn to those courts where cases have remained pending for a longer time and this would lead to a closer examination of the state of file in those courts.

14. Including the Chief Justice and two additional judges appointed recently for a period of two years, the High Court has a strength of eleven judges. This is one of the three High Courts in the country which exercises Ordinary Original Civil Jurisdiction. The accompanying Table (No. 1) shows at a glance the disposal of work by the High Court during the triennial period 1954-56.

15. Pendency in the High Court.-

The pending cases in the High Court on 1st January, 1957 comprises the proceedings of different categories the number of which is shown in Table (No. 2) according to their year of institution. The Table discloses that while there are no arrears of criminal proceedings, there is considerable congestion on the Civil appellate side, notwithstanding the transfer recently of a number of pending proceedings to the High Courts of Andhra Pradesh and Kerala. The number of pending original suits is staggering. We trust that with the recent increase in the number of judges the rate of disposals will be accelerated and that the arrears will soon be brought under control.

Table No. 1

Nature of proceeding

1954

1955

1956

Pending at the beginning

Institutions

Disposals

Pending at the beginning

Institutions

Disposals

Pending a the beginning

Received from T.C. High Court by Transfer

By transfer to High Courts of Kerala and Mysore

Pending on.-1-57

By transfer to City Civil Court

By transfer to City Civil Court

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

Regular First Appeals

3987

818

500

2054

2251

606+3R

547

..

2313

614

158

610

427

2048

City Civil Court Appeals

327

169

146

..

350

186

382

46

154

62+4R

..

105

..

115

Regular Second Appeals

7065

1555+6R

1656

3089

3881

1372+2R

1829

..

3426

1130+3R

178

1917

653

2167

Appeals against Orders

1920

553

767

754

952

320+2R

724

64

486

400

11

353

105

439

Appeals against Appelate Orders

598

138+11R

214

224

309

106+2R

177

..

240

102+2R

..

161

43

140

Letters Patent OR Special Appeals

323

240

206

135

222

135+9R

112

..

254

102+4R

..

121

36

203

Original Side Appeals

286

168

165

6

283

142

100

..

325

75+2R

..

158

..

244

Writ Appeals

44

161

104

17

84

133

112

..

105

158

..

150

7

106

Revisions (Civil Revision Petitions).

3103

1801+1R

1826

1447

1632

1399+5R

1630

..

1406

1766

21

1538

295

1310

Tax Revision Cases

339

127

299

42

125

161

100

33

186

246

..

278

23

131

References (Referred Cases).

188

100

30

25

233

107

73

..

267

139

6

92

11

309

Leave to Appeal to Supreme Court.

16

188

191

..

13

107

89

..

31

151

..

83

..

99

Miscellaneous

Writ Petitions.

1601

805+22R

1101

711

616

1010+1R

792

..

835

1541+2R

14

1267

125

1000

Original Side

Civil suits.

998

426

438

..

996

239

921*

..

304

122

..

155

..

271

*. this includes 616 Cases that were transferred to City Civil Court, Madras

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

Matrimonial Suits

12

7

11

..

8

12

8

..

12

11

..

13

..

10

Testamentary Suits

17

8

14

..

11

11

4

..

18

10

..

10

..

18

Original Petitions

107

373

372

..

108

353

286

..

175

363

..

393

..

145

Criminal Appeals

635

781

1112

..

208

770

753

..

225

838

..

744

..

319

Criminal Revision Cases

49

145

159

..

29

121

118

..

32

161

..

153

..

40

References Section 307, Cr.P.C.

Nil

Nil

Nil

Nil

Nil

Nil

Nil

Nil

Nil

Nil

Nil

Nil

Nil

Nil

Other References

Nil

Nil

Nil

Nil

Nil

Nil

Nil

Nil

Nil

Nil

Nil

Nil

Nil

Nil

Miscellaneous

51

1628

1639

..

35

1444

1417

..

64

1588

..

1586

..

64



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