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Report No. 14

18. Supervision.-

Under section 33 of the Punjab Courts Act the power of controlling the civil courts of each district is vested in the district judge. The High Court has made rules for the inspection of subordinate civil courts and for supervision of their working. Detailed instructions as to the points to be looked into by the inspection officers have been given. The rules also provide for inspection of subordinate criminal courts by the district magistrate.

The inspecting officers are required, so far as the circumstances permit, to keep themselves acquainted with the working of the courts subordinate to them and to comment on any irregularities that may come to their notice. They are required, particularly, to note the number of adjournments granted in any case, and the reasons for them; if it is found that adjournments are granted unnecessarily, the presiding officer of the concerned court is to be warned at once; if the practice continues, a report has to be made to the High Court.

Table No 9

Year

Total No. of Nyaya Panchayats which exercised Judicial power

Total No. of Panchayats which actually heard and decided the civil and revenue suits

Cases instituted

Cases decided

Cases compromised

Cases decreed

Cases dismissed

Decretal amount

No. of Appeals of Revisions before superior court against the decisions of the Nyaya Panchayats

Number of case in which decrees or order of the Panchayats courts were set aside in revision of appeal

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

Civil and Revenue Powers

Rs.

1951-52

5,738

3,496

12,939

12,170

6,562

3,365

2,243

3,26,023 0 0

77

17

1952-53

6,918

4,372

18,000

16,893

9,067

4,966

2,000

4,86,384 13 6

137

48

1953-54

9,188

5,960

26,832

24,431

13,794

6,484

4,153

5,40,611 13 0

149

41

1954-55

9,194

6,524

29,086

28,277

14,671

8,396

5,210

6,32,615 5 0

550

172

1955-56

9,196

6,555

22,797

22,467

11,260

7,254

3,953

6,78,634 0 0

389

132


Year

Total No. of Nyaya Panchayats which exercised Judicial power

Total No. of Panchayats which actually heard and decided the Criminal cases

Cases instituted

Cases decided

Cases compromised

Cases in which the accused were convicted

Cases dismissed

Fine Imposed

No. of Appeals of Revisions before superior court against the decisions of the Nyaya Panchayats

Number of case in which decrees or order of the Panchayats courts were set aside in revision of appeal

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

Criminal Cases

Rs.

1951-52

5,738

3,758

15,407

15,293

9,662

2,456

3,175

46,004 1 0

148

49

1952-53

6,918

4,580

19,173

18,813

12,008

2,883

3,922

5,298 7 0

252

110

1953-54

9,188

6,155

32,201

31,213

20,152

4,928

6,133

74,864 11 0

281

118

1954-55

9,194

6,739

34,086

33,661

21,227

5,667

6,767

1,10,130 0 0

885

364

1955-56

9,196

6,771

22,649

23,473

14,187

4007

5,279

64,690 0 0

435

197

The inspection notes prepared by the district magistrate are forwarded to the district and sessions judge of the district who will in turn forward them with his remarks to the High Court. It may be mentioned that in this State the courts of magistrates even in the non-separation districts are sometimes inspected by a High Court Judge.

19. We were told that there is not much delay in the service of processes in this State. The process-serving establishment is under the control of the Civil Nazir who is the ministerial head of the department working under the instructions of the senior subordinate judge of the place. The establishment consists of process servers, bailiffs, 'Madad Naib Nazirs' and Nazir; the work of process-serving is checked by the senior subordinate judge or the administrative subordinate judge in districts where there is an administrative sub-judge.

The Civil Nazir is responsible for the efficiency of the process-serving establishment and prepares and submits statistics and reports from time to time to the senior sub-judge or the administrative sub-judge. It is learnt that in order to encourage and improve the efficiency of the service of processes in Amritsar and Simla, the process servers are given a special bonus if they effect the service of processes above a certain percentage of the processes entrusted to them. This experiment is said to have been successful and the question of extending it to other courts is under consideration. It is also said that although complaints of corruption against the process-serving establishment are heard, they are not very frequent and that in such cases as are detected serious action is taken.

20. Language.-

The language of the subordinate courts in this State is Urdu. The judgments are, however, delivered in English. As regards the court records, in the courts of subordinate judges of the second, third and fourth class, a single record of evidence is maintained. The judge himself takes down the deposition in Urdu. In the courts of first class subordinate judges in cases where the first appeal lies to the High Court, the system of a double recording of the evidence prevails so that the deposition is taken down in the language of the witness and also- in English.

21. Separation.-

The subordinate criminal judiciary of this State has not been separated from the executive except in the PEPSU region where the subordinate judges exercise the powers of magistrates and the senior subordinate judge is an additional district magistrate. However, in the districts of Gurgaon, Ambala, Simla, Jullundur and Hoshiarpur, there is in force a system which is called separation under which some of the magistrates are entrusted exclusively with judicial work. But promotions, transfers, and other matters relating to the judicial magistrates functioning in these districts are dealt with by the Government.

The sessions judge merely sanctions casual leave and makes remarks on the work turned out by the magistrates. Though no calendars of criminal cases disposed of by the magistrates are sent to the sessions judge, yet every month they submit a list of cases that are four months old. It is obvious that this so-called separation does not have the substance of separation. Even this limited separation however appears to have yielded beneficial results. We are of the view that a genuine system of separation needs to be introduced in the whole State as speedily as possible.

22. Touting.-

The evil of touting which the Indian Bar Committee found to be very prevalent in Lahore in the twenties of the present century, appears to have followed the High Court to Chandigarh and seems to have become even more accentuated. A senior practitioner stated to us that since the time the High Court moved to Chandigarh the evil had taken such an ugly form that honest members of the profession were finding it difficult to survive. According to him "some people have an understudy; he goes to the districts on tour, contacts the local lawyers, settles the percentages. Every month he will go on tour to square up the accounts and make payments just like a commercial traveller". It was also stated that even some senior members of the profession were parties to such undesirable practices. It is for the legal profession in this State to take steps to set right this serious blot on its reputation.



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