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Report No. 14

55. Uttar Pradesh

1. General.-

The State of Uttar Pradesh consists of 51 Districts. The area of the State is 113,409 square miles. No territorial changes were made in the State on account of the recent reorganisation of States. Uttar Pradesh is the most populous State with a total population of 63,215,742 according to the 1951 census.

2. Set up of civil courts (Jurisdiction).-

The State is divided into 34 judgeships. The constitution of the subordinate civil courts (except in Oudh) is governed by the Bengal (Agra) and Assam Civil Courts Act, 1887. Courts in Oudh, which had a separate Chief Court until 1948, are governed by the Oudh Civil Courts Act, 1925. The set-up of the courts, generally follows the pattern of subordinate courts in other States. The pecuniary jurisdiction of Munsifs ordinarily extends upto Rs. 2,000, but may be extended upto Rs. 5,000. They may be invested with small cause court powers upto Rs. 250. Civil Judges exercise unlimited pecuniary jurisdiction and are invested with small cause jurisdiction upto Rs. 500.

At the head of the subordinate judiciary is the District Judge, who exercises unlimited pecuniary jurisdiction and tries original suits under special enactment, like Guardians and Wards Act, Succession Act, Insolvency Act, Indian Companies Act, Land Acquisition Act, Divorce Act etc. The appellate jurisdiction of District Judges has been recently raised from Rs. 5,000 to Rs. 10,000 but it does not apply to suits instituted prior to the amendment. In some District headquarters, where there are no District Judges, Senior Civil Judges are appointed as Civil and Sessions Judges.

On the civil side they have unlimited pecuniary jurisdiction, and try all such cases under the miscellaneous enactments as may have been specially entrusted to them under various notifications. On the criminal side, they exercise the powers of a Sessions Judge. They perform practically the same functions as District and Sessions Judges, except that they do not perform any administrative duties which are exercised only by the District Judge in charge of the Division. In some big towns, separate Small Cause Courts have been created. These courts are presided over by Senior Civil Judges who have jurisdiction to try small cause suits upto Rs. 1,000.

3. Strength.-

The subordinate judiciary is divided into two classes, the U.P. Civil Service (Judicial Branch), consisting of Munsifs and Civil Judges with a sanctioned strength of 163 Munsifs and 59 Civil Judges and the U.P. Higher Judicial Service, the members of which are either Civil and Sessions Judges or District and Sessions Judges with a sanctioned strength of 39 and 45 respectively. Recently the strength of the Civil Service (Judicial Branch) has been raised by 44, bringing the total strength to 266.

4. Mode of recruitment and pay scales.-

Recruitment to the U.P. Civil Service (Judicial Branch) is made by a written competitive examination in four papers, two law papers, one language paper and another called "Present Day" carrying 850 marks in all. Candidates who secure a certain percentage of marks are called for a viva voce test, carrying 150 marks, conducted by the Public Service Commission, with which a nominee of the High Court, generally the Registrar, is associated as an expert. At the written examination the candidates are allowed the use of bare texts of the Acts when answering law papers. The requisite qualifications are a degree in law followed by at least two years' practice at the

Bar and age below 28 years. Knowledge of Hindi is compulsory. It is, however, understood that the question of dispensing with the requirement of the practice at the Bar, is under the consideration of the Government. Munsifs and Civil Judges are borne on the scale of pay of Rs. 350-350-375-25-400-E.B.-30-700-E.B.­50-850. A few posts of civil judges are borne on the selection grade in the scale of Rs. 1,000-50-1,200.

Recruitment to the Higher Judicial Service is made at the level of Civil and Sessions Judges. Seventy-five per cent. of the posts in the Higher Judicial Service are filled by promotion and 25 per cent. by direct recruitment. Direct recruits are selected after an interview by a selection committee consisting of two judges of the High Court and the Judicial Secretary to the Government. Advocates of at least 7 years standing and legally qualified judicial officers with the same length of service are eligible for direct recruitment as Civil and Sessions Judges.

Promotee-recruits to the Higher Judicial Service should have put in service of not less than 7 years or whose salary is not less than Rs. 700. They are appointed as Civil and Sessions Judges, who are in the pay scale of Rs. 600-50-800-50-1,200. District Judges are borne on the scale of Rs. 800-50-1,000-75-1,750-50-1,800. This scale is somewhat different from and better than the senior scale in the I.A.S.

Anomalies in pay scales.- A peculiar feature about the pay scales is that both Munsifs and Civil Judges, who do different types of work are borne on the same scale of pay. But Civil and Sessions Judges and District and Sessions Judges, who also do practically the same type of work (except that the latter also perform some administrative duties) are borne on widely different scales of pay. When a Munsif is promoted as Civil Judge, all that happens is merely a change of designation and assignment of heavier and more difficult judicial work without any corresponding increase in remuneration. This is unsatisfactory and we suggest that the scales of pay of Civil Judges should be different from and higher than that of Munsifs.

The scales of pay for District Judges and Civil and Sessions Judges are also anomalous. The work of the Civil and Sessions Judges is not different from that of the District and Sessions Judges; they also hear appeals from District Magistrates and Assistant Sessions Judges. The only difference in their work is that Civil and Sessions Judges have no administrative duties to preform. The U.P. Judicial Reforms Committee therefore recommended that the two cadres, of Civil and Sessions Judges and District Judges, should be integrated but this recommendation has not been implemented. We have also recommended earlier that the Higher Judicial Service should be composed of only one cadre with a uniform scale of pay.

Retirement age.- In an earlier chapter we have recommended that the retirement age of the members of judiciary should be raised from 55 to 58. U.P. is the only State in India, where this has already been done by raising the retirement age of all gazetted officers to 58.

5. Promotion.-

The promotion of judicial officers is almost automatic according to seniority. We were told that during the last many years there has been only one instance when the promotion of a judicial officer was stopped on account of poor quality of work.

6. Executive interference in the promotion of Civil and Sessions Judges.-

We think it necessary to call attention to an important matter with regard to the promotion of judicial officers. It appears that some time ago the High Court recommended the promotion of certain Civil and Sessions Judges for the grade of District and Sessions Judges and at the same time pointed out that the case of three particular officers had to be kept over for consideration.

These three officers had not sufficient experience of criminal work, having been taken out of regular judicial work and employed in the Secretariat, for a number of years. It was therefore stated that their capacity in this regard could not be assessed and their fitness for promotion determined. But nevertheless these officers were promoted. This is far from satisfactory and tending as it does to transfer the allegiance of judicial officers from the High Court to the Secretariat deserves to be deprecated. We have earlier made appropriate recommendation to prevent such contingencies.

7. Training.-

The High Court has laid down that directly recruited Munsifs, who are kept on probation for two years., should on first appointment undergo a course of training in court work, departmental rules and office routine for a period of 4 to 6 weeks. During this period, the candidate is required to watch the proceedings in the courts of Senior Munsifs and Civil Judges to gain experience of the actual procedure followed in the trial of cases and should take notes of cases attended by him, frame issues, take down evidence and write draft judgments. These are required to be perused by the District Judge who has to comment on them for the guidance of the Munsif. The District Judge is also obliged to examine the probationers in financial and account rules.

The Circular Orders also provide that before a Civil Judge is asked to do criminal work, he should watch the work of the Sessions Judge for a certain number of days. These instructions are, however, not followed. We understand that on account of an acute shortage of officers, training has been dispensed with in all cases. This seems to be a shortsighted measure. A properly trained munsif is likely to do more and better work than one who has to be trained while doing his work. In the long run, the time spent on training would be of more value in keeping down the arrears than the work that a raw hand can turn out by being in charge of a court during the training period.

8. Establishment of High Court.-

The High Court of Allahabad, originally known as the High Court of the North-Western Provinces, was established under a Charter in 1866 and was located at Agra. It was shifted to Allahabad in 1875 and came to be known as the High Court of Judicature at Allahabad. In Oudh which was a non-regulation province, a separate Judicial Commissioner's Court was constituted. It was raised to the status of a Chief Court in 1925. This court was, however, amalgamated with the High Court of Allahabad with effect from the 26th of July, 1948 and the entire State was brought within the territorial jurisdiction of a single High Court.

9. Strength.-

The sanctioned strength of the High Court was only 20 judges including the Chief Justice until October 1951, when it was raised to 22. It was further increased to 23 in March, 1955. The present sanctioned strength is 24 permanent judges and two additional judges. But as against the sanctioned strength of 26 judges, the actual strength of the High Court at present is 25, 23 permanent judges and two temporary additional judges appointed for two years recently.

10. Bench at Lucknow.-

Since the amalgamation of the Oudh Chief Court with the Allahabad High Court, a Bench has been functioning at Lucknow, where four judges of the High Court are posted to dispose of cases arising in ten districts of the State. The judges on the Lucknow Bench are changed from time to time so as to ensure that the two Benches maintain a unity and do not develop into two different High Courts. These frequent changes in Benches have some times resulted in part heard matters having to be reheard by a different Bench.

11. The following statement shows the civil and criminal work done in the High Court during the years 1948-1956.



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