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Punjab Courts Act, 1918

Punjab Courts Act, 1918 (PDF)

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Punjab Act 6 of 1918

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Received the assent of the Lieutenant-Governor of the Punjab on the 30th May 1918, and that of the Governor-General on the 12th June, 1918, and was first published in the Punjab Gazette of the 12th July, 1918.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY 6

 

·  Repealed in part by Act 4 of 1926.

·  Amended by Punjab Act 4 of 1919.

·  Supplemented by Act 9 of 1919.

·  Amended, by Punjab Act 9 of 1922.

·  Amended, by Government of India (Adaptation of Indian Laws) Order, 1937.

·  Amended by Punjab Act 6 of 1941.

·  Amended by the Indian Independence (Adaptation of Bengal & Punjab) Order of 1948 (G.G.O. 40).

·  Amended by Adaptation of Laws Order, 1950.

·  Amended by Adaptation of Laws (Third Amendment) Order, 1951.

·  Extended to the territories which immediately before the 1st November, 1956, were comprised in the State of Patiala and East Punjab States Union, by Punjab Act 38 of 1957

·  Amended by Punjab Act 35 of 1963

·  Amended by Punjab Act 25 of 1964

·  Adapted by Haryana Adaptation of Laws (State and Concurrent Subjects) Order, 1968

·  Amended by Haryana Act 51 of 1971

·  Amended by Haryana Act 20 of 1977

·  Amended by Haryana Act 24 of 1978

·  Amended by Haryana Act 11 of 1980

·  Amended by Haryana Act 23 of 1980

·  Amended by Haryana Act 16 of 1995

An Act to validate all things done under the Punjab Courts Act, 1914 as amended by Punjab Act IV of 1914, to repeal the said Acts or so much of them as may be valid and to enact a law relating to Courts in Punjab, which is free from the defect described in the preamble.

Whereas, it appears that the Punjab Courts Act, 1914, as assented to by Lieutenant-Governor on 15th January, 1914 and by Governor General on 27th April, 1914, and as published in the Punjab Gazette on 22nd May, 1914, included a clause, namely, clause (b) of sub-section (1) of section 39 which had not been passed by the Legislative Council of the Lieutenant-Governor and whereas doubts have arisen as to the validity of things done under the said Act, and the amending Act, Punjab Act IV of 1914 :

And whereas it is expedient to validate all things done under the said Acts, to repeal the said Acts or so much of them as may be valid, and to enact a law relating to Courts in Punjab, which is free from the defect above described, it is hereby enacted as follows :-

Part I

  1. Short title and extent.– (1) This Act may be called the Punjab Courts Act, 1918.

(2) It extends to [Haryana].

  1. Definitions.– In this Act –

the expression “the Punjab Courts Act, 1914” means what was published as the Punjab Courts Act, 1914, in Part V of the Punjab Gazette, dated 22nd May, 1914; and

the expression “Punjab Act IV of 1914” means what was published as Punjab Act IV of 1914, in Part V of the Punjab Gazette, dated 20th November, 1914.

  1. Enactment of provisions relating to Courts in the Punjab.– (1) (a) The provisions contained in Part II of this Act are hereby enacted and shall be deemed to have had effect on and from the first day of August, 1914.

(b) The Punjab Courts Act, 1914, and Punjab Act, IV of 1914, or so much of them as may be valid, are repealed on and from the first day of August, 1914 [in the principle territories and on from the 14th November, 1957 in the transferred territories].

(2) Validation of acts done. – All thins done under the Punjab Courts Act 1914, as amended by Punjab Act IV of 1914, shall be deemed to be in every way as valid as if the Punjab Courts Act, 1914, as amended by Punjab Act IV of 1914, had been of full force and effect on and from the first day of August, 1914 :

Provisos. – Provided, firstly, that any appeal which may have been decided by the Chief Court in the exercise of jurisdiction purporting to be exercised under section 39 (1) (b) of the Punjab Courts Act, 1914, shall be deemed to have been validly decided and shall not be called in question by reason of anything contained in this Act;

And, secondly, that any appeal which before the commencement of this Act has been presented to the Chief Court under section 39 (1) (b) of the Punjab Courts Act, 1914, and which should not have been so presented if the said sub-section had run as set out in section 39 of Part II of this Act shall if it has not been decided be transferred by the said Court for disposal to the District Court having jurisdiction;

And thirdly, that any appeal which would have laid to the Chief Court under section 39 (1) (b) of the Punjab Courts Act, 1914, but which lies to the District Court under the provisions of this Act and which if presented to the Chief Court at the commencement of this Act would be within time, shall be deemed to be presented within time if presented to the District Court within sixty days from the commencement of this Act.

Part II

CHAPTER I

Preliminary

  1. [ – ].
  2. Repeal.– The enactment specified in the Schedule are hereby repealed to the extent mentioned in the fourth column thereof.
  3. Definitions.– In this Part, unless there is something repugnant in the subject or context, –

(1) “Shall cause” means a suit of the nature cognizable by a Court of Small Causes under the Provincial Small Cause Courts Act, 1887 (IX of 1887);

(2) “Land-suit” means a suit relating to land as defined in section 4 (1) of the Punjab Tenancy Act, 1887, (XVI of 1887), or to any right or interest in such land;

(3) “Unclassed suit” means a suit which is neither a small cause nor a land suit; and

(4) “Value” used with reference to a suit means the amount or value of the subject-matter of the suit.

CHAPTER II

4 to 17. [ – ].

CHAPTER III

The Subordinate Civil Courts

Classes of Courts

[18. Classes of Courts. – Besides the Courts of Small Causes established under the Provincial Small Cause Courts Act, 1887, and the Courts established under any other enactment for the time being in force, there shall be the following classes of Civil Courts, namely :-

(1) The Court of District Judge;

(2) The Court of Additional District Judge;

(3) The Court of Civil Judge (Senior Division); and

(4) The Court of Civil Judge (Junior Division).]

  1. Civil districts.– (1) For the purposes of this Part the [State] Government shall divide the territories under its administration into civil districts.

(2) The [State] Government may alter the limits or the number of these districts.

  1. District Judges.– The State Government shall after consultation with the High Court, appoint as many persons as it thinks necessary to be District Judges, and the High Court shall post one such person to each district as District Judge of that District;
[Provided that the same person may, if the High Court thinks fit, be appointed to be District Judge of two or more districts.]
  1. Additional District Judges.– [(1) The State Government may after consultation with the High Court, also appoint as many persons as it thinks necessary to be Additional District Judges, and the High Court may post an Additional District Judge to exercise jurisdiction in one or more courts of the District Judges.]

(2) Additional District Judges shall have jurisdiction to deal with and dispose of such cases only as the High Court, by general or special order, may direct them to deal with and dispose of or as the District Judge of the District may make over to them for being dealt with and disposed of:

Provided that the cases pending with the Additional District Judges immediately before the 28th day of June, 1963, shall be deemed to be cases so directed to be dealt with or disposed of by the High Court or so made over to them by the District Judge of the District as the case may be.

(3) While dealing with and disposing of the cases referred to in sub-section (2), an Additional District Judge shall be deemed to be the Court of the District Judge.

[21A. Assignment of functions of District Judge. – The High Court or the District Judge may assign to an Additional District Judge any of the functions of the District Judge, including the functions of receiving and registering cases and appeals, which but for such assignment of functions could be instituted in the Court of the District Judge, and in the discharge of those functions the Additional District Judge shall, notwithstanding anything contained in the Act, exercise the same powers as the District Judge].

[22. [Civil Judges (Senior Division) and Civil Judges (Junior Division)]. – (1) The [State] Government may after consultation with the High Court fix the number of [Civil Judges (Senior Division) and Civil Judges (Junior Division)] to be appointed [-].

[(2) The High Court may confer on any Judicial Magistrate the powers of such class of [Civil Judges (Senior Division) and Civil Judges (Junior Division)] as it may deem fit to be exercised by the Judicial Magistrate within such local area as the High Court may define.]]
  1. [Repealed by Section 5 of Punjab Act IX of 1922]
  2. District Court to be principal Civil Court of original jurisdiction.– The Court of the District Judge shall be deemed to be the District Court or principal Civil Court of original jurisdiction in the District.
  3. Original jurisdiction of District Judges in suits.– Except as otherwise provided by any enactment for the time being in force, the Court of the District Judge shall have jurisdiction in original civil suits without limit as regards the value.
  4. Pecuniary limits of jurisdiction of [Civil Judges (Senior Division) and Civil Judges (Junior Division)].– The jurisdiction to be exercised in original civil suits as regards the value by any person appointed to be a [Civil Judge (Senior Division) and Civil Judge (Junior Division)], [-]shall [-] be determined [-] by the [High Court] either by including him in a class [-] or otherwise as it thinks fit.
[-].

  1. Local limits of jurisdiction.– (1) The local limits of the jurisdiction of a [Civil Judge (Senior Division) and Civil Judge (Junior Division)]shall be such as the [High Court] may define.
[-]

(2) When the [High Court] posts a [Civil Judge (Senior Division) and Civil Judge (Junior Division)] [-] to a district, the local limits of the district shall, in the absence of any direction to the contrary, be deemed to be the local limits of his jurisdiction.

  1. Special Judges and Benches.– [(1) The [State] Government may after consultation with the High Court appoint any person to be an Honorary [Civil Judge (Senior Division) and Civil Judge (Junior Division)], and the High Court may confer on such Judge all or any of the powers conferable under this Act on a [Civil Judge (Senior Division) and Civil Judge (Junior Division)]with respect to particular classes of suits or with respect to suits or with respect to suits generally in any local area.]

(2) The [State] Government may direct any uneven number of persons invested with powers of the same description and exercisable within the same local area under this section to sit together as a bench; those powers shall, while the direction remains in force, be exercised by the bench so constituted, and not otherwise.

(3) The decision of the majority of the members of a bench constituted under this section shall be deemed to be the decision of the bench.

(4) Persons on whom powers are conferred under this section and the benches constituted under this section shall be deemed, for the purposes of this Part, to be[Civil Judges (Senior Division) and Civil Judges (Junior Division)].

  1. Power to invest [Civil Judge (Senior Division) and Civil Judge (Junior Division)]with Small Cause Court jurisdiction.– The [High Court] may, by notification in the Official Gazette, confer, within such local limits as it thinks fit upon any [Civil Judge (Senior Division) and Civil Judge (Junior Division)] [-] the jurisdiction of a Judge of a Court of Small Causes under the Provincial Small Cause Courts Act 1887, for the trial of suits, cognizable by such Courts up to such value not exceeding[two thousand rupees] [-] as it thinks fit, and may withdraw any jurisdiction so conferred.
  2. Exercise by [Civil Judge (Senior Division) and Civil Judge (Junior Division)]of jurisdiction of District Court incertain proceedings.– (1) The [High Court]may by general or special order authorise any [Civil Judge (Senior Division) and Civil Judge (Junior Division)] to take cognizance of, or any District Judge to transfer to a[Civil Judge (Senior Division) and Civil Judge (Junior Division)] under his control, any of the proceedings next hereinafter mentioned or any class of those proceedings specified in such order.

(2) The proceedings referred to in sub-section (1) are the following, namely :-

(a) Proceedings under the [Indian Succession Act, 1865 (X of 1865)], and the Probate and Administration Act, 1881 [(V of 1881)], which cannot be disposed of by the District Judge.

(b) [ – ]

(3) The District Judge may withdraw any such proceedings taken cognizance of by or transferred to a [Civil Judge (Senior Division) and Civil Judge (Junior Division)]and may either himself dispose of them or transfer them to a Court under his control competent to dispose of them.

(4) Proceedings taken cognizance of by or transferred to a [Civil Judge (Senior Division) and Civil Judge (Junior Division)] as the case may be under this section shall be disposed of by him, subject to the rules applicable to like proceedings when disposed of by the District Judge.

  1. Place of sitting of Court.– (1) The [High Court]may fix the place or places at which any Court under this Part is to be held.

(2) The place or places so fixed may be beyond the local limits of the jurisdiction of the Court.

(3) Except as may be otherwise provided by any order under this section, a Court under this Part may be held at any place within the local limits of its jurisdiction.

  1. [Section 32 was omitted by the Government of India Adaptation of Indian Laws) Order, 1937.]
  2. Control of Courts.– Subject to the general superintendence and control of the[(High Court)], the District Judge shall have control over all the Civil Courts under this Part within the local limits of his jurisdiction.
  3. Power to distribute business.– Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Civil Procedure, every District Judge may by written order direct that any civil business cognizable by his Court and the Courts under his control shall be distributed among such Courts in such manner as he thinks fit :

Provided that no direction issued under this section shall empower any Court to exercise any powers or deal with any business beyond the limits of its jurisdiction.

  1. [Section 35 was omitted by the Government India (Adaptation of Indian Laws) Order, 1937.]
  2. Power to fine ministerial officers.– (1) A District Court or any Court under the control of District Court may fine, in an amount not exceeding one month’s salary, any ministerial officer of the Court for misconduct of neglect in the performance of his duties.

(2) The District Court may, on appeal or otherwise, reverse or modify any order made under sub-section (1) by any Court under its control, any may of its own motion fine up to the amount of one month’s salary any ministerial officer of any Court under its control.

  1. Delegation of District Judge’s powers.– A District Court may, with the previous sanction of the [High Court]delegate to any Substituted for the words ‘Local Government” by Punjab Act 9 of 1922, section 12. [Civil Judge (Senior Division) and Civil Judge (Junior Division)] in the district, the power conferred on a District Court by sections 33, [and 34], of this Part and section 24 of the Code of Civil Procedure [V of 1908] to be exercised by the [Civil Judge (Senior Division) and Civil Judge (Junior Division)] in any specified portion of the districts, subject to the control of the District Court.

CHAPTER IV

Appellate and Revisional Jurisdiction in Civil Cases

  1. Appeal from District Judges or Additional Judges.– (1) Save as otherwise provided by any enactment for the time being in force, an appeal from a decree or order of a District Judges or [Additional District Judge]exercising original jurisdiction shall lie to the [High Court].

(2) An appeal shall not lie to the [High Court] from a decree or order of an [Additional District Judge] in any case in which, if the decree or order had been made by the District Judge, an appeal would not lie to that Court.

  1. Appeal from [Civil Judge (Senior Division) and Civil Judge (Junior Division)].– (1) Save as aforesaid, an appeal from a decree or order of a [Civil Judge (Senior Division) and Civil Judge (Junior Division)], shall lie to the District Judge, irrespective of the value of the original suit.

(2) Subject to the provisions of sub-section (3) an appeal to the Court of District Judge shall be heard by the District Judge or by an Additional District Judge.

(3) An Additional District Judge shall hear only such appeals as the High Court may, by general or special order direct, or as the District Judge of the District may make over to him.

(4) All appeals from a decree or order of a [Civil Judge (Senior Division) and Civil Judge (Junior Division)] pending in the High Court, irrespective of the value of the original suit shall transferred to the District Judge exercising ordinary territorial jurisdiction.

(5) The High Court may, by notification, direct that appeals lying tot he District Judge from all or any of the decrees of orders passed in any original suit by any [Civil Judge (Senior Division) and Civil Judge (Junior Division)] shall be preferred to such other [Civil Judge (Senior Division) and Civil Judge (Junior Division)] as may be mentioned in the notification and the appeals shall thereupon be preferred accordingly and the Court of such other [Civil Judge (Senior Division) and Civil Judge (Junior Division)] shall be deemed to be a District Court for the purpose of all appeals so preferred.

  1. Power to transfer to a [Civil Judge (Senior Division) and Civil Judge (Junior Division)]appeals from other [Civil Judges (Senior Division) and Civil Judges (Junior Division)].– (1) A District Judge may transfer any appeals pending before him from the decrees or orders of [ [Civil Judges (Senior Division) and Civil Judges (Junior Division)] ] to any [other] [Civil Judge (Senior Division) and Civil Judge (Junior Division)] under his administrative control competent to dispose of them.

(2) The District Judge may withdraw any appeal so transferred, and either hear and dispose of it himself or transfer it to a Court under his administrative control competent to dispose of it.

(3) Appeals transferred under this section shall be disposed of subject to the rules applicable to like appeals when disposed of by the District Judge.

(4) The powers conferred by this section shall be exercised subject to such general or special orders as may from time to time be issued in this behalf by the [High Court].

[41. Second appeals. – (1) An appeal shall lie to the High Court from every decree passed in appeal by any Court subordinate to the High Court on any of the following grounds, namely :-

(a) the decision being contrary to law or to some custom or usage having the force of law;

(b) the decision having failed to determine some material issue of law or custom or usage having the force of law;

(c) a substantial error or defect in the procedure provided by the Civil Procedure Code, 1908 or by any other law for the time being in force which may possibly have produced error or defect in the decision of the case upon the merits.

Explanation. – A question relating to the existence of validity of a custom or usage shall be deemed to be a question of law within the meaning of this section.

(2) An appeal may lie under this section from an appellate decree passed ex- parte.].

  1. Second appeal on no other grounds.– (1) No second appeal shall lie except on grounds mentioned in section 41.

[(2) No second appeal in certain suits. – No second appeal shall lie in any suit of nature cognizable by Courts of Small Causes when the amount or value of the subject-matter of the original suit does not exceed three thousand rupees.].

  1. [Omitted by Punjab Act 4 of 1919, section 2 (4)]
  2. Revision.– The [High Court]may call for the record of any case which has been decided by any Court subordinate to it and in which no appeal lies thereto and if such subordinate Court appears –

(a) to have exercised a jurisdiction not vested in it by law; or

(b) to have failed to exercise a jurisdiction so vested; or

(c) to have acted in the exercise of its jurisdiction illegally or with material irregularity :

the [High Court] may make such order in the case as it thinks fit.

44A. Period of limitation. – (1) The period of limitation for an appeal under section 41 of this Part shall be ninety days from the date of the decree appealed against.

(2) In computing this period and in all respects not herein specified the limitation of an appeal under the said section shall be deemed to be governed by the provisions of the Indian Limitation Act, 1908.

CHAPTER V

Supplemental Provisions

[45. Mode of conferring powers. – Except as otherwise provided by this part, any powers that may conferred by the High Court on any person under this part may be conferred on such person either by name or by virtue of office.]

  1. Continuance of Powers of officers.– Whenever any person holding an office in the service of Government who has been invested with any powers under this Part throughout any local area is transferred or posted at any subsequent time to an equal or higher office of the same nature within a like local area, he shall, unless the[High Court], otherwise directs or has otherwise directed, exercise the same powers in the local area to which he is so transferred or posted.

[46A. Provisions regarding petition-writers. – The High Court may from time to time make rules consistent with this Act and any other enactment for the time being in force :-

(a) declaring what persons shall be permitted to act as petition-writers in the Courts subordinate thereto;

(b) regulating the issue of licences to such persons, the conduct of business by them, and the scale of fees to be charged by them; and

(c) determining the authority by which breaches of such rules shall be investigated and the penalties which may be imposed.]

  1. Control of list of holidays.– [(1) Subject to such general orders as may be made by the [State]Government the High Court shall prepare a list of days to be observed in each year as holidays in the Civil Courts subordinate thereto.]

(2) Every such list shall be published in the Official Gazette.

[47A. Provision regarding pending proceedings. – All suits, appeals, revisions, applications, reviews, executions and other proceedings whatsoever whether Civil or Criminal pending in the Chief Court of the Punjab shall be continued and concluded in the High Court of Judicature at Lahore as if the same had been had in such High Court; and the High Court of Judicature at Lahore shall have the same jurisdiction in relation to all such suits, appeals, revisions, reviews, executions, applications and other proceedings as if the same had been commenced and continued in such High Court.]

  1. [Repealed by Punjab Act 4 of 1919, section 2(4).]
  2. Amendment of the Punjab Land Revenue Act, Punjab Tenancy Act and the Indian Court-fee Act.– (a) In section 117(2) of the Punjab Land Revenue Act, 1887, in clause (c), “[Civil Judge (Senior Division) and Civil Judge (Junior Division)]” shall be substituted for “District Judge” an in clauses (d) and (e) “District Court” shall be substituted for “Divisional Court”.

(b) In section 99 (1) of the Punjab Tenancy Act, 1887 “District Judge” shall be substituted for “Divisional Court”.

(c) In section 7 (v) (b) of the Indian Court-fee Act, 1870, for the word “five” shall be substituted the word “ten”.

  1. Amendment of definition of District Judge in Punjab General Clauses Act, 1898.– For the definition of “District Judge”, in section 2 (15) of the Punjab General Clauses Act, 1898, the following shall be substituted :-

“District Judge” shall mean the Judge of a principal Civil Court of original jurisdiction but shall not include the [High Court] in the exercise of its ordinary or extraordinary original civil jurisdiction.

[51. Reference in existing enactments to Chief Court. – In every enactment now in force, and in every appointment, order, rule, bye-law, notification or form made or issued thereunder all references to the Chief Court of the Punjab shall be construed when necessary as referring to the High Court of Judicature at Lahore [until the fifteenth day of August, 1947], [from that date and before the commencement of the Constitution, as referring to the High Court of East Punjab, and after the commencement of the Constitution as referring to the High Court of Punjab] [until the thirty-first day of October, 1966 and thereafter as referring to the High Court of Punjab and Haryana.] ]

The Schedule

(See Section 2 of this Part)

1 2 3 4
Year No. Subject or short title Extent of repeal
Acts of the Governor-General in Council
1884 XVIII The Punjab Courts Acts The Whole
1888 XIII Ditto Do
1895 XIX Ditto Do
1899 XXV Ditto Do
Acts of the Lieutenant-Governor of the Punjab in Council
1909 I Punjab Courts Amendment Act The whole
1912 I Ditto Do
1913 VI Ditto Do

 

 

 

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