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Punjab & Haryana High Court Bar Association

Historical Background​

After the partition of India, the Constitution of India was framed. However, before the partition, there was the Government of India Act, 1915. By virtue of the powers conferred by Section 113 of the Government of India Act,1915, the Crown by Letters Patent dated March 20, 1919 had established at Lahore, the High Court of judicature for the provinces of Punjab and Delhi to be called ‘the High Court of judicature at Lahore’. The High Court of judicature at Lahore was a court of record.

Lahore High Court-High Court before Partition of Punjab

On the establishment of the Lahore High Court, the Chief Court of Punjab, which was functioning for the last 53 years, was abolished. The High Court at Lahore by virtue of Letters Patent and Section 106 and 113 of the Government of India Act, 1915 was vested with all the appellate and superintending powers, authority and jurisdiction of the Chief Court. The Lahore High Court by its Letters Patent was also vested with original jurisdiction in certain special matters as were possessed by the Chief Court. These special matters included disciplinary action against Advocates (Clause 8); Guardianship (Clause 12); testamentary and intestate (Clause 24)and matrimonial matters (Clause 22). The High Court had no ordinary original civil jurisdiction. However, it had ordinary original criminal jurisdiction to a limited extent. The original criminal jurisdiction of the Lahore High court was co-extensive with that of the chief court of Punjab which had no original criminal jurisdiction to try any person, except European British subjects. As per Clause 9 of the Letters Patent, it was empowered to remove, try and determine any civil case from courts subordinate to it. In exercise of its appellate jurisdiction, the Lahore High Court was authorized to hear appeals from the decisions of all the criminal and other courts of the provinces of Punjab, Delhi and all other Courts subject to its superintendence. It could hear appeals in Benches of two or more Judges of its own Court sitting on the civil side.

It was also declared to be Court of reference and revision from the criminal courts subject to its appellate jurisdiction. It had the powerto transfer any criminal case or appeal from any court to any other court of equal or superior jurisdiction. It had no power to issue writs except to the extent as it was empowered to issue orders in the nature of habeas corpus under Section 491 of the Code of Criminal Procedure along with other High Courts.