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Punjab & Haryana High Court Bar Association

Post Independence scenario

After independence of India, the old province of Punjab was divided into West Punjab (Pakistan) and East Punjab (India). The High Court at Lahore being in Pakistan, ceased to have jurisdiction over Delhi and East Punjab. The question of location of the new High Court for these provinces arose. Shimla was selected as the seat of the new High Court.

The East Punjab High Court of judicature was established at Shimla on August 15, 1947 by the Governor General’s High Court (Punjab) Order 1947 issued under Section 9 of the Indian Independence Act, 1947. In exercise of the powers conferred by Section 229 (1) of the Government of India Act, 1935, the High Court of East Punjab was also made a court of record and as provided by Clause 5 of the said order, it had in respect of the provinces of Punjab and Delhi, all such original, appellate and other jurisdictions as under the law in force immediately before the August 15, 1947, was exercisable in respect of those territories by the High Court at Lahore. The East Punjab High Court was the successor and continuation of the High Court at Lahore. The decisions of Lahore High Court were binding on the Punjab High Court on the principle of stare decisis.

The Constitution of India came into force on January 26, 1950. The State of East Punjab came to be known as the Punjab now. Accordingly, the name of the High Court was also changed. As per Article 214(2) of the Constitution of India, the High Court was to be continued along with other High Courts. The Constitution of India also conferred on the Punjab High Court, along with all other High Courts, the power to issue directions, orders including writs in the nature of habeas corpus, mandamus, prohibition, quo-warranto and certiorari in the enforcement of fundamental rights or for any other purpose. The East Punjab High Court did not have the power to issue writs. However, the seat of the High Court continued to remain at Shimla.