Punjab and Haryana High Court

Punjab and Haryana High Court
Punjab and Haryana High Court
Established 1947 (1919)
Jurisdiction Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh
Location Chandigarh
Composition method Presidential with confirmation of Chief Justice of India and Governor of respective state on initiation of Collegieum of CJ & two senior puisne judges.
Authorized by Constitution of India
Decisions are appealed to Supreme Court of India
Judge term length Till 62 years of age
Number of positions 48
Website http://www.highcourtchd.gov.in/
Chief Justice

Justice Ranjan Gogoi (On Leave).

Justice M.M. Kumar as Acting Chief Justice since 12th September, 2011
Since 12th Feb. 2011
Lead position ends 17th Nov. 2016
Chandigarh High Court

Punjab and Haryana High Court is a common High Court for both the States of Punjab and Haryana and Union territory of Chandigarh, in India. It is situated at Chandigarh, the capital of the States of Punjab and Haryana. The sanctioned strenghth of this High Court is 68 judges consisting of Chief Justice, 36 Permanent Judges and 31 Additional Judges. As on 1st October, 2011, there are 48 Judges including Chief Justice. There are 48 judges on the strength of the High Court besides Chief Justice.


History of Punjab

Before the partition of India on 15 August 1947, the areas which are now parts of the Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, some parts of Himachal Pradesh and some areas falling in West Pakistan, formed the Punjab besides many princely states. Lahore was its capital.

Pre-History of Legal System

The Sadder Adulate Court (Chief Court) at Lahore was the sole Court in the Punjab province during Maharaja Ranjit Singh's period. There were officers dealing with fiscal and military matters, but none specifically to dispense civil or criminal justice.

The annexation of the Punjab by the British was immediately followed by the creation of a Board of Administration in 1849 consisting of three Members. The Board had powers of a Sudder (Chief) Court of Judicature and a Sudder Board of Revenue.

Constitution of Appellate Court

In 1853, the Board of Administration was replaced with a Chief Commissioner, and two Principal Commissioners separately appointed for Judicial and Administrative work. The Judicial Commissioner was the Chief Judge of appeal and his Court was the final appellate Court.

By the Punjab Courts Act, XIX of 1865, inter alia, seven classes of Courts were brought into being in the Civil Jurisdiction. Starting from the Court of Tehsildar at the bottom to the Court of the Judicial Commissioner at the top.

The Chief Court Act, IV of 1866 constituted the Chief Court of the Punjab as the ultimate Court of Appeal from the Civil and Criminal Courts in the province. The Chief Court was also vested with Extraordinary Original Civil Jurisdiction and Supervisory Jurisdiction over Subordinate Courts.

In 1877, the Punjab Courts Act, (XIX of 1865) and the Chief Court Act (IV of 1866), were repealed by the Punjab Courts Act, (XVII of 1877), which consolidated and re-stated the law inter alia relating to the Chief Court.

Over the years, it was noticed that the appeals to the Chief Court had increased to astronomical proportions and the work was greatly in excess of what the permanent and additional judges of the Court could dispose of. Though Additional Judges had been appointed to clear off arrears, it was thought advisable to give some form of greater finality to the decisions of the lower appellate courts to stem the tide of appeals being preferred to the Chief Court. It was also thought advisable to reconstitute the subordinate courts and revise their scope, powers and jurisdiction.Accordingly, the Punjab Courts Act, XVIII of 1884 was enacted for this purpose.

The Punjab Courts Act, XVIII of 1884, which repealed the Punjab Courts Act of 1877, not only touched the question of subordinate courts, their reconstruction, jurisdiction and powers, but also modified and restated the law regarding the constitution, powers and jurisdiction of the Chief Court as well.

By Act XIX of 1895 the senior most Judge began to be designated as the Chief Judge. In November, 1896, the pay of the Chief Judge was raised over and above that of the other Judges by Rs. 250 per mensem. Previously, the Chief Judge and Judges drew the same salary, that is Rs. 3,500 per mensem. The increase was made consequent on a recommendation made by the Government of India to the Secretary of State for India requesting for permission to raise the salary of the Chief Judge of the Punjab Chief Court to Rs.3,750 per mensem, to be at par with the salary of Puisne Judges in the Chartered High Courts.

In the year of 1899, the pay of the Chief Judge of the Chief Court was raised to Rs. 4,000 per mensem consequent on the pay of other Puisne Judges of the Chief Court being raised to Rs, 3,750 per mensem.

From 1911 two additional Judges, from 1917, the third additional Judge was sanctioned and from 1918, the fourth additional Judge was added and this temporary strength of four Judges continued till the Letters Patent was granted to the Court in 1919.

In 1911, the Imperial Parliament passed the Indian High Courts Act, 1911 and thereby amended the Indian High Courts Act, 1861. This new Act gave the Royal Sovereign the power, inter alia, to establish new High Courts in British India from time to time as the occasion arose and to appoint temporary Additional Judge for a term not exceeding two years, Since, however, the Chief Court did not come within the category of the High Court, all additional appointments of temporary Judges to the Chief Court were made by the Governor-General under various Punjab Courts Acts enacted in 1884, 1914 and 1918 (as amended from time to time) read with the Acting Judges Act, XVI of 1867.

Four years later, Indian High Courts Act 1911 was repealed by the Government of India Act, 1915. The new Act provided that all the existing High Courts established by Letters Patent would be treated as High Courts for the purposes of the said act, that each High Court, would consist of a Chief Justice and as many other Judges as His Majesty thought fit to appoint, that the Governor-General in council would appoint persons to act as Additional Judges for such period not exceeding two years as where necessary, and that the maximum number of Judges of a High Court including the chief Justice and the Additional Judges would be twenty. The Act also provided that the Judges would hold office during His Majesty's pleasure and that Acting Judges would be appointed by the Local Governments.

The new Act also granted the Royal Sovereign authority to establish High Courts by Letters Patent in any territory in British India and to confer on any High Court so established any such jurisdiction power, and authority as were vested in or might be conferred on any High Court existing at the commencement of that Act. The Letters Patent establishing the Lahore High Court was granted pursuant to the provisions contained in Section 113 of the Government of India Act, 1915.

Lahore High Court

The Crown had established at Lahore, the High Court of judicature for the provinces of Punjab and Delhi by Letters Patent dated 20 March 1919 under the powers conferred by Section 113 of the Government of India Act, 1915. Thus, Lahore High Court came into existence on 21 March 1919, which resulted into abolition of the Chief Court of Punjab functioning since long. it is worth to mention that from 1921 onwards, the Judges were required to give an undertaking upon appointment to their office, not to resume practice at the Bar on their retirement.

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. Thus, East Punjab High Court of judicature was established at Shimla on 15 August 1947 by the Governor General's High Court (Punjab) Order 1947 issued under Section 9 of the Indian Independence Act, 1947 which had jurisdiction over Punjab, Delhi and some parts of present Himachal Pradesh. The East Punjab High Court was the successor and continuation of the High Court at Lahore. The East Punjab High Court started functioning in October, 1947. The India (Adaptation of Existing Indian Laws) Order, 1947 provided that any reference in an existing Indian law to the High Court of Judicature at Lahore be replaced by a reference to the High Court of East Punjab. The decisions of Lahore High Court were binding on the East Punjab High Court (later renamed as Punjab High Court and currently called as Punjab & Haryana High Court) on the principle of stare decisis.

Himachal Pradesh Relation

Subsequently, a Chief Commissioner's province of Himachal Pradesh was born as a result of integration of 28 petty princely states (including feudatory princes and zaildars) in the promontories of the western Himalaya, known in full as the Simla Hills States & four Punjab southern hill States on April 15, 1948 by issue of the Himachal Pradesh (Administration) Order, 1948 under Sections 3 & 4 of the Extra-Provincial Jurisdiction Act, 1947 (later renamed as the Foreign Jurisdiction Act, 1947 vide A.O. of 1950) with later merger of the State of Bilaspur on 1 April 1954 by the Himachal Pradesh and Bilaspur (New State) Act, 1954. Under the Himachal Pradesh (Courts) Order, 1948, the Court of Judicial Commissioner was established for Himachal Pradesh with powers of a High Court under the Judicial Commissioner's Court Act, 1950. Subsequently the Dominion Legislature passed the Merged States (Laws) Act, 1949, which came into force on 1.1.1950. On adoption of the Constitution, it became a Part "C" State with Lt. Governor and Legislative Assembly elected in 1952. Himachal Pradesh became Union Territory on 1 November 1956 on enactment of the States Reorganisation Act, 1956. Following area of Punjab State namely Simla, Kangra, Kulu and Lahul and Spiti Districts, Nalagarh tehsil of Ambala District, Lohara, Amb and Una kanungo circles, some area of Santokhgarh kanungo circle and some other specified area of Una tehsil of Hoshiarpur District besides some parts of Dhar Kalan Kanungo circle of Pathankot tehsil of Gurdaspur District; were merged with Himachal Pradesh on 1 November 1966. Later the Court of Judicial commissioner stood abolished on 1 May 1967 by establishing the Himachal Bench of Delhi High Court at Shimla under the Delhi High Court Act, 1966.

Post Constitution Era

The Constitution of India came into force on 26 January 1950. The State of East Punjab came to be known as the Punjab. Accordingly, the name of the High Court was also changed as the Punjab High Court with its seat at Shimla.

High Court shifted to Chandigarh

The seat of the High Court was shifted to Chandigarh on 17 January 1955, however it was formally declared open by the first Prime Minister of India, Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru, on 19 March 1955.

Pepsu High Court merged

There existed the Patiala and East Punjab States Union (PEPSU) along the State of Punjab, which had also its own High Court known as 'Pepsu High Court' at Patiala. The Pepsu was formed on 15 July 1948 and comprised the then princely states of Patiala, Nabha, Kapurthala, Faridkot, Jind, Malerkotla, Nalagarh and Kalsia besides the hilly areas of Kasauli, Kandaghat, Dharampur and Chail. The Pepsu was headed by Maharaja Yadavindra Singh, who was the Rajpramukh and Maharaja Jagatjit Singh of Kapurthala, who was the Deputy Rajpramukh. By the States Re-organisation Act, 1956, the State of Pepsu was merged in the State of Punjab. The Judges of the High Court of Pepsu became Judges of the Punjab High Court. The strength of the Punjab High Court, which had originally 8 Judges rose to 13. The Punjab High Court also assumed jurisdiction over the territories which were earlier under the Pepsu High Court.

Delhi High Court created

Another step was taken on 31 October 1966, when Delhi Circuit Bench of the Punjab High Court, working since 1952 under the orders of the Governor General, was constituted as a separate High Court for the Union Territory of Delhi under the Delhi High Court Act, 1966 and three Judges of the Punjab High Court were transferred to Delhi High Court.

High Court of Punjab and Haryana designated

In 1966, after the reorganisation of the State of Punjab, the High Court was designated as the High Court of Punjab and Haryana having its jurisdiction over Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh because a new State named Haryana and the Union Territory of Chandigarh have been carved out of Punjab State on 1 November 1966 in the wake of the States Reorganisation Act, 1966.

Chandigarh, the Seat of the High Court

Located on the north of India, 365 m above the sea-level, on the foot-hills of Shivalik range, is the city 'Chandigarh'. It is the capital of two States of the Indian Union, Punjab and Haryana. Though it is the capital of two states, it belongs to none of them, as it is a Union Territory. The High Court is located In Sector 1 of Chandigarh.

Historical Background of Chandigarh

In the partition, Lahore was given to Pakistan. There arose the need to have a new capital for the areas of the Punjab that had fallen to India. In March, 1948, the Government of Punjab in consultation with the Government of India, approved a 114.59 km2. tract of land at the foot of the Shivalik Hills in Ambala district, as the site for the new capital. Le Corbusier, a well-known, French architect, was chosen to execute the project.

List of current judges

The following is a list of current justices, with the date they are due to retire.

  1. Mr. Justice Ranjan Gogoi Chief Justice 17.11.2016 (On leave due to medical treatment)
  2. Mr. Justice M. M. Kumar 4.1.2015 Acting Chief Justice
  3. Mr. Justice Jasbir Singh 31.7.2014
  4. Mr. Justice Satish Kumar Mittal 14.4.2016
  5. Mr. Justice Hemant Gupta 16.10.2019
  6. Mr. Justice Surinder Singh Saron 3.9.2017
  7. Mr. Justice Permod Kohli 28.2.2013
  8. Mr. Justice Rajive Bhalla 3.3.2016
  9. Mr. Justice Ajay Kumar Mittal 29.9.2020
  10. Mr. Justice Surya Kant 9.2.2024
  11. Mr. Justice Muttaci Jeyapaul 21.7.2017
  12. Mr. Justice Ranjit Singh Randhawa 3.4.2013
  13. Mr. Justice Tej Pratap Singh Mann 31.12.2018
  14. Mr. Justice Mahesh Grover 3.6.2019
  15. Mr. Justice Ajai Lamba 20.9.2020
  16. Mr. Justice Rajesh Bindal 15.4.2023
  17. Mr. Justice Arvind Kumar Goel 27.11.2011
  18. Mr. Justice Amar Nath Jindal 24.5.2013
  19. Mr. Justice Mohinder Mohan Singh Bedi 8.10.2018
  20. Mr. Justice Laxmi Narain Mittal 5.11.2013
  21. Mr. Justice Nawab Singh 10.12.2013
  22. Mr. Justice Mohinder Pal 29.12.2018
  23. Mr. Justice Karam Chand Puri 19.9.2015
  24. Mr. Justice Rakesh Kumar Garg 1.9.2014
  25. Mr. Justice Rakesh Kumar Jain 30.9.2020
  26. Mr. Justice Kanwaljit Singh Ahluwalia 30.5.2019
  27. Mr. Justice Jaswant Singh Phogat 22.2.2023
  28. Mrs. Justice Daya Chaudhary 9.1.2021
  29. Mrs Justice Sabina 19.4.2023
  30. Mr Justice Jora Singh 14.3.2012
  31. Mr. Justice Rajan Gupta 13.9.2022
  32. Mr. Justice Ajay Tewari 5.4.2022
  33. Mr. Justice Jitendra Kumar Chauhan 5.6.2021
  34. Mr. Justice Augustine George Masih 11.3.2025
  35. Ms. Justice Nirmaljit Kaur 27.1.2021
  36. Mr. Justice K. Kannan 5.6.2016
  37. Mr. Justice Alok Singh 27.4.2021
  38. Mr. Justice Mehinder Singh Sullar 22.3.2015
  39. Mr. Justice Ram Chand Gupta 25.2.2014
  40. Mr. Justice Gurdev Singh 31.12.2011
  41. Mrs. Justice Ritu Bahri 10.10.2024
  42. Mr. Justice Vijender Singh Malik 9.12.2013
  43. Mr. Justice Paramjeet Singh Dhaliwal
  44. Mr. Justice Naresh Kumar Sanghi
  45. Mr. Justice Rameshwar Singh Malik
  46. Mr. Justice Rajiv Narain Raina
  47. Mr. Justice Tejinder Singh Dhindsa
  48. Mr. Justice Gurmeet Singh Sandhawalia

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