CHAPTER 15:HARYANA JUDICIARY
The High Court is the highest court of justice in the state. The High Court of Punjab and Haryana is the common High Court for the states of Haryana and Punjab and Union Territory of Chandigarh.
Historical Background of High Court of Punjab and Haryana
Punjab and Haryana High Court was formerly known as Lahore High Court. The High Court at Lahore was established on 20th March, 1919 as the High Court of Judicature for the provinces of Punjab and Delhi to be called the High Court of Judicature at Lahore. The Lahore High Court was authorised to hear appeals from the decisions of all the criminal and other courts of the provinces of Punjab, Delhi and all other courts subjected to its Superintendence. 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 East Punjab High Court of Judicature was established at Shimla on 15th August, 1947 by the Governor-Generals High Court (Punjab) Order 1947, issued under section 9 of the Indian Independence Act, 1947. The East Punjab High Court was the successor and continuation of the High Court at Lahore. The Constitution of India came into force on 26th January,1950 and the state of East Punjab came to be known as the Punjab. Accordingly, the name of the High Court was also changed as Punjab High Court. However, the seat of the High Court continued to remain at Shimla.
High Court Shifted to Chandigarh
On 17th January, 1955, the High Court was shifted to Chandigarh due to inconveniency for the litigants to go to Shimla. On account of its inclement weather in winter. The plan of the building of the High Court was designed by the world-famous French Architect, Le Corbusier under the guidance of Honble the then Chief Justice, Justice AN Bhandari.
Creation of High Court of Punjab and Haryana
On 1st November, 1966, the Punjab Reorganisation Act, 1966 paved the way for the formation of Haryana and the Union Territory of Chandigarh. As per seventh amendment of the Indian Constitution 1956, the Parliament has right to form one joint High Court for two or more than 2 states or union territories. The formation of Haryana and Chandigarh led to the renaming of the High Court of Punjab as the High Court of Punjab and Haryana.
The Judges of the High Court of Punjab became Judges of the common High Court with all the powers and jurisdictions. However, the principal seat of the High Court remained at Chandigarh. The High Court of Punjab and Haryana is working since 1st November,1966 in its present form. It is located in the capital city of Chandigarh in the foothills of Shivalik range.
The sanctioned strength of this High Court is 68 judges consisting of Chief Justice, 37 Permanent Judges and 30 Additional Judges. As on 27th December 2018, there are 55 Judges (including the Chief Justice) working at High Court. The first Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court was Justice Ram Lal. The current chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court is Justice Ravi Shankar Jha (as on 26th November, 20).
List of Chief Justices of Punjab and Haryana High Court
|Justice Ram Lal||15th August, 1947||18th January, 1949|
|Justice Sudhi Ranjan Das||19th January, 1949||20th January, 1950|
|Justice Eric Weston||21st January, 1950||8th Dember, 1952|
|Justice Amar Nath Bhandari||9th Dember, 1952||18th November, 1959|
|Justice Gopal Das Khosla||19th November, 1959||14th Dember, 1961|
|Justice Donald Falshaw||15th Dember, 1961||29th May, 1966|
|Justice Mehar Singh||30th May, 1966||15th August, 1970|
|Justice Harbans Singh||16th August, 1970||9th April, 1974|
|Justice Daya Krishan Mahajan||10th April, 1974||10th May, 1974|
|Justice Ranjit Singh Narula||11th May, 1974||31st October, 1977|
|Justice Anand Dev Koshal||1st November, 1977||17th July, 1978|
|Justice Surjit Singh Sandhawalia||21st July, 1978||28th November, 1983|
|Justice Prem Chand Jain||1st August, 1985||18th August, 1986|
|Justice Hariday Nath Seth||19th August, 1986||14th October, 1987|
|Justice Debi Singh Tewatia||15th October, 1987||29th October, 1987|
|Justice Veeraswami Ramaswami||12th November, 1987||6th October, 1989|
|Justice Shanti Sarup Dewan||24th October, 1989||31st Dember, 1989|
|Justice Jitendra Vir Gupta||9th July, 1990||1st May, 1991|
|Justice Bipin Chandra Verma||19th September, 1991||2nd May, 1992|
|Justice Mandagadde Rama Jois||3rd May, 1992||31st August, 1992|
|Justice Sudarshan Dayal Agarwala||13rd November, 1992 (AN)||14th January, 1994|
|Justice Sudhakar Pandit Rao Kurdukar||16th January, 1994||27th March, 1996|
|Justice K Sreedharan||30th July, 1996||18th October, 1997|
|Justice AB Saharya||7th November, 1997||14th September, 2002|
|Justice Binod Kumar Roy||14th October, 2002||21st February, 2005|
|Justice DK Jain||11th March, 2005||6th April, 2006|
|Justice Vijender Jain||28th November, 2006||1st August, 2008|
|Justice Tirath Singh Thakur||11th August, 2008||17th November, 2009|
|Justice Mukul Mudgal||5th Dember, 2009||3rd January, 2011|
|Justice Ranjan Gogoi||12th February, 2011||23rd April, 2012|
|Justice Arjan Kumar Sikri||23rd September, 2012||11th April, 2013|
|Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul||1st June, 2013||25th July, 2014|
|Justice Shiavax Jal Vazifdar||26th July, 2014||3rd May, 2018|
|Justice Ajay Kumar Mittal||4th May, 2018||1st June, 2018|
|Justice Krishna Murari||2nd June, 2018||22nd September, 2019|
|Justice Ravi Shankar Jha||6th October, 2019||Incumbent|
* As on 26th November, 2020
District and Sessions Courts in Haryana
Every district has two types of courts viz district court for civil cases and sessions court for criminal cases under the code of criminal procedures. The courts are established by the State Government and presided over by a judge that is appointed by the Governor in consultation with the High Court in the state. In Haryana, all the districts have district court and sessions court except Charkhi Dadri which is a newly formed district in 2016. Each district in Haryana is headed by a Deputy Commissioner who has under him the District Magistrate, Sub Divisional Magistrates, Tehsildars and Sub-Registrar.
The revenue department in each district of Haryana maintain land records, registration, mutation, etc. The cases are settled in district courts under Revenue Cases. The Haryana Government provides online access to land records through its e-portal, Jamabandi.
Gram Nyayalayas (Village Courts)
Gram Nyayalayas are courts set up in a village or a cluster of villages. They are established under Gram Nyayalaya Act, 2008. They are formed to bring speedy and easy access to judicial services in the rural areas of the country. They are also known as mobile courts. Each Gram Nyayalaya is a court of Judicial Magistrate of first class and its presiding officer, called Nyayadhikari, is appointed by State Government in consultation with the High Court.
These courts exercise the powers of both criminal and civil courts. The headquarters of the nyayalayas are located at the headquarters of the intermediate Panchayats. These courts go to villages, work there and dispose off the cases as early as possible. In Haryana, two gram nyayalayas are operating presently. They are in Rania in Sirsa district and Shahbad in Kurukshetra distrct.
These courts specially take up cases in which violation of environmental laws have taken place. For the preservation of the environment, the State Government of Haryana has set up 2 environmental courts in Faridabad and Kurukshetra.