JUDICIARY OF HIMACHAL

/JUDICIARY OF HIMACHAL
JUDICIARY OF HIMACHAL 2018-07-26T12:02:17+00:00
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SURVEY

Precisely, the former Princely States had different systems of Administration and set of laws and in most of the Princely States, the administration was run on the whims of the Rulers or Wazirs and their words were considered to be the law. Himachal Pradesh came to be formed as a result of integration of 26 Shimla and four Punjab hill States into a Centrally Administered Area on April 15,1948. On 1st April, 1954, the parts of Bilaspur were also merged with Himachal Pradesh having its Headquarters at Shimla. The head was the Chief Commissioner. The first Chief Commissioner was Mr. N. C. Mehta and he was assisted by his deputy Mr. E. Penderal Moon, ICS. On September 30, 1948, an advisory council was formed for the advice of the Chief Commissioner for administrative functions.

The Central Government promulgated the Himachal Pradesh (Courts) Order, 1948 on 15th August, 1948. As per Paragraph 3 of this Order, the Court of Judicial Commissioner was established for Himachal Pradesh and such Court was housed at “Harvingtan” (Kelston area, Shimla). It was vested with the powers of a High Court under the Judicial Commissioner’s Court Act, 1950. Besides the Court of Judicial Commissioner, two Courts of District and Sessions Judges and 27 subordinate Courts were also set up. The Court of Judicial commissioner started functioning on August 15, 1948 and in the same year, two Courts of District and Sessions Judges were also established. The Punjab High Court rules and orders with suitable amendments were made applicable to the courts in H.P. On April 29, 1967, two more District and Sessions Judges Courts, one for Shimla and other for Kangra were established.

However in the year, 1966, the Delhi High Court Act was enacted by the Government of India and w.e.f. May 1, 1967, the Central Government of India extended the operation of the said Act to the Union Territory of Himachal Pradesh, replacing the Court of Judicial Commissioner by the Himachal Bench of Delhi High Court, at Shimla and it started functioning in old High Court building known as “Revenswood”. At that time, Hon’ble Mr. Justice K. S. Hegde was the Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court. Hon’ble Mr. Justice S. K. Kapoor and Hon’ble Mr. Justice Hardayal Hardy constituted the first circuit bench of the Delhi High Court which held Court at Shimla in the building known as “Ravenswood”.

The Himachal Pradesh attained the Statehood in the year, 1971, and established its own High Court with Headquarters at “Revenswood”, Shimla, having one Hon’ble the Chief Justice and two Hon’ble Judges. The first Chief Justice of the High Court of Himachal Pradesh was Hon’ble Mr. Justice M. H. Beg and the other two Hon’ble Judges were Hon’ble Mr. Justice D. B. Lal and Hon’ble Mr. Justice C. R. Thakur.

The New Complex of High Court of

Himachal Pradesh

Hon’ble Mr. Justice R. S. Pathak, Hon’ble Mr. Justice T. U. Mehta, Hon’ble Mr. Justice V. D. Misra, Hon’ble Mr. Justice P. D. Desai, Hon’ble Mr. Justice N.M. Kasliwal, Hon’ble Mr. Justice P. C. B. Menon, Hon’ble Ms. Justice Leila Seth, Hon’ble Mr. Justice S. K. Seth, Hon’ble Mr. Justice V. Ratnam, Hon’ble Mr. Justice G. C. Gupta, Hon’ble Mr. Justice S. N. Phukan, Hon’ble Mr. Justice M. Srinivasan, Hon’ble Mr Justice M. N. Rao, Hon’ble Mr. Justice D. Raju, Hon’ble Mr. Justice C. K. Thakker, Hon’ble Mr. Justice W.A. Shishak, Hon’ble Mr. Justice V.K. Gupta, Hon’ble Mr. Justice Jagdish Bhalla, Hon’ble Mr. Justice Kurian Joseph, Hon’ble Mr. Justice A. M. Khanwilkar and Hon’ble Mr. Justice Mansoor Ahmad Mir were the other illustrious and eminent jurists who adorned the office of Hon’ble the Chief Justice of High Court of Himachal Pradesh and have left a distinct mark of their personalities on the working of the High Court.

The Old High Court Building “Ravenswood”

Hon’ble Mr. Justice M. H. Beg, Hon’ble Mr Justice R. S. Pathak, Hon’ble Mr. Justice N. M. Kasliwal, Hon’ble Mr. Justice S.N. Phukan, Hon’ble Mr. Justice M. Srinivasan, Hon’ble Mr. Justice D. Raju, Hon’ble Mr. Justice C.K. Thakkar, Hon’ble Mr. Justice Kurian Joseph, Hon’ble Mr. Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Hon’ble Mr. Justice Deepak Gupta were elevated to the Apex Court. Hon’ble Hon’ble Mr. Justice M. H. Beg and Hon’ble Mr. Justice R. S. Pathak had the distinction of becoming Hon’ble Chief Justices of the Supreme Court of India. Hon’ble Mr. Justice R. S. Pathak also remained a Judge of International Court of Justice at Hague. Hon’ble Mr. Justice Lokeshwar Singh Panta has also a privilege of elevation to Hon’ble Supreme Court of India, directly from the Judge of Himachal Pradesh High Court.

At present, the august office of the Hon’ble the Acting Chief Justice is adorned by Hon’ble Mr. Justice Sanjay Karol under whose able leadership, the H.P. High Court as well as the Courts subordinate to High Court of Himachal Pradesh are progressing by leaps and bounds. Thus, though small, but this High Court has a place of pride in judicial milieu of our country. Now the strength of the Judges of the High Court of Himachal Pradesh is thirteen including the Chief Justice whereas eight are the sitting Judges including Hon’ble the Acting Chief Justice.

Former Chief Justices

From To Name
25 January 1971 9 December 1971 Hon’ble M.H. Beg
18 December 1971 19 February 1978 Hon’ble R.S. Pathak
20 February 1978 11 December 1979 Hon’ble T.U. Mehta
12 December 1979 30 September 1983 Hon’ble V.D. Misra
23 December 1983 13 November 1988 Hon’ble P.D. Desai
29 March 1989 5 October 1989 Hon’ble Narendra Monhan Kasliwal
6 November 1989 14 January 1991 Hon’ble P.C.B. Menon
5 August 1991 20 October 1992 Hon’ble Leila Seth
22 June 1993 28 August 1993 Hon’ble S.K. Seth
29 January 1994 1 August 1994 Hon’ble V. Ratnam
17 September 1994 1 March 1995 Hon’ble G.C. Gupta
1 March 1995 1 August 1996 Hon’ble S.N. Phukan
1 August 1996 24 September 1997 Hon’ble M. Srinivasan
6 November 1997 22 April 1998 Hon’ble M.N. Rao
1 July 1998 28 January 2000 Hon’ble D. Raju
5 May 2000 30 December 2001 Hon’ble C.K. Thakker
24 January 2002 1 January 2003 Hon’ble W.A. Shishak
8 March 2003 2 February 2008 Hon’ble V.K. Gupta
2 February 2008 7 August 2009 Hon’ble Jagdish Bhalla
8 February 2010 6 March 2013 Hon’ble Kurian Joseph
5 April 2013 24 November 2013 Hon’ble A.M. Khanwilkar
18 June 2014 24-04-2017 Hon’ble Mansoor Ahmad Mir[1]
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