Maharastra state laws

Bombay High Court Letters Patent 1866

Bombay High Court Letters Patent, 1866

Act of Parliament, 24 and 25 Vic., Cap. 104

An Act for Establishing High Courts of Judicature in India

Received the Royal Assent, 6th August, 1861

Be it enacted by the Queen’s Most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal and Commons in this present Parliament assembled and by the authority of the same, as follows

1- High Court may be established in the several Presidencies of India. – It shall be lawful for Her Majesty, by Letters Patent under the Great Seal of the United Kingdom, to erect and establish a High Court of Judicature at Fort William in Bengal for the Bengal Division of the Presidency of Fort William aforesaid, and by like Letters Patent to erect and establish like High Courts at Madras and Bombay for those Presidencies respectively, such High Courts to be established in the said several presidencies at such time or respective times as to Her Majesty may seem and the High Court to be established under any such Letters Patent in any of the said Presidencies shall be deemed to be established from and after the publication of such Letters Patent in the same Presidency, or such other time as in such Letters Patent may be appointed in this behalf.

2- Constitution of High Courts. – The High Court of Judicature at Fort William in Bengal and the Presidencies of Madras and Bombay respectively shall consist of a Chief Justice and as many Judges, not exceeding fifteen as Her Majesty may from time to time think fit and appoint, who shall be selected from-

1st. Barristers of not less than five years’ standing; or,
2nd. Members of the covenanted Civil Services of not less than ten years’ standing, and who shall have served as Zillah Judges, or shall have exercised the like powers as those of a Zillah Judge for at least three years of that period; or,
3rd. Persons who have held the post of Judicial Officer not inferior to that of Principal Sudder Ameen or Judge of a Small Cause Court for a period of not less than five years; or,
4th. Persons who have been Pleaders of a ………….. Court for a period of not less than ten years, if such Pleaders of a Sudder Court shall have been admitted as Pleaders of High Court :
Provided that not less than one-third of the Judges of such High Courts respectively, including the Chief Justice, shall be Barristers, and not less than one-third shall be members of the Covenanted Civil Service.

3. Certain existing Judges herein named to be the First Judges of the High Court. – Provided always, that the persons who at the time of the establishment of such High Court in any of the said Presidencies are Judges of the Supreme Court of judicature and permanent Judges of the Court of Sudder Dewanny Adalut or Sudder Adalut of the same Presidency shall be and become Judges of such High Court without further appointment for that purpose; and the Chief Justice of such Supreme Court shall become the Chief Justice of such High Court.

4. Tenure of office of High Court. – All the Judges of the High Courts established under this Act shall hold their offices during Her Majesty’s pleasure ; provided that it shall be lawful for any Judge of a High Court to resign such office of Judge to the Governor-General of India in Council or Governor in Council of the Presidency in which such Court is established.

5. Precedence of Judges of High Courts. – The Chief Justice of any such High Court shall have rank and precedence before other Judges of the same Court, and such of the other Judges of such Court as on its establishment shall have been transferred thereto from the Supreme Court shall have rank and precedence before the Judges of the High Court not transferred from the Supreme Court, and, except as aforesaid, all the Judges of each High Court shall have rank and precedence according to the seniority of their appointments, unless otherwise provided in their Patents.

6. Salaries, etc., of Judges of the High Courts. – Any Chief Justice or Judge transferred to any High Court from the Supreme Court shall receive the like salary and be entitled to the like retiring pension and advantage as he would have been entitled to for and in respect of service in the Supreme Court, if such Court had been continued, his service in the High Court being reckoned as service in the Supreme Court ; and except as aforesaid, it shall be lawful for the Secretary of State in Council of India to fix the salaries, allowances, furloughs, retiring pensions, and (where necessary) expenses for equipment and voyage of the Chief Justice and Judges of the several High Courts under this Act and from time to time to alter the same :

Provided always, that such alteration shall not affect the salary of any Judge appointed prior to the date thereof.

7. Provision for vacancy of the office of Chief Justice or other Judge. – Upon the happening of a vacancy in the office of Chief Justice, and during any absence of a Chief Justice, the Governor-General in Council or Governor in Council, as the case may be, shall appoint one of the Judges of the same High Court to perform the duties of Chief Justice of the said Court until some person has been appointed by Her Majesty to the office of Chief Justice of the same Court, and has entered on the discharge of the duties of such office, or until the Chief Justice had returned from such absence; and upon the happening of a vacancy in the office of any other Judge of any such High Court and during any absence of any such Judge, or on the appointment of any such Judge to act as Chief Justice, it shall be lawful for the Governor-General in Council, or Governor in Council, as the case may be, to appoint a person, with such qualifications as are required in persons to be appointed to the High Court, to act as a Judge of the said High Court, and the persons so appointed shall be authorised to sit and to perform the duties of a Judge of the said Court until some person has been appointed by Her Majesty to the office of Judge of the same Court, and has entered on the discharge of the duties of such office, or until the absent Judge has returned from such absence, or until the Governor-General in Council or Governor in Council, as aforesaid, shall see cause to cancel the appointment of such acting Judge.

8. Abolition of Supreme Courts and Sudder Courts. – Upon the establishment of such High Court as aforesaid in the Presidency of Fort William in Bengal the Supreme Court and the Court of Sudder Dewanny Adalut and Sudder Nizamut Adalut at Calcutta in the same Presidency shall be abolished; and upon the establishment of such High Court in the Presidency of Madras the Supreme Court and the Court of Sudder Adalut and Foujadarry Adalut in the same Presidency shall be abolished;

and upon the establishment of such High Court in the Presidency of Bombay the Supreme Court and the Court of Sudder Dewanny Adalut and Sudder Foujadarry Adalut in the same Presidency shall be abolished;

and the records and documents of the several Courts so abolished in each Presidency shall become and be records and documents of the High Court established in the same Presidency.

9. Jurisdiction and power of High Courts. – Each of the High Courts to be established under this Act shall have to exercise all such civil, criminal, admiralty and vice-admiralty, testamentary, intestate and matrimonial jurisdiction, original and appellate, and all such powers and authority for and in relation to the Administration of Justice in the Presidency for which it is established, as Her Majesty may by such Letters Patent as aforesaid grant and direct, subject, however, to such directions and limitations as to the exercise of original civil and criminal jurisdiction beyond the limits of the Presidency towns as may be prescribed thereby; and. save, as by such Letters Patent may be otherwise directed, and subject and without prejudice to the legislative powers in relation to the matters aforesaid of the Governor-General of India in Council, the High Court to be established in each Presidency shall have and exercise all jurisdiction and every power and authority whatsoever in any manner vested in any of the Courts in the same Presidency abolished under this Act at the time of the abolition of such last-mentioned Courts.

10. High Courts to exercise same jurisdiction as Supreme Courts. – Until the Crown shall otherwise provide under the powers of this Act, all jurisdiction now exercised by the Supreme Courts of Calcutta, Madras and Bombay respectively over inhabitants of such parts of India as may not be. comprised within the local limits of the Letters Patent to be issued under this Act establishing High Courts at Fort William, Madras and Bombay, shall be exercised by such High Courts respectively.

11. Existing provisions applicable to Supreme Courts to apply to High Courts. – Upon the establishment of the said High Courts in the said Presidencies respectively all provisions then in force in India of the Act of Parliament, or of any Orders of Her Majesty in Council, or Charters, or of any Acts of the Legislature of India, which at the time or respective times of the establishment of such High Courts are respectively applicable to the Supreme Courts at Fort William, in Bengal, Madras and Bombay respectively, or to the Judges of those Courts, shall be taken to be applicable to the said High Courts and to the Judges thereof respectively, so far as may be consistent with the provisions of this Act, and the Letters Patent to be issued in pursuance thereof, and subject to the legislative powers in relation to the matters aforesaid of the Governor-General of India in Council.

12. Provision as to pending proceedings in abolished Courts. – From and after the abolition of the Courts abolished as aforesaid in any of the said Presidencies, the High Court of the same Presidency shall have jurisdiction over all proceedings pending in such abolished Courts at the time of the abolition thereof, and such proceedings, and all previous proceedings, in the said last-mentioned Courts, shall be dealt with as if the same had been had in the said High Court, save that any such proceedings may be continued as nearly as circumstances permit, under and according to the practice of the abolished Courts respectively.

13. Power to High Courts to provide for exercise of jurisdiction by Single Judges or Division Courts. – Subject to any laws or regulations which may be made by the Governor General in Council the High Court established in any Presidency under this Act may by its own rules provide for the exercise, by one or more Judges, or by Division Courts constituted by two or more Judges of the said High Court, of the original and appellate jurisdiction vested in such Court, in such manner as may appear to such Court to be convenient for the due administration of justice.

14. Chief Justice to determine what Judges shall sit alone or in the Division Courts. – The Chief Justice of each High Courts shall from time to time determine what Judge in each case shall sit alone, and what Judges of the Court, whether with or without the Chief Justice, shall constitute the several Division Courts as aforesaid.

15. High Courts to superintend and to frame Rules of Practice for subordinate Courts. – Each of the High Courts established under this Act shall have superintendence over all Courts which may be subject to its appellate jurisdiction and shall have power to call for returns and to direct the transfer of any suit or appeal from any such Court to any other Court of equal or superior jurisdiction and shall have power to make and issue general rules for regulating the practice and proceedings of such Courts, and also to prescribe forms for every proceedings in the said Courts for which it shall think necessary that a form be provided, and also for keeping all books, entries, and accounts to be kept by the Officers, and also to settle tables of fees to be allowed to the sheriff, attorneys and all clerks and officers of Courts and from time to time to alter any such rule or form or tables; and the rules so made and the forms so framed and the tables so settled shall be used and observed in the said Courts, provided that such general rules and forms and tables be not inconsistent with the provisions of any law in force, and shall before they are issued have received the sanction in the presidency of Fort William, of the Governor-General in Council, and in Madras or Bombay of the Governor in Council of the respective Presidencies.

16. Her Majesty may establish a High Court in the North-Western Provinces. – It shall be lawful for Her Majesty, if at any time hereafter Her Majesty see fit so to do, by Letters Patent under the Great Seal of the United Kingdom, to erect and establish a High Court of Judicature in and for any portion of the territories within her Majesty’s Dominions in India, not included within the limits of the local jurisdiction of another High Court, to consist of a Chief Justice and of such number of other Judges, with such qualifications as are required in persons to be appointed to the High Courts established at the Presidencies, hereinbefore mentioned, as Her Majesty from time to time may think fit and appoint; and it shall be lawful for Her Majesty by such Letters Patent to confer on such Court any such jurisdiction, powers and authority as under this Act is authorised to be conferred on, or will become vested in the High Court to be established in any Presidency hereinbefore mentioned; and subject to the directions of such Letters Patent, all the provisions of this Act having reference to the High Court established in any such Presidency, and to the Chief Justice and other Judges of such Court and to the Governor-General or Governor of the Presidency in which such High Court is established, shall as far as circumstances may permit, be applicable to the High Court established in the said territories, and to the Chief Justice and other Judges thereof, and to the person administering the government of the said territories.

17. Other or supplemental Charters may be granted within three years after establishment of a Court. – It shall be lawful for Her Majesty, if Her Majesty shall so think fit, at any time within three years after the establishment of any High Court under this Act, by Her Letters Patent, to revoke all or such parts or provisions as Her Majesty may think fit of the Letters Patent by which such Court was established and to grant and make such other powers and provisions as Her Majesty may think fit, and as might have been granted or made by such First Letters Patent, or without any such revocation as aforesaid, by the like Letters Patent to grant and make any additional or supplementary powers and provisions which might have been granted or made in the first instance.

18. Territorial limits of jurisdiction of Courts may be altered by order in Council. – It shall be lawful for Her Majesty, from time to time by Her Order in Council, to transfer any territory or place from the jurisdiction of one to the jurisdiction of any other of the High Courts established under this Act, and generally to alter and determine the territorial limits of the jurisdiction of the said several Courts as to Her Majesty, with the advice of Her Privy Council, may seem fit.

19. Interpretation of terms. – The word “Barrister” in this Act shall be deemed to include Barrister of England or Ireland or members of the Faculty of Advocates in Scotland; and the words “Governor General and Governor” shall comprehend the officer and administering the government.

The Amended Letters Patent of the High Court

Letters Patent of the High Court of Judicature for the Presidency of Bombay, bearing date the twenty-eighth day of December, in the Twenty-nine year of the reign of Victoria, in the year of our Lord One thousand eight hundred and sixty-five.

Recital of Acts 24 and 25 Vict., Cap. 104. – Victoria, by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, Queen, Defender of the Faith. To all to whom these presents shall come greeting ; Whereas by an Act of Parliament passed in the Twenty-fourth and Twenty-fifth Years in Our Reign, intituled “An Act for establishing High Courts of Judicature in India”, it was amongst other things, enacted that it should be lawful for Her Majesty, by Letters Patent under the Great Seal of the United Kingdom to erect and establish a High Court of Judicature at Bombay, for the Presidency of Bombay aforesaid, and that such High Court should consist of a Chief Justice and as many Judges not exceeding fifteen, as Her Majesty might, from time to time, think fit to appoint, who should be selected from among persons qualified as in the said Act is declared : Provided always that the persons who, at the time of establishment of such High Court, were Judges of the Supreme Court of Judicature and permanent Judges of the Court, of Sudder Dewanee Adalut or Sudder Foujdaree Adalut of the same Presidency, should be and become Judges of such High Court without further appointment for that purpose and, the Chief Justice of such Supreme Court should become the Chief Justice of such High Court and that upon the establishment of such High Court as aforesaid, the Supreme Court and the Court of Sudder Dewanee Adalut and Sudder Foujdaree Adalut at Bombay, in the said Presidency, should be abolished :

And that the High Court of Judicature so to be established should have and exorcise all such civil, criminal, admiralty and vice-admiralty, testamentary, intestate, and matrimonial jurisdiction, original and appellate, and all such powers and authority, for and in relation to the administration of justice in the said Presidency, as Her Majesty might, by such Letters Patent as aforesaid, grant and direct; subject however, to such directions and limitations, as to the exercise of original, civil and criminal jurisdiction, beyond the limits of the Presidency town, as might be prescribed thereby; and save as by such Letters Patent might be prescribed thereby; and save as by such Letters Patent might be otherwise directed,and subject, without prejudice to the legislative powers in relation to the matters aforesaid of the Governor-General of India in Council, the High Court so to be established should have and exercise all jurisdiction, and every power and authority whatsoever, in any manner vested in any of the Courts in the same Presidency abolished under the said Act, at the time of the abolition of such last-mentioned Courts.

And whereas We did, upon full consideration of the premises, think fit to erect and establish, and by Our Letters Patent under the Great Seal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, bearing date at West-minister the Twenty-sixth day of June in the Twenty-fifth Year of Our Reign, in the year of our Lord One thousand eight hundred and sixty-two did accordingly, for Us. Our heirs and successors, erect and establish at Bombay, for the Presidency of Bombay aforesaid, a High Court of Judicature, which should be called the High Court of Judicature at Bombay, and did thereby constitute the said Court to be a Court of Record; and whereas We did thereby appoint and ordain that the said High Court of Judicature at Bombay should, until further or other provision should be made by Us or Our heirs and successors, in that behalf, in accordance with the recited Act, consist of a Chief Justice and six Judges, and did thereby constitute and appoint certain persons, being respectively qualified as in the said Act is declared, to be Judges of the High Court, and whereas on the sixth day of July One thousand eight hundred and sixty-three We did, in accordance with the provisions of the said recited Act, increase the number of the Judges of the said Court to a Chief Justice and seven Judges :

And whereas by the said recited Act it is declared lawful for Her Majesty, at any time within three years after the establishment of the said High Court, by Her Letters Patent, to revoke all or such parts or provisions as Her Majesty might think fit of the Letters Patent by which such Court was established, and to grant and make such other powers and provisions as Her Majesty might think fit, and as might have been granted or make by such first Letters Patent :
Title :

And whereas by the Act of the Twenty-eight of Our Reign, chapter fifteen, entitled, “An Act to extent the term for granting fresh Letters Patent for the Courts in India, and to make further provision respecting the territorial jurisdiction of the said Courts”, the time for issuing fresh Letters Patent has been extended to the first of January One thousand eight hundred and sixty-six :

And whereas in order to make further provision respecting the constitution of the said High Court, and the administration of justice hereby, it is expedient that the said Letters Patent, dated the Twenty-sixth of June One thousand eight hundred and sixty-two should be revoked, and that some of the powers and provisions thereby granted and made should be granted and made with amendments and additional powers and provisions by fresh Letters Patent :

1- Revocation of Letters Patent of 1802. – Now know that We, upon full consideration of the premises, and of Our especial grace, certain knowledge, and mere motion, have thought fit to revoke, and do by these presents (from and after the date of the publication thereof, as hereinafter provided subject to the provisions thereof), revoke our said Letters Patent of the twenty-sixth of June one thousand eight hundred and sixty-two except so far as the Letters Patent of the fourth year of His Majesty King George the Fourth dated the eighth day of December One thousand eight hundred and twenty-three, establishing a Supreme Court of judicature at Bombay, were revoked or determined thereby.

2. High Court at Bombay to be continued. – And We do by these presents grant, direct, and ordain that notwithstanding the revocation of the said Letters Patent of the twenty-sixth of June One thousand eight hundred and sixty-two, the High Court of Judicature, called the High Court of Judicature at Bombay, shall be and continue as from the time of the original erection and establishment thereof, the High Court of judicature at Bombay for the Presidency of Bombay aforesaid, and that the said Court shall be and continue a Court of Record and that all proceedings commenced in the said High Court, prior to the date of the publication of these Letters Patent, shall be continued and depend in the said High Court as if they had commenced in the said High Court after the date of such publication, and that all rules and orders in force in the said High Court immediately before the date of the publication of these Letters Patent shall continue in force, except so far as the same are altered hereby until the same are altered by competent authority.

3. Judges of the said High Court to be continued. – And We do hereby appoint and ordain, that the person and persons who shall immediately before the date of the publication of these Letters Patent be the Chief Justice and Judges, or acting Chief Justice or Judges, if any, of the said High Court of Judicature at Bombay, shall continue to be the Chief Justice and Judges or Acting Chief Justice or Judges of the said High Court until, further or other provisions shall be made by Us or Our heirs and successors in that behalf, in accordance with the said recited Act for establishing High Courts of Judicature in India.

4. Clerks etc., of the said High Court to be continued. – And We do hereby appoint and ordain that every clerk and ministerial officer of the said High Court of Judicature at Bombay, appointed by virtue of the said Letters Patent of the twenty-sixth of June one thousand eight hundred and sixty-two, shall continue to hold and enjoy his office and employment, with the salary thereunto annexed, until he be removed from such office and employment, and he shall be subject to the like power of removal, regulations and provisions as if he were appointed by virtue of these Letters Patent.

5. Declaration to be made by Judges. – And We do hereby ordain that the Chief Justice and every Judge who shall be from time to time appointed to the said High Court of Judicature at Bombay, previously to entering upon the execution of the duties of his office, shall make and subscribe the following declaration before such authority or person as the Governor in Council may commission to receive it

“I, A. B., appointed Chief Justice or a Judge of the High Court of Judicature at Bombay, do solemnly declare that I will faithfully perform the duties of my office to the best of my ability, knowledge and judgement”.

6. And We do hereby grant, ordain, and appoint that the said High Court of Judicature at Bombay shall have, and use as occasion may arise a seal bearing a device and impression of the Asoka Capital within an exergue or label surrounding the same, with the following inscriptions at convenient places, namely, “The Seal of The High Court at Bombay”, and “Satyameva Jayate” in Devanagari script. And We do further grant, ordain and appoint that the said seal shall be delivered to and kept in the custody of the Chief justice, and in case of vacancy of the office of Chief Justice, or during any absence of the same shall be delivered over and kept in the custody of the person appointed to act as Chief Justice, under the provisions of section 7 of the said recited Act : and We do further grant, ordain and appoint, that whensoever it shall happen that the office of Chief Justice or of the Judge to whom the custody of the said seal be committed, shall be vacant, the said High Court shall be and is hereby authorised and empowered to demand, seize, and take the said seal from any person or persons whomsoever, by what ways and means whatsoever the same may have come to his, her or their possession.

7. Writs, etc., to issue in name of the Crown and under Seal. – And We do hereby further grant, ordain, and appoint that all writs, summonses, precepts, rules, orders and other mandatory process to be used, issued, or awarded by the said High Court of Judicature at Bombay, shall run and be in the name and style of Us, or of Our heirs and successors and shall be sealed with the Seal of the said High Court.

8. Appointment of Officers. – And We do hereby authorise and empower the Chief Justice of the High Court of Judicature at Bombay from time to time, as occasion may require and subject to any rules and restrictions which may be prescribed by the Governor in Council, to appoint so many and such clerks and other ministerial officers as shall be found necessary for the administration of justice, and the due execution of all the powers and authorities granted and committed to the said High Court by these Our Letters Patent. And it is Our further will and pleasure, and We do hereby, for us, Our heirs and successors, give, grant, direct, and appoint that all and every officers and clerks to be appointed as aforesaid shall have and receive respectively such reasonable salaries as the Chief Justice shall from time to time appoint for each office and place respectively, and as the Governor in Council, subject to the control of the Governor-General in Council, shall approve of : Provided always, and it is Our will and pleasure, that all and every officers and clerks to be appointed as aforesaid, shall be resident within the limits of the jurisdiction of the said High Court so long as they shall hold their respective officers; but this proviso shall not interfere with or prejudice the right of any officer or clerk to avail himself of leave of absence under any rules prescribed by the Governor in Council and to absent himself from the said limits during the term of such leave, in accordance with the said rule.
Admission of Advocates, Vakeels and Attorneys

9. Power of High Court in admitting Advocates, Vakeels and Attorneys. – And We do hereby authorise and empower, the said High Court of Judicature at Bombay to approve, admit, and enrol such and so many Advocates, Vakeels and Attorneys as to the said High Court, shall seems meet : and such Advocates, Vakeels and Attorneys shall be and are hereby authorised to appear for the suitors of the said High Court, and to plead or to act, or to plead and act for the said suitors according as the said High Court may by its rules and directions determine, and subject to such rules and directions.

10. In making rules for the qualifications etc., of Advocates, Vakeels and Attorneys. – And We do hereby ordain that the said High Court of Judicature at Bombay shall have power to make rules for the qualification and admission of proper persons to be Advocates, Vakeels and Attorneys-at-Law of the said High Court, and shall be empowered to remove or to suspend from practice, on reasonable cause, the said Advocates, Vakeels or Attorneys-at-Law; and no person whatsoever but such Advocates, Vakeels, or Attorneys shall be allowed to act or to plead for, or on behalf of, any suitor in the said High Court, except that any suitor shall be allowed to appear, plead or act on his own behalf, or on behalf of a co-suitor.

Civil Jurisdiction of the High Court

11. Local limits of the ordinary original jurisdiction of the High Court. – And we do hereby ordain that the said High Court of Judicature at Bombay shall have and exercise ordinary original civil jurisdiction within such local limits as may from time to time, be declared and prescribed by any law made by the Governor in Council, and until some local limits shall be so declared and prescribed, within the limits of the local jurisdiction of the said High Court of Bombay at the date of publication of these presents, and the ordinary original civil jurisdiction of the said High Court shall not extend beyond the limits for the time being declared and prescribed as the local limits of such jurisdiction.

12. Original jurisdiction as to suits. – And we do further ordain that the said High Court of Judicature at Bombay, in the exercise of its ordinary original civil jurisdiction, shall be empowered to receive, try, and determine suits of every description, if, in the case of suits for land or other immovable property such land or property shall be situated, or in all other cases if the cause of action shall have arisen, either wholly, or, in case the leave of the Court shall have been first obtained, in part, within the local limits of the ordinary original jurisdiction of the said High Court or if the defendant at the time of the commencement of the suit shall dwell or carry on business, or personally work for gain, within such limits; except that the said High Court shall not have such original jurisdiction in cases falling within the jurisdiction of the Small Cause Court at Bombay, or the Bombay City Civil Court.

13. Extraordinary original civil jurisdiction. – And we do further ordain that the said High Court of Judicature at Bombay shall have power to remove and to try and determine, as a Court of extraordinary original jurisdiction, any suit being or falling within the jurisdiction of any Court; whether within or without the Presidency of Bombay, subject to its superintendence, when the said High Court shall think proper to do so, either on the agreement of the parties to that effect or for purposes of justice, the reasons for so doing being recorded on the proceedings of said High Court.

14. Joinder of several causes of action. – And we do further ordain that where plaintiff has several causes of action against defendant, such causes of action not being for land or other immovable property, and the said High Court shall have original jurisdiction in respect of one of such causes of action it shall be lawful for the said High Court to call on the defendant to show cause why the several causes of action should not be joined together in one suit, and to make such order for trial of the same as to the said High Court shall seem fit.

15. Appeal to the High Court from Judges of the Court. – And we do further ordain that an appeal shall lie to the said High Court of Judicature at Bombay from the judgement (not being a judgement passed in the exercise of appellate jurisdiction by a Court subject to the superintendence of the said High Court, and not being an order made in the exercise of revisional jurisdiction and not being a sentence or order passed or made in the exercise of the power of superintendence under the provisions of section 107 of the Government of India Act, or in the exercise of criminal jurisdiction) of one Judge of, the said High Court or one Judge of any Division Court, pursuant to section 108 of the Government of India Act, and that notwithstanding anything herein before provided an appeal shall lie to the said High Court from a judgement of one Judge of the said High Court or one Judge of any Division Court, pursuant to section 108 of the Government of India Act, made on or after the first day of February one thousand nine hundred and twenty-nine in the exercise of appellate jurisdiction in respect of a decree or order made in the exercise of appellate jurisdiction by a Court subject to the superintendence of the said High Court, where the Judge who passed the judgement declares that the case is a fit one for appeal; but that the right of appeal from other judgements of Judges of the said High Court or of such Division Court shall be to Us, Our heirs or successors in Our or Their Privy Council, as hereinafter provided.

Note. – (Please refer to Maharashtra High Court (Hearing of Writ Petitions by Division Bench and Abolition of Letters Patent Appeals) Act (No. 17 of 1986)

16. Appeal from Courts in the Provinces. – And we do further ordain that the said High Court of Judicature at Bombay shall be a court of appeal from the Civil Courts of the Presidency of Bombay and from all other Courts subject to its superintendence, and shall exercise appellate jurisdiction in such cases as are subject to appeal to the said High Court by virtue of any laws or regulations now in force.

17. Jurisdiction as to infants and lunatics. – And we do further ordain that the said High Court of Judicature at Bombay shall have the like power and authority with respect to the persons and estate of infants, idiots and lunatics, within the Bombay Presidency, as that which was vested in the said High Court immediately before the publication of these presents.

18. Provision with respect to the insolvent Court. – And we do further ordain that the High Court for Relief of Insolvent Debtors at Bombay shall be held before one of the Judges of the said Court of Judicature at Bombay, and the said High Court and any such Judge thereof, shall have and exercise, within the Presidency of Bombay, such powers and authorities with respect to original and appellate jurisdiction and otherwise as are constituted by the laws relating to insolvent debtors in India.
Law to be Administered by the High Court

19. By the High Court in the exercise of ordinary original civil jurisdiction. – And we do further ordain that with respect to the law or equity to be applied to each case coming before the said High Court of Judicature at Bombay in the exercise of its ordinary original civil jurisdiction such law or equity shall be the law or equity which would have been applied by the said High Court to such case if these Letters Patent had not issued.

20. In the exercise of extraordinary original civil jurisdiction. – And we do further ordain that with respect to the law or equity and rule of good conscience to be applied to each case coming before the said High Court of Judicature at Bombay in the exercise of its extraordinary original civil jurisdiction such law or equity and rule of good conscience shall be the law or equity and rule of good conscience which would have been applied to such case by any local Court having jurisdiction therein.

21. By the High Court in the exercise of appellate jurisdiction. – And we do further ordain that with respect to the law or equity and rule of good conscience to be applied by the said High Court of Judicature at Bombay to each case coming before it in the exercise of its appellate jurisdiction such law or equity and rule of good conscience shall be the law or equity and rule of good conscience with the Court in which the proceedings in such case were originally instituted ought to have applied to such case.

Criminal Jurisdiction

22. Ordinary original jurisdiction of the High Court. – And we do further ordain that the said High Court of Judicature at Bombay shall have ordinary original criminal jurisdiction in respect of all persons beyond the local limits of its ordinary original civil jurisdiction over whom the said High Court of Judicature at Bombay shall have criminal jurisdiction at the date of the publication of these presents.

23. Jurisdiction as to persons. – And we do further ordain that the said High Court of Judicature at Bombay, in the exercise of its ordinary original criminal jurisdiction, shall be empowered to try all persons brought before it in due course of law.

24. Extraordinary original criminal jurisdiction. – And we do further ordain that the said High Court of Judicature at Bombay shall have extraordinary original criminal jurisdiction over all persons residing in places within the jurisdiction of any Court now subject to the superintendence of the said High Court, and shall have authority to try at its discretion any such person brought before it on charges preferred by the Advocate-General, or by any Magistrate or other officer specially empowered by the Government in that behalf.

25. No appeal from High Court exercising original jurisdiction Court may reserve points of law. – And we do further ordain that there shall be no appeal to the said High Court of Judicature at Bombay from any sentence or order passed or made in any criminal trial before the Court of original criminal jurisdiction which may be constituted by one or more Judges of the said High Court. But it shall be at the discretion of any such Court to reserve any point or points of law for the opinion of the said High Court.

26. High Court to review on certificate of the Advocate General. – And we do further ordain that on such point or points of law being so reserved as aforesaid, or on its being certificated by the said Advocate General that, in his judgement, there is an error in the decision of a point or points of law decided by the Court of original criminal jurisdiction, or that a point or points of law which has or have been decided by the said Court should be further considered, the said High Court shall have full power and authority to review the case, or such part of it as may be necessary, and finally determine such point or points of law, and thereupon to alter the sentence passed by the Court of original jurisdiction and to pass such judgement and sentence as to the said High Court shall seem right.

27. Appeals from Criminal Courts in the Province. – And we do further ordain that the said High Court of Judicature at Bombay shall be a court of appeal from the Criminal Courts of the Presidency of Bombay and from all other Courts subject to its superintendence, and shall exercise appellate jurisdiction in such cases as are subject to appeal to the said High Court by virtue of any law now in force.

28. Hearing of referred cases and revision of criminal trial. – And we do further ordain that the said High Court of Judicature at Bombay shall be a court of reference and revision from the Criminal Courts subject to its appellate jurisdiction, and shall have power to hear and determine all such cases referred to it by the Sessions Judges or by any other officers now authorised to refer cases to the said High Court, and to revise all such cases tried by any officer or court possessing criminal jurisdiction as are now subject to reference to, or revision by the said High Court.

29. High Court may direct the transfer of a case from one Court to another. – And we do further ordain that the said High Court shall have power to direct the transfer of any criminal case or appeal from any Court to any other Court of equal or superior jurisdiction, and also to direct the preliminary investigation or t rial of any criminal case by any officer or Court otherwise competent to investigate or try it, though such case belongs in ordinary course to the jurisdiction of some other officer or court.

Criminal Law

30. Offenders to be punished under Indian Penal Code. – And we do further ordain that all persons brought for trial before the High Court of Judicature at Bombay, either in the exercise of its original jurisdiction, or in the exercise of its jurisdiction as a court of appeal, reference, or revision, charged with any offence for which provision is made by Act No. XLV of 1860, called the “Indian Penal Code”, or by any Act amending excluding the said Act which may have been passed prior to the publication of these presents, shall be liable to punishment under the said Acts, and not otherwise.

Exercise of Jurisdiction Elsewhere than at the Ordinary Place of Sitting of the High Court

31. Judges may be authorised to sit in any places by way of circuit or special commission. – And we do further ordain that whenever it shall appear to the Governor in Council convenient that the jurisdiction and power by these Our Letters Patent, or by the recited Act vested in the said High Court of Judicature at Bombay should be exercised in any place within the jurisdiction at Bombay should be exercised in any place within the jurisdiction of any Court now subject to the superintendence of the said High Court, other than the usual place of sitting of the said High Court, or at several such places by way of circuit, the proceedings in cases before the said High Court at such place or places shall be regulated by any law relating thereto which has been or may be made by competent legislative authority for India.

Admiralty and Vice-Admiralty Jurisdiction

32. Civil. – And we do further ordain that the said High Court of Judicature at Bombay shall have and exercise all such civil and maritime jurisdiction as may now be exercised by the said High Court as a Court of Admiralty, or of Vice-Admiralty, and also such jurisdiction for the trial and adjudication of prize causes and other maritime questions arising in India, as may now be exercised by the said High Court.
33. Criminal. – And we do further ordain that the said High Court of Judicature at Bombay shall have and exercise all such criminal jurisdiction as may now be exercised by the said High Court as a Court of Admiralty, or Vice-Admiralty, or otherwise in connection with maritime matters of prize.

Testamentary and Intestate Jurisdiction

34. Testamentary and intestate jurisdiction. – And we do further ordain that the said High Court of Judicature at Bombay shall have the like power and authority as that which may now be lawfully exercised by the said High Court in relation to the granting of probates of last wills and testaments, and letters of administration of the goods, chattels, credits and all other effects whatsoever, of persons, dying intestate, whether within or without the Presidency of Bombay : Provided always that nothing in these Letters Patent contained shall interfere with the provisions of any law which has been made by competent legislative authority for India by which power is given to any other Court to grant such probates and letters of administration.
Matrimonial Jurisdiction

35. Matrimonial Jurisdiction. – And we do further ordain that the said High Court of Judicature at Bombay shall have jurisdiction within the Presidency of Bombay in matters matrimonial between Our subjects professing the Christian religion : Provided always that nothing herein contained shall be held to interfere with the exercise of any jurisdiction in matters matrimonial by any Court not established by Royal Charter within the said Presidency lawfully possessed thereof, power of single judges and division courts.

Power of Single Judges and Division Courts

36. Single Judges and Division Courts. – And we do hereby declare that any function, which is hereby directed to be performed by the said High Court of Judicature at Bombay in the exercise of its original or appellate jurisdiction, may be performed by any Judge or any Division Court thereof appointed for such purpose, in pursuance of section one hundred and eight of the Government of India Act, 1915, and if such Division Court is composed of two or more Judges, and the Judges and are divided in opinion as to the decision to be given on any point, such point shall be decided according to the opinion of the majority of the Judges, if there shall be a majority, but if the Judges should be equally divided they shall state the point upon which they differ and the case shall then be heard upon that point by one or more of the other Judges and the point shall be decided according to the opinion of the majority of the Judges who have heard the case including those who first heard it.

Civil Procedure

37. Regulation of proceedings. – And we do further ordain that it shall be lawful for the said High Court of Judicature at Bombay from time to time to make rules and orders for the purpose of regulating all proceedings in civil cases which may be brought before the said High Court, including proceedings in its Admiralty, Vice-Admiralty, intestate, and matrimonial jurisdiction respectively : Provided always that, the said High Court shall be guided in making such rules and orders as far as possible by the provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure, being an Act passed by the Governor General in Council, and being Act No. VIII of 1859, and the provisions of any law which has been made amending or altering the same by competent legislative authority for India.

Criminal Procedure

38. Regulation of proceedings. – And we do further ordain that the proceedings in all criminal cases which shall be brought before the said High Court of Judicature at Bombay in the exercise of its ordinary original criminal jurisdiction, and also in all other criminal cases over which the said High Court had jurisdiction immediately before the publication of these presents shall be regulated by the procedure and practice which was in use in the said Court immediately before such publication, subject to any law which has been or may be made in relation thereto by competent legislative authority for India; and that the proceedings in all other criminal cases shall be regulated by the Code of Criminal Procedure prescribed by an Act passed by the Governor-General in Council, and being Act No. XXV of 1861, or by such further or other laws in relation to criminal procedure as may have been or may be made by such authority as aforesaid.

Appeals to Privy Council

39. Power to appeal. – And we do further ordain that any person or persons may appeal to Us, Our heirs and successors, in Our or Their Privy Council in any matter not being of criminal jurisdiction, from any final judgement, decree, or order of the said High Court of Judicature at Bombay made on appeal, and from and final judgement, decree, or order made in the exercise of original jurisdiction by Judges of the said High Court or of any Division Court, from which an appeal shall not lie to the said High Court under the provisions contained in the fifteenth clause of these presents : Provided in either case that the sum or matter at issue is of the amount or value of not less than 10,000 rupees, or that such judgement, decree, or order shall involve, directly or indirectly, some claim, demand, or question to or respecting property amounting to or of the value of not less than 10,000 rupees, or from any other final judgement, decree, or order made either on appeal or otherwise as aforesaid, when the said High Court shall declare that the case is a fit one for appeal to Us, Our heirs or successors, in Our or Their Privy Council, subject always to such rules and orders as are now in force or may from time to time be made, respecting appeals to Ourselves in Council from the Courts of the said Presidency, except so far as the said existing rules and orders respectively are hereby varied, and subject also to such further rules and orders as We may, with the advice of Our Privy Council, hereafter make in that behalf.

40. Appeal from interlocutory judgements. – And we further ordain that it shall be lawful for the said High Court of Judicature at Bombay, at its discretion, on the motion, or if the said High Court be not sitting, then for any Judge of the said High Court upon the petition of any party who considers himself aggrieved by any preliminary or interlocutory judgement, decree, order, or sentence of the said High Court in any such proceeding as aforesaid, not being of criminal jurisdiction, to grant permission to such party to appeal against the same to Us, Our heirs and successors, in Our or Their Privy Council, subject to the same rules, regulations, and limitations as are herein expressed respecting appeals from final judgements, decrees, orders and sentences.

41. Appeal in criminal cases, etc. – And we do further ordain that from any judgement, order, or sentence of the said High Court of Judicature at Bombay made in the exercise of original criminal jurisdiction, or in any criminal case where any point or points of law have been reserved for the opinion of the said High Court in manner hereinbefore provided, by any Court which has exercised original jurisdiction, it shall be lawful for the person aggrieved by such judgement, order, or sentence, to appeal to Us, Our heirs or successors, in Our or Their Privy Council, provided the said High Court shall declare that the case is a fit one for such appeal, and under such conditions as the said High Court may establish or require, subject always to such rules and orders as We may. with the advice of Our Privy Council, hereafter make in that behalf.

42. Rules as to transmission of copies of evidence and other documents. – And we do further ordain that in all cases of appeal made from any judgement, order, sentence, or decree of the said High Court of Judicature at Bombay to Us, Our heirs or successors, in Our or Their Privy Council, such High Court shall certify and transmit to Us, Our heirs and successors, in Our or Their Privy Council, a true and correct copy of all evidence, proceedings, judgements decrees, and orders had or made in such cases appealed, so far as the same have relation to the matters of appeal, so far as the same have relation to the matters of appeal, such copies to be certified under the seal of the said High Court. And that the said Court shall also certify and transmit to Us, Our heirs and successors, in Our or Their Privy Council, a copy of the reasons given by the Judges, of such Court, or by any of such Judges, for or against the judgement or determination appealed against the judgement or determination appealed against. And we do further ordain that the said High Court shall, in all cases of appeal to Us, Our heirs or successors, conform to and execute, or cause to be executed such judgements and orders as We, Our heirs or successors, in Our or Their Privy Council, shall think fit to make in the premises, in such manner as any original judgement, decree, or decretal orders or other order or rule of the said High Court should or might have been executed.

Calls for Records, etc., by the Government

43. High Court to comply with requisition from Government for records etc. – And it is Our further will and pleasure that the said High Court of Judicature at Bombay shall comply with such requisitions as may be made by the Government, for records, returns, and statements, in such form and manner as such Government may deem proper.

44. Power of Indian Legislature preserved. – And we do further ordain and declare that all the provisions of these Our Letters Patent are subject to the legislative powers of the Governor General in Legislative Council and also of the Governor General in Council under section seventy-one of the Government of India Act, 1915, and also of the Governor General in cases of emergency under section seventy-two of that Act and may be in all respects amended and altered thereby.

45. Provisions of former Letters Patent inconsistent with these Letters Patent to be void. – And it is Our further will and pleasure that these Letters Patent shall be published by the Governor in Council and shall come into operation from and after the date of such publication, and that from and after the date on which effect shall have been given to them, so much of the aforesaid Letters Patent granted by His Majesty King George the Fourth as was not revoked or determined by the said Letters Patent of the twenty-sixth of June one thousand eight hundred and sixty-two, and is consistent, with these Letters Patent, shall cease, determine, and be utterly void to all intents and purposes whatsoever.

In Witness whereof we have caused these Our Letters to be made Patent, Witness Ourselves at West-minister, the twenty-eight day of December, in the twenty-ninth year of Our Reign.