HC Deb 23 March 1903 vol 119 c1450
MR. MOON (St. Pancras, N.)

To ask the Secretary of State for India whether he will state the reasons for which it was decided not to follow existing Indian precedents in regard to the qualifications for the post of the Chief Judge of the Chief Court of Lower Burma.

(Answered by Secretary Lord George Hamilton.) The hon. Member is mistaken in thinking that existing Indian precedents have not been followed in the case of the Chief Court of Lower Burma. In the Punjab, the only other province where a Chief Court exists, the Chief fudge may be, and often has been, a civilian and not a barrister. Before the Chief Court was established at Rangoon the Appellate Court of that city consisted of only one barrister Judge, the Recorder; there are now two barrister Judges in the Chief Court besides two civilian Judges. Beside? the judicial business of the seaports, which forms but a small portion of the work of the Court, the Chief Court has the control and supervision over the whole of the Courts of the interior of the country, and it was thought necessary that the Chief Judge of the Court, in whose hands rests the distribution of business and the inspection and supervision of the Courts, should be an officer well acquainted with the customs and language of the people and with the practical working of those Courts. For this reason it was decided that the Chief Judge should for the present be a civilian.