HC Deb 02 April 1935 vol 300 cc295-6

8.44 p.m.


I beg to move, in page 120, line 5, at the end, to insert: (b) direct the transfer of any suit or appeal from any such course to any other court of equal or superior jurisdiction. The Clause as it stands enables the High Court to call for returns, to make and issue general rules and prescribe forms for regulating the practice and proceedings of such courts, to prescribe forms in which books, entries and accounts shall be kept, and to settle tables of fees. The Amendment which I wish to insert may be compared to the English procedure of certiorari, whereby if a superior court has any reason to believe that a case which is being dealt with in an inferior court could better be dealt with in a superior court it may issue what we know as a writ of certiorari, to bring that action up into the Higher Court in order that justice may be done. The new paragraph which I propose may be compared to affording the machinery to the High Court to give effect to the control, which the rest of the Clause rather connotes, which the High Court should have over subordinate courts. In this respect may I ask my right hon. and learned Friend, if he has any specific reason, why these words which appear in the Government of India Act, Section 107, have been omitted from this Bill?

In Section 107 of the 1915 Act, these words have been found to work satisfactorily. If these powers were necessary to be given to the High Court in those days, why are they omitted from a similar Clause in this Bill? There should be machinery by which the High Court, if they are dissatisfied with what is going on in any case in an inferior court, should have the power to say that the case must come up for adjudication to the High Court or be transferred to some other court where it would be more satisfactorily disposed of. I would compare by way of an analogy, which may be rather forced, the jurisdiction of the King's Bench Division in this country, which by means of certiorari is able to overlook and control and make subordinate courts behave themselves in cases where they are not behaving quite satisfactorily. When we have a procedure by which the High Court here can if it be necessary, by writs of certiorari, control subordinate courts in this country, then a fortiori the High Court in India should have power to control subordinate courts in India.

8.47 p.m.


The hon. and learned Member is perfectly right in saying that similar words appear in Section 107 of the Government of India Act, 1915. He asks why these words have been omitted from the Bill. The answer is that in practice it has been found that there is ample provision for what he contemplates in the Criminal Civil Code. That would afford an answer to his Amendment if I were disposed not to accept it. But the insertion of the words can do no harm and, therefore, I am glad to accept the Amendment.

Amendment agreed to.

Clause, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clauses 215 to 218 ordered to stand part of the Bill.