G. Narasimha Rao

Advocate favours transferring certain matters to District Courts

Seeks support of Government, courts and legislators in the matter

VISAKHAPATNAM: Even as another round of separate agitation looks imminent in Visakhapatnam and Vijayawada areas demanding establishment of a High Court Bench in the respective areas, a senior advocate of the city says people and litigant public are not going to get any additional benefit with this facility.

“For a litigant who would never meet his High Court advocate as correspondence is done through post and their advocate in the lower court, it is one and the same whether the seat of the High Court is in Hyderabad or some other place. The litigant is bothered about speedy disposal of the case, and this cannot be achieved by establishing any number of Benches”, said the advocate Achanta Lakshmana Rao.

A High Court Bench would only benefit the advocates of that city or those around the city and mostly the seniors among them. It does not benefit even the moffusil advocates or people, according to the advocate.

While finding no need for a HC Bench, Mr. Lakshmana Rao proposed some alternatives for speedy disposal of cases, less expensive and speedy justice for the litigants and more work for advocates.

Certain amendments must be made to the laws in this regard shifting some matters from the High Court to the District and Sessions Courts, he said while explaining his point.

At present, a Senior Civil Judge who is an appellate authority over a Junior Civil Judge, who writes a judgment examining a dozen witnesses and marking tens of documents, is not empowered to deal with a revision petition (like amendment of a boundary in the schedule) and the client has to move the High Court for revision. A District and Sessions Judge who can award life sentence or capital punishment is not empowered to deal with an appeal against the judgment of an Assistant Sessions Judge. A District judge who can deal with suits of immense value cannot take up a land acquisition appeal. Appeals against the acquittal judgments of the Magistrates and Assistant Sessions Judges are filed in the High Court while those against convictions can go to the Assistant Sessions Judge and Sessions Judge. Lower courts have no inherent powers (regarding quash proceedings and the like) on criminal side as per Sec 482 Cr.P.C. High Court is vested with the power to deal with these matters.

If only these matters are shifted to the District Courts, instead of about 20 or 30 Judges of the High Court, the more than 100 Judges of the District Courts can dispose of them. Advocates of the moffusil courts could appear and deal with the matters. The clients would personally attend the District Courts which are nearer to them, and engage advocate for a less fee.

He wanted the Government to amend the laws, the apex courts to recommend the amendments, and the legislators to support.