District Judge.

The District Judge, Chandrapur, is the highest judicial authority in the district and presides over the district court. Under Article 233 of the Constitution of India, appointments, postings and promotions of the District Judges [Under Article 236 of the Constitution of India, the term 'District Judge' includes Additional District Judge, Assistant District Judge, Chief Judge of a Small Causes Court, Additional Sessions Judge and Assistant Sessions Judge.] are to be made by the Governor in consultation with the High Court; and under Article 234, appointments of persons other than District Judges to the judicial service [Under Article 236 of the Constitution of India, 'judicial service" is described as a service consisting exclusively of persons intended to fill post of a District Judge and other civil and judicial posts inferior to the post of a District Judge,] are made by the Governor in accordance with the rules made by him after consultation with the State Public Service Commission and with the High Court. Under Article 235, the control over the district court and the courts subordinate to it, including the postings and promotions of, and the grant of leave to persons belonging to the judicial service and holding any post inferior to the post of District Judge, is vested in the High Court.

Civil Courts.

The District Court is the principal Court of original jurisdiction in the district. It is also the Court of appeal from all  decrees and orders up to the value of Rs. 10,000 passed by the  subordinate Courts from which an appeal can be preferred. The  District judge exercises general control over all the District  Civil Courts and their establishments, and inspects their  proceedings.

Subordinate to the District Judge are two cadres of Civil Judges, Senior Division and Junior Division. The jurisdiction of a Civil Judge (Junior Division) extends to all original suits and proceedings of a civil nature wherein the subject matter does not exceed Rs. 10,000 in value, while that of a Civil Judge (Senior Division) extends to original suits and proceedings of a civil nature irrespective of the value of the subject matter. Appeals in suits or proceedings wherein the subject matter does not exceed Rs. 10,000 in value are taken to the district court while in those wherein the subject matter exceeds Rs. 10,000 in value are taken direct to the High Court.

At Chandrapur, there are four Courts of Civil Judges one of Senior Division and three of Junior Division. Besides Chandrapur, there are two Courts of Civil Judges (Junior division) at Warora and one each at Brahmapuri, Gadhchiroli and Rajura, The court of 3rd joint Civil Judges (junior Division) and the Judicial Magistrate, First Class, Chandrapur, goes on deputation to Sironcha and works there for a week every month.

Criminal Courts.

The District Judge, Chandrapur, is also the Sessions Judge of the district. The Sessions Judge tries criminal cases which are committed to his court by the Judicial Magistrates after preliminaries and hears appeals against the decisions of the Judicial Magistrates. He acts as the Special Judge for conducting cases under Section 161 of the Indian Penal Code and cases under the Prevention of Corruption Act. in the district. The Sessions Judge may pass any sentence authorised by law but any sentence of death passed by him is subject to confirmation by the High Court.

The Civil, Judges in the district arc also Judicial Magistrates, First Class, and they try criminal cases falling in their respective jurisdictions. They are competent to pass the following sentences-

1. Imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years including such solitary confinement as is authorised by law, and

2. fine not exceeding Rs. 2,000.

The separation of judiciary from the executive was effected in the district from September 1, 1959 and the Judicial Magistrates were brought under the control of the Sessions Judge. Prior to this date they were under the control of the District Magistrate and were called Judge-Magistrates, First Class.

All Executive Magistrates are subordinate to the District Magistrate. Their powers and functions are detailed in paragraphs III-A, IV and V of Schedule III of the Criminal Procedure Code. Appeals from orders requiring security for keeping peace or for good behaviour, however, lie from the Executive Magistrates to the Court of Sessions (Section 406, Criminal Procedure Code). The State Government have powers by notification to direct that appeals from such orders made by a magistrate other than District Magistrate shall lie to the District Magistrate and not to the Court of Sessions. Again, under Section 406-A of the Code, any person aggrieved by an order refusing to accept or rejecting a surety under Section 122, may go in appeal against such an order, if made by a District Magistrate, to the Court of Sessions. Under Section 435 (4), the High Court is empowered to call for and examine the record of any proceeding under Sections 143 (prohibition of repetition of nuisance), 144 (temporary orders in urgent cases of nuisance or apprehended danger) and 145 (procedure where dispute as to immovable property is likely to cause breach of peace) even though such proceeding was before an Executive Magistrate.

The ordinary powers of the Magistrate of the First Class are detailed in Schedule III, Part III of the Criminal Procedure Code. They may be invested with additional powers by the State Government in consultation with the High Court and these additional powers are detailed in Schedule IV of the Code.

Other Law Officers.

In 1965, there were three other law officers functioning in the district, viz., the District Government Pleader and the Public Prosecutor, the Assistant Government Pleader and Assistant Public Prosecutor at Chandrapur and the Subordinate Government Pleader at Rajura.

Bar Association.

There were six associations of lawyers in the district located at Chandrapur, Warora, Brahmapuri, Gadhchiroli, Rajura and Sironcha, with a total membership of 78. These bar associations hold discussions on legal topics and at times arrange cultural programmes. The associations also send deputations to the authorities concerned in connection with legislative and other cognate matters affecting the public in general and legal profession in particular. Protection of common interests of the members of the bar is one of the important objectives of these associations.

Nyaya Panchayats.

In 1965, there were 20 nyaya panchayats functioning in the district.

Statistics of Suits in the Civil Courts.

In various Civil Courts in the district, 1,193 suits were pending at the beginning of the year 1963. During that year, 1,541 suits were instituted and 1,815 suits revived making a total of 3,356 suits. In all 2,432 suits were disposed of and 1,117 suits were pending at the end of the year. Of 3,356 suits, instituted and revived, 1,169 suits were either for money or moveable property; 445 were of value not exceeding Rs, 100; 869 were of value above Rs. 100 but not exceeding Rs. 1,000; 153 were above Rs. 1,000 but not exceeding Rs. 5,000; 21 were of value above  Rs. 5,000 and value of the remaining 53 suits could not be estimated in terms of money. The total value of the suits instituted was Rs. 8,61,558.

Out of 2,432 suits disposed of, 187 were disposed of without  trial; 321 ex-parte, 215 on admission of claims; 356 by compromise;  510 after full trial and 843 by transfer.

There were 109 appeals (including miscellaneous appeals) pending at the beginning of the year 1963. During that year, 91 appeals were instituted, 84 were disposed of and 116 were pending at the end of the year. Of the 84 appeals disposed of, 7 were either dismissed or not prosecuted, 13 confirmed, 11 modified, 23 reversed and 13 remanded for retrial.

Statistics of Suits in the Criminal Courts.

In the year 1963, 5,835 offences were reported in the Criminal  Courts of Chanda district. Persons under trial numbered 12,793;  persons whose cases were disposed of, 8,935; persons discharged or acquitted, 2,503; persons convicted 6,333; persons committed to sessions, 56; and persons died or transferred to other States, 43. Five persons were sentenced to imprisonment for life, 342 to imprisonment, 4,668 to pay fine, 96 released on admonition and 50 were ordered to furnish security.

statistics of Suits in Sessions Court.

In the Sessions Court, 32 offences were reported during 1963. During the same period persons under trial numbered 64, while those whose cases were disposed, 55. Number of persons acquitted or discharged was 35 and those convicted 20. During the same year 56 persons were committed to Sessions of whom 48 were tried in the Sessions Court. Of these again 30 were acquitted and 18 were convicted and committed to imprisonment. Of these only 5 were sent for life imprisonment.

Revenue and Expenditure.

The revenue and expenditure of the Judicial department in Chandrapur district for the year 1963-64 was Rs. 14,315 and Rs. 3,15,121, respectively.