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Friday, November 5, 2010

Lahore High Court

The history of the High Court at Lahore is spread over the last hundred and fifty years.
By 1830, Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the famous Sikh ruler of Punjab, consolidated the innumerable small principalities ruled by independent chieftains in the Province. Before the consolidation, there were no Judicial Courts, no written laws and no established authority to maintain or enforce them. The chieftains decided cases according to their own whims and discretions Certain rules of customs for settlement of civil and criminal disputes through
arbitrators governed the field , but they were by no means uniform or reputable.

Even during Maharaja Ranjit Singh's period, no great judicial reforms were introduced. The Saddar Adulate Court (Chief Court ) at Lahore was the sole Court in his realm. There were officers dealing with fiscal and military matters, but none specifically to dispense civil or criminal justice.
The annexation of the Punjab by the British was immediately followed by the creation of a Board of Administration in 1849 consisting of three Members. The Board had powers of a Sudder (Chief) Court of Judicature and a Sudder Board of Revenue.
In 1853 the Board of Administration was replaced with a Chief Commissioner, and two Principal Commissioners separately appointed for Judicial and Administrative work. The Judicial Commissioner was the Chief judge of appeal and his Court was the final appellate Court.

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