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Azad Jammu and Kashmir Courts and Laws Code Act, 1949


Preamble
Whereas it is expedient to revise the Azad Jammu and Kashmir Courts and Laws Code of 1948 and to set up Courts of justice in such territories of Jammu and Kashmir State as have been liberated from Dogra Rule or may hereafter be so liberated and provide laws and prescribe procedure keeping in view the independence of judiciary, it is hereby enacted as follows:—


1. Title, Extent
(1) This Code may be called the Azad Jammu and Kashmir Courts and Laws Code of 1949.


(2) It shall extend to the territories which are now or may hereafter come under the Azad Jammu and Kashmir Government and shall come into force at once.


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. Savings and Repeals. All acts done under any law in force on the date of commencement of this Code, shall be deemed to be in every way valid;


Provided that all proceedings pending on the date of enforcement of this Code, shall be transferred to the Courts set up under this Code.


3.
All Laws and enactments of the Dogra Rule inconsistent with the provisions of this Code or with the enactments passed or adapted by the Azad Jammu and Kashmir Government are hereby repealed and all other laws, shall as far as practicable, continue to remain in force.

 

CHAPTER-I


4. Definitions. In this Code unless there is anything repugnant in the subject or context:—

(1) “Small Cause” means a suit of the nature cognizable by a Court of small causes under the Jammu and Kashmir State Small Causes Act in force in the Dogra Rule.


(2) “Land suit” means a suit relating to land as defined in Section 4 (1) of the Punjab Tenancy Act, 1887, or to any right of interest in such land;


(3) “Unclassed suit” means a suit which is neither Small Cause nor a land suit;


(4) “Value” used with reference to a suit means the amount of the subject matter of the suit; and


(5) “Government” shall mean the Azad Jammu and Kashmir State Government.

 

CHAPTER-II

HIGH COURT


5. Constitution and appointment of Judges
. 2[(1) The High Court shall consist of a Chief Justice and three or more other judges.]


3
[(1-A) At any time when,—


(a) the office of the Chief Justice of the High Court is vacant; or


(b) the Chief Justice of the High Court is absent or is unable to perform the functions of his office due to any other cause;


the President shall appoint the most senior of the other Judges of the High Court to act as Chief Justice.]


(2) Every Judge of the High Court shall be appointed by the Azad Jammu and Kashmir Government and shall hold office until he attains the age of 65 years,—


Provided that— (a) A Judge may by resignation under his hand addressed to the Azad Jammu and Kashmir Government resign his office.


(b) A Judge may be removed from office by the order of the Azad Jammu and Kashmir Government on the ground of misbehavior or of infirmity of mind or body if the tribunal or Medical Board to be appointed by Government on reference being made to them by the Azad Jammu and Kashmir Government reports that the Judge ought on any such ground to be removed.


(3) A person shall not be qualified for appointment as judge of High Court unless he,—


(a) is a Barrister of England of not less than ten years standing; or


(b) has for at least three years, held a judicial office in the State or in Pakistan not inferior to that of a District Judge; or


(c) has for at least five years held a judicial office in the State or in Pakistan not inferior to that of a Subordinate Judge or a judge of Small Causes Court; or


(d) has for at least ten years been a Pleader or Vakil or Advocate of High Court in the State or in Pakistan or of two more such Courts in succession:—


Provided that in computing for the purpose of this sub-section the standing of a Pleader, Vakil or Advocate any period during which a person has held a judicial office after he became a Pleader, Vakil or Advocate, as the case may be, shall be computed.


6.
Omitted by the AJ&K Courts and Laws Code (Amendment) Act, 1992 (Act XXIII of 1992), see section 3 thereof.


3[6-A. Seat of the High Court. (1) The Principal Seat of High Court shall be at Muzaffarabad.

(2) The President may establish one, or more permanent Benches and Circuit Benches of High Court at such place or places as he may deem expedient.


(3) A Bench referred to in sub-section (2) of this Section shall consist of such of the Judges of the High Court as may be nominated by the Chief Justice from time to time.]


7. Seal.
The High Court shall have and use, as occasion may require, a seal bearing a device and impression of the Government Coat of Arms within an exergue or label surrounding the same, with the inscription “Seal of the High Court of Azad Jammu and Kashmir”, the said seal being kept in the custody of such officer as the Chief Justice may appoint in this behalf.


8.
Omitted by the Act XXIII of 1992, see section 3 thereof.


Admission of Vakils, Advocates, Pleaders and Attorneys at Law.


9.
The High Court may approve, enroll and admit such and so many Advocates, Vakils, Pleaders and Attorneys-at-law as to the said High Court may deem fit and such Advocates, Vakils, Pleaders and Attorneys-at-law may appear for the suitors in the said High Court and the Subordinate Courts and plead or act, or plead and act for the said suitors according to the rule.


10.
(1) The High Court shall have power to make rules from time to time for the qualifications and admission of proper persons to be Advocates, Vakils, Pleaders and Attorneys-at-law and shall have powers to remove or suspend from practice on reasonable causes the said Advocates, Vakils, Pleaders or Attorneys-at-law.


(2) Subject, however, to the provisions of any other law in force for the time being, no person except such Advocates, Vakils, Pleaders or Attorneys-at-law or any suitor himself or on behalf of co-suitor shall be entitled to act or plead for or on behalf of any suitor in the said High Court and the Courts subject to its superintendence.


11. Law to be Administered by the High Court.—–
The High Court shall apply such law or equity to each case coming before it as would have been applied by the Court in which the proceedings were originally instituted or may have been instituted.


12.
Omitted by the Act XXIII of 1992 see section 3 thereof.


13. Civil Jurisdiction of the High Court.—
(1) The High Court Shall be a court of appeal from the Civil Courts of the Azad Jammu and Kashmir State and from all other Courts subject to its superintendence.


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[(2) The High Court shall also hear original suits of above the value of Rs. 10,000/- such suits shall be heard by a Single Judge.


(3) An appeal shall lie to the High Court from the Judgment or order of one Judge in an original civil suit.


(4) The High Court shall have jurisdiction to entertain and dispose of such appeals, revisions and other cases, civil, criminal or revenue, as it may be empowered to do under any enactment in force in the Azad Jammu and Kashmir State.]


13-A to 13-C.
These sections were inserted by the AJ&K Courts and Laws Code (Amendment) Act; 1958 as passed under G.O. 242/58 dated 5*6-1958 and repealed, subsequently, by the AJ&K Judicial Board (Constitution and Jurisdiction) Act, 1974 (Act XX of 1974) see section 16 thereof, as published in issue No. 41, Vol XX of AJ&K Gazette.


14.
The High Court shall have power to remove and to try and determine any suit being or falling within the jurisdiction of any court subject to its superintendence when the High Court may think proper to do so either on the agreement of the parties or for purposes of justice.


15.
Pecuniary Limits of Jurisdiction of Civil Courts. (1) The High Court shall determine tile pecuniary limits of jurisdiction to be exercised in original suits by any person appointed as Sub-Judge either by including him in a class or otherwise as it thinks fit.


(2) The High Court may confer upon any officer in the service of the Government, by name or by virtue of his office, powers to try civil suits in such local limits of jurisdiction and within such limits of pecuniary jurisdiction either by including him in a class or otherwise, as it thinks fit, and may withdraw such powers.


16. Ordinary criminal jurisdiction.—
The High Court shall have ordinary original criminal jurisdiction in respect of all persons residing in places within the territories of the Government and shall be empowered to try all persons brought before it in due course of law.


17. Extra ordinary criminal jurisdiction.
(1) The High Court shall have extra-ordinary criminal jurisdiction over all persons residing in places within the jurisdiction of any court subject to its superintendence, and shall have authority to try, at its discretion any such person or charges preferred by any Magistrate or other officer empowered by the Government in that behalf.


(2) Omitted by the Act XXIII of 1992 see section 5 and again repealed by the Contempt of Courts Act 1993 (Act XXVII of 1993) see section 12 thereof.


18. Appeal from criminal courts.
The High Court shall be a Court of appeal from the criminal courts of the Azad Jammu and Kashmir State and from all other courts subject to its superintendence, further the High Court shall be a Court of reference and revision for from the criminal courts subject to its appellate jurisdiction and shall have power to hear and determine all cases referred to it by Government.


19. Power of transfer.
The High Court shall have power to direct the transfer of any criminal case or appeal from any court to any other court of equal or superior jurisdiction and also re-direct tile preliminary investigation or trial of any criminal case by any officer or court otherwise competent to investigate and try it, though such case belongs, in ordinary course, to the jurisdiction of some other officer or Court.


20. Criminal law.
All persons brought for trial before the High Court, either in the exercise of its jurisdiction as a court of appeal, reference or revision, charged with an offence for which provision is made in the Azad Jammu and Kashmir Penal Code, or by any Act, amending or excluding the said Code, shall be liable to punishment under the said Code or Acts and not otherwise.


21. Power to confer magisterial powers etc.
The High Court 5[ ….] shall be competent to confer upon any person or persons ordinary or special magisterial powers, withdraw, the same, pass orders, issue directions exercise control and make rules in accordance with sections 10(2), 12, 14, 15, 16, 30, 37 to 41, 108, 110, 143, 144, 164, 167, 174, 186, 190, 193, 206, 260, 406, 407, 524, and 565 of the Criminal Procedure Code.


22.
The High Court may pass any sentence authorized by law.


23. Miscellaneous jurisdiction.
The High Court shall have such testamentary, intestate or matrimonial jurisdiction as may be prescribed by law for the time being in force and without prejudice to the exercise of such jurisdiction by any other court empowered in that behalf.


24. Single Judge and Division Courts.
(1) Any function which is hereby directed to be performed by the High Court, may be performed by any Judge or by any Division Court appointed or constituted for the purpose by the Chief Justice. In case of a Division Court, if the judges are divided in opinion on any point, the opinion of the Majority, but if the Judges be equally divided then 6[the opinion of the Senior Judge shall prevail.]


(2) Any Single Judge and any Bench of two Judges of High Court not being a full Bench may, in any case, refer for the decision of a Full Bench, any question of law or of the construction of any document or of the admissibility of any evidence arising before such Single Judge or Bench and shall dispose of the case in accordance with the decision of the Full Bench.


(3) Any Single Judge of High Court, may, if he thinks fit, refer any appeal or application before him for hearing as a Single Judge to a Bench of two judges for decision.


25. Special Commissioner and Circuits.—-Whenever it appears to the Chief Justice convenient that the powers vested in the High Court shall be exercised in any place other than the usual place of sitting of the High Court or at several such places by Circuits, one or more Judges of the High Court shall visit such place or places accordingly.

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