The Bengal, Agra and Assam Civil Courts Act, 1887 was enacted on March 11, 1887 and came into effect on July 1, 1887. The main purpose of the Act is to unite as well as alter the legal principles that deal with Civil Courts in the State of West Bengal. It shall also be applicable to Civil Courts in the North-Western Provinces as well as State of Assam. The provisions of the enactment shall be applicable to the territories that are managed through the North Western Provinces as on the commencement of the enactment. The Act shall also be extended to places that are controlled by the Chief Commissioner in the State of Assam as on the same date. But the parts of some territories that do not come under the purview of the High Court under its civil jurisdiction are excluded from the applicability of the enactment.
By virtue of the enactment, the Courts that are established and the appointments, proposals, laws as well as directions that are issued, jurisdiction and authority given and the details notified as per the Bengal Civil Courts Act of 1871 or other legislation shall stand cancelled or asserting directly or indirectly which is so established, created, provided and notified shall be considered to be correspondingly established, created, provided and notified as per the conditions stipulated under the present Act. Moreover, the Acts or records that passes on to the provisions of the Bengal Civil Courts Act, 1871 or other legislation that are expressly cancelled shall be interpreted to be as per the present enactment or to the relating parts of the Act. The Court shall consist of District Court, Additional Court, Sub Court and Munsiff Courts to exercise the jurisdiction under the Civil Courts. The concerned State Governments are given the power to change the number of the judges including, the District judge, Sub judge as well as the Munsiff that are fixed by virtue of the terms of the Act.
Moreover, where a situation arises that the District Judge or the Sub Judge is unable to occupy office due to demise, resignation or expulsion or for any other reason or additional vacancies are created for the post of Judge, the concerned Governments of the State or even the High Court is empowered to fill such gap or make appointments as prescribed under the Act. There is no ban on the appointments made by the Governments of the State for the purpose of fulfilling the functions that are additional to the already entrusted activities to the Judges for a specific term. For the swift clearance of cases and to lessen the work load of the District Judge, the State Government is granted the power to appoint additional judges after getting the advice of the High Court. The managerial functions of the Civil Court shall be carried on by the District Judge under the control of the High Court of that State.
Where the seat of the District judge is vacant due to the reasons specified, the additional judge or the Sub Judge shall assume the powers of the District Judge in addition to the powers entrusted to him. During this period the Judge so assuming the powers shall be under the rules framed by the High Court. The District Judge shall also transfer the cases under the Sub Judge for the speedy disposal wherever, situations demands such transfer. The jurisdictions shall be changed by the State Government after publicizing in its Gazette. The location of the Civil Court shall be determined and altered if necessary by the State Government. The holidays of the Courts are decided by the High Court. The jurisdiction of the District and Sub Court shall be as per Section 15 of Civil Procedure Code of 1882. The appeals shall be preferred to the High Court by a person aggrieved by the order of the District or Sub Court. The District Court is also given special jurisdiction under the enactment.