The Central Provinces Laws Act, 1875 (Act no. 20 of 1875) was enacted in the British era i.e. during the rule of East India Company in India. The purpose and object for which the present enactment was making provisions is for declaring and amending certain portions of Laws having force in the Central Provinces. The Act was enacted and was assented by the Governor General of India in Council. The date on which the present Act was assented was the same date on which the provisions thereof were enforced or brought into operation or effect, i.e. 9th day of December, 1875. The extension of the provisions of the present law was provided to the State Government of the Central Government. The provisions of the Act were amended on many occasions, as the enactment was of long years ago in past.
At the initial parts of the Act, the provisions of Act provides for short titling, extension and Commencement of the Act. However, section 2 of the Act was providing for repealing of the enactments and rules made under those enactments, such as all Bengal Regulations, all Acts of Central Government, all rules, regulations, etc., other than those protected under this Act, from the date on which the present Act was brought into operation and effect. However, further the laws, i.e. the enactments which are found mentioned in the Schedule annexed with this Act were sought to be treated as having force throughout the given territories and to the given extent. It is also made clear that all Central Laws, which were having under force in relation to the existing territories within the administrative control of the State Government concerned, and all such laws which were to be having force in such territories, should be extended by the Notification to the territories which after the commencement of this present Act came under the administration of that State Government.
Similarly, in the cases where questions as to inheritance, special property of Women, betrothal, Marriage, adoption, guardianship, dower, family relations, Wills, Gifts, Partitions, etc. will arise then the principles or rules for deciding such questions to be referred from the religious laws depending upon the religion of Parties, such as in case of Muslim or Mohammaden Parties, the principles of Muhammadan law and in case of Hindu Parties, the principles of Hindu law will be applicable. And for everything on which no rules are provided under this Act, the Court then should rely on justice, equity and good conscience.
Similarly, the provisions also made under this Act to exempt certain articles from the attachments in further of execution of Civil Courts’ decrees. Such articles were including, implements of husbandry and Cattle in relation to the purpose of agricultural activities. The Act also makes provisions for empowering the State Government concerned, to provide for rules i.e. rule making power, on the matters enumerated under this Act, such as, the issue of maintenance of watch and ward and the establishment of proper system for conservancy and sanitation at fairs and other large public assemblies, and levy of taxes on persons holding or even joining any of said assemblies for that purpose, and also on the issued of custody of judicial records. However, such rules should not be inconsistent with the provisions of this present Act. There was also one issue on which the rules sought to be made by the State Government under this Act, i.e. relating to the Ministerial Officers’ appointments, duties, punishments, etc., however, the said issue was repealed or taken off by the year 1937 by the then Adoption Order. The Act not only was providing for making of Rules on aforesaid issues, but the breach or violation of such Rules were also sought to entail penal liabilities under this Act. The punishment was provided on conviction before a Magistrate, which should not be more than a month’s imprisonment, or there can be fine of 200 rupees or even both jail and fine can be awarded. And the rules made as such, were required to be published in the Official Gazette and should be thereafter having the effect and force of Law.
Certain provisions from the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 were repealed by the provisions of this Act, in relation to the territories to which the present enactment was extending. However, in place of those provisions the Act sought to substitute new provisions.
However, recently in the year 2014, the 20th Law commission of India, has recommended repealing of the present enactment in its First Interim report (Report no. 248)- ‘Obsolete laws : Warranting Immediate Repeal’ on the reason put forwarded by it that the Central Provinces are no longer an administrative unit, as such the present law may be repealed. The P C Jain Commission Report also, earlier, recommended the repealing of the present Law in its Appendix A-1.
Download & Read the Bare Act: The Central Provinces Laws Act, 1875-pdf