THE DELHI HIGH COURT ACT, 1966

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The Delhi High Court Act, 1966 was enacted on September 5, 1966 for the establishment of High Court for Delhi Union Territory. The Section 17 of the Act came into effect on May 1, 1967 and the other provisions were implemented immediately.  From October 31, 1966, a High Court shall be established for the Delhi Union Territory by the Government of India. The Court shall be placed in Delhi or in the places that are notified by the hon’ble President of India. The Judges along with other Division Courts under the Delhi High Court shall have their seat in the place that is determined by the Chief Justice after getting consent of the President. According to the provisions of the enactment, the salaries as well as the allowances to be paid to the Judges shall be taken from the Consolidated Fund of India. The provision regarding the salaries and allowances were inserted by the Amendment Act of 1969 and enforced from October 1, 1969.

Some modifications are made to 5th Chapter under Part VI of the Constitution of India when applied in the present enactment. Accordingly, under Article 217, the terms Governor of the State is excluded and with regard to the appointments, the article will be interpreted with the assumption that some of the words specified under the Act are deleted. Article 219 and Article 227(3) is also implemented with some alterations. Hence, the term Governor shall be taken to mean the Administrator of Delhi Union Territory in these Articles and also in Article 229. Article 225 of the Constitution will not have any application to the present Act. Moreover, apart from the State authorities, the activities of the Delhi High Court will be carried out by Union Public Service Commission and the Parliament unlike other High Courts.

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After the enforcement of the Act and prior to the appointed day, the President is empowered to appoint Chief Justice and other Judges to the Delhi High Court after discussing with the Chief Justice of India. The judges shall take charge from the appointed day. The High Court shall have original and appellate jurisdiction over the territories coming under Delhi Union Territory. It will have original civil jurisdiction in all the litigations where the suit is valued at five lakhs rupees. The High Court will have the authority to sanction, confess, enroll, take out and suspend advocates and to formulate rules that are essential with regard to such functions. The right of audience in the Delhi High Court will be controlled as per the same principles that were implemented in the Punjab High Court prior to the appointed day. The Delhi High Court will have the power to frame rules and issue orders in connection with the practice and methods to carry out its ordinary civil jurisdiction.

The provisions are included in the Act for the custody of seal of the Delhi High Court, the types of writs etc. The person aggrieved by the order of the Single Judge shall prefer an appeal to the Division bench. The proceedings that are under the Punjab High Court shall stand transferred to the Delhi High Court after giving certification. The orders made by the Punjab High Court prior to the appointed day shall be deemed to be the order of Delhi High Court. The Act extended the jurisdiction of Delhi High Court to the territories of Himachal Pradesh also from May 1, 1967. The matters that are pending in front of the Judicial Commissioner of Himachal Pradesh shall be transferred to Delhi High Court. The Central Government is empowered under the Act to make necessary changes in law after two years from the appointed day and apply modifications if expedient.

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The Delhi High Court Act, 1966 was amended several times and at last in 2003 by enacting the Delhi High Court (Amendment) Act, 2003. Recently, the Delhi High Court (Amendment) Bill, 2014 was introduced in Rajya Sabha on February 17, 2014.