The High Court and Bombay (Extension of Jurisdiction to Goa, Daman and Diu) Act, 1981

The High Court and Bombay (Extension of Jurisdiction to Goa, Daman andDiu) Act, 1981 was enacted on 32nd year of Republic of India by the Parliament for the extension of Bombay High court jurisdiction and also establishment of permanent bench to Goa, Daman and diu. The Act would come into force when the Central Government fixes a date and notifies it in the Official Gazette.

Section 2 of the Act states about the Definitions like Appointed Day, Court of the Judicial Commissioner. Under Section 3 of the Act Bombay High Court’s jurisdiction is extended to Goa, Daman and Diu.  The Court of Judicial Commissioner ceased to function and abolished once this Act comes into existence but any order, notice served, direction given before appointed day by Judicial Commissioner shall not be prejudiced. The Act also describes about the powers and authority of the High Court of Bombay that it has in respect to the territories of Union Territory of Goa, Daman and Diu under the Law in force and which were exercisable by Court of Judicial Commissioner in the said territories.

Chapter6 of Part 6 of the provisions of the Constitution shall be applied to High Court of Bombay with regard to its jurisdiction over Union Territory of Goa, Daman and Diu but with certain exceptions to it. Reference to Governor of State shall be changed to Administrator of the Union Territory of Goa, Diu and Daman. Article 234 and 233 Clause 1, and Article 237 shall refer to Administration of Union territory of Goa, Diu and Daman instead of Governor of State as explained in the articles of the Constitution. Article 233A provisions shall not apply. State Public Service Commission stated under Article 234 of the Constitution shall be referred to as Union Public service Commission for the above said Act.

Section 6 of the Act explains about the Advocate who immediately before appointed day, practised under Court of Judicial Commissioner is entitled to practise in High Court of Bombay as an advocate. All pending proceedings of Judicial Commissioners Court which was pending before appointed day shall be transferred to High Court at Bombay.  The Bombay High Court shall hear and dispose the proceedings as if it was entertained by the said court itself. Any advocate who is entitled to practise in Court of Judicial Commissioner or acting for any transferred proceedings has a right to appear before High Court at Bombay with regard to such proceedings.

On 30th October, 1982 a permanent Bench of High Court at Bombay has been established at Panaji. Establishing a bench at Panaji by Bombay High Court brought in a brilliant judicial history to the Union Territory.  Two judges of High Court of Bombay shall sit at Panaji and exercise their powers vested by High Court for any hearing of cases in Union Territory of Goa, Diu and Daman but Chief Justice of High Court can order any case be heard at Bombay itself instead of the Territory.  This has been explained under Section 9 of the Act.

Let us look at the history of the Courts in Goa before the establishment of a permanent Bench.  Portuguese after colonising Goa gradually introduced their judicial system in Goa. At the beginning the usages and customs of Goan people were codified by Portuguese.  Portuguese in 1544, created a High Court named as Tribunal de Relacao das Indias. Portuguese had appointed 3 sitting judges and a Chancellor who headed the High Court. Tribunal de Ralacao de Goa was eradicated after liberation, and was replaced by the Judicial Commissioner’s Court. Under the Indian Judicial system this Court had lesser powers than a High Court. Judicial Commissioner’s Court that existed in Union Territory of Goa, Daman and Diu were given certain powers of the High Court.

The Act further states about the expenditure with regard to salaries and allowances of Judges, officers and servants of High courts shall be borne by State of Maharashtra and Union as per order of the President.  Any reference with regard to any law in force in Union territory of Goa, Diu and Daman regarding Court of Judicial Commissioner shall be construed and referred with reference to High Court at Bombay.

Section 12 of the Act states that Goa, Daman and Diu Civil Courts Act has been amended with regard to the word “High Court” which means High Court at Bombay having jurisdiction over Union Territory of Goa, Diu and Daman.

Section 13 of the Act states that Central Government by Gazette notification has the power to remove difficulties arising in the Act but it shall be made within 2 years from the appointed day. Every order made by Central Government should be put before both House of Parliament when it is in session for 30 days period and both houses can agree or modify the said order.

Central Government before 2 years from appointed day has the power to make modifications on the law in relation to Union territory of Goa, Daman and Diu by way of repeal or amendment as necessary with the provisions of the said Act until such modifications or alterations are repealed by a competent legislature.

by Sushma Javare