The Union Territories (Separation of Judicial and Executive Functions) Act, 1969

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An Act no. 19 of the year 1969 was enacted by the Indian Parliament with the short title as ‘the Union Territories (Separation of Judicial and Executive Functions) Act, 1969. The same was provided for making provisions for the separation of Judicial and Executive functions in the Union territories. And said enactment was assented by the President of India on 31st day of May, 1969. The extension of the provisions thereof, provided over the every Union territories, however, the only Union territory is exempted from the extension of these provisions, i.e. the Union territory of the Chandigarh. Earlier in respect of those Union territories, the provisions of the Punjab Separation of Judicial and Executive Functions Act, 1964 were already applicable in furtherance and under the compliance of directive principles of state policy embodied in Article 50 of the Constitution of the India.

The provisions of the Section 3 of the Act provide for the amendment of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898 (no. 5 of 1898) in respect of its provisions to the extent to which the Schedule annexed with this Act contemplates. Such amendment is sought under this Act for providing the same Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898 to apply to the Union Territories as to which this Act extends for the purpose of separation of Judicial functions from Executive functions. Further, section 4 of the Act provides that whatever, notifications, orders, bye-laws, rules, etc. which were duly made or issued, etc. before the provisions of this Act brought into operation, should not be treated as invalid by reason of the aforesaid amendment in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898 which were to modify the manner, authority or law under which any powers are exercisable, in relation to those Union Territories. Also in case of revocation, variation, etc. of such notification, order, commencement, bye- law, rule or regulations, etc., the same can be done in the manner as if those notifications, etc. were duly issued or made by the Competent Authority after the provisions of this Act were brought into force.

Further, the provisions of the section 5 of the Act, provide for the functions of Judicial Magistrates and Executive Magistrate to exercise. It is provided under that provision, that the functions exercisable by any Magistrate under any law, in respect to appreciation or sifting of evidences, decision formulation which can result in punishing, penalizing or even detaining, etc. any person, are to be exercised by the Judicial Magistrate after being subjected to the provisions of this Act and also to the provisions of Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898 as amended under this enactment. And all functions which are of administrative or executive nature, including granting of licences, suspension, cancellation thereof, sanctioning prosecution, etc. are to be exercisable by the Executive Magistrates.

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Similarly, the provisions of section 6 provides that in the transferred areas from the Union Territory of Himachal Pradesh (i.e. the areas of which the territories which were added to the Union Territory of the Himachal Pradesh in furtherance of the provisions of the Punjab Re-organization Act, 1966, but not includes the territories comprised in the areas of Districts of Lahaul and Spiti), the provisions of the Punjab Separation of Judicial and Executive Functions Act, 1964, and the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898 which were having force in that areas before the present Act was brought into operation, should be repealed after the present Act becomes operative. However, the things done or actions taken under the provisions of the aforesaid Punjab Separation of Judicial and Executive Functions Act, 1964 or even under the provisions of the laws which were amended by the said Act of 1964 should not be affected by such repeal. And also in respect of such repeal, the provisions of the section 6 of the General Clauses Act, 1897 were sought to apply as the same would have done in furtherance of an enactment by the Central Act. Further it is provided that the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898 are to become applicable as amended by this Act, to the concerned areas.

Further, section 7 of the Act makes saving provisions, where it is specified that the provisions of this Act should not affect whatever done earlier, even the same should not affect any right, privilege, etc. which were earlier acquired, any penalty, forfeiture, etc. inflicted earlier prior to the present Act brought into operation.

Moreover, the provisions of section 8 says that in case of whatever difficulties which arise while giving effect to the provisions of this Act, the Central Government should provide on the same after having consultation with the High Court which is having jurisdiction in relation to the concerned Union territory. For providing on such difficulties, the Government should make an order, which is required to be tabled before the each House of Indian Parliament. Lastly, section 9 of the Act says that for amending the provisions of this Act, the Legislative Assembly of the concerned Union territory can provide for an amending law to amend this Act, which will be having applicability in respect to that Union territory only. The said amending provision is provided to have effect, even after whatever inconsistent contained under section 21 of the Government of Union Territories Act, 1963.

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by Faim Khalilkhan Pathan.