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REPORT ONTHE VISIT TO THE HONBLE HIGH COURT OF GUJARAT

Ravindra Purohit 09B096 ravindrap09@gnlu.ac.in Submitted toMr. Anant Deogaonkar and Mr. Marisport A. 20/02/2014

SUMMARY
This High Court visit has been divided in two parts (a) Witnessing the proceedings in the Honble Court rooms, and (b) Interactive session with the Deputy Registrar of the Honble High Court. As required under the obligation of part (a), we were required to attend proceedings in different court rooms and observe the same in the Courts. The part (b) of the High Court visit consisted of an Interactive Session with the deputy registrar of the Honble High Court. He discussed with us different topics related to the practical aspects of the procedure by which cases are filed in the High Court including the different jurisdictions which the High Court has, Mediation, Letters Patent Appeal, First and Second Appeals respectively. The details of the High Court visit shall be discussed in the subsequent parts of this report.

COURT PROCEEDINGS
As discussed previously, the first part of the High Court was to visit different Court rooms at the Gujarat High Court and witness the different Court proceedings that were then going on in the Court rooms. The details of the proceedings are as follows1. The first Court that I visited during my High Court visit was that of the Honble Chief Justice of the Gujarat High Court Mr. Bhaskar Bhatt. In his Court, the Division Bench had been constituted and it was hearing various matters relating to Public Interest Litigation (PIL). The case that was being conducted was a service matter. Before looking into the merits of the case, the Bench directed one of the parties to submit to the other party, the money which had been received by the former from the latter. One of the parties to the case was a state body, the next hearing of the matter was posted after 4 weeks from that day. Another proceeding witnessed by me was a PIL relating to environmental issues. The main issue to be decided by the Honble Court under this PIL was related to the construction of hotels in certain coastal areas for tourism purpose. The construction had been challenged by the appellant on the grounds that it would violate the provisions of the Coastal Regulation Zones Act.
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2. The next Court visited by me was of Honble Justice Mr. Paresh Upadhyay. I witnessed the proceedings of the matter relating to Criminal Law. One of the parties to the case was a bank and the case related to the forgery of the signatures made by the defendant on a cheque which was to be encashed from the bank. Due to the charges of a forgery which had been made on the defendant by the plaintiff bank, the issue that the Court was examining related to whether the signature made by the defendant actually belonged to him or not. I witnessed that many police officers were also present in the Court at that point of time and were assisting the lawyers in making their arguments. During the course of submissions made by the counsels, the counsel for the defendant sought the leave of the Court to cite a previous Bombay High Court judgment to support his arguments. But his request was dismissed by the Honble judge who was of the opinion that the point relating to which the Bombay High Court judgment dealt with was different and was not applicable to the present matter which the counsel was arguing on. 3. Another Court which I visited was the Court of Honble Justice Mrs. Abhilasha Kumari. The cases relating to service matters were being heard by her at that point of time. The proceedings witnessed by me related to certain rules and regulations related to service by the government employees as framed by the Government of Gujarat. An employee had been dismissed from employment by the State of Gujarat on the grounds that he had been imprisoned for a period of more than 48 hours. The arguments put forth by the counsel for the appellant were that his client could not have been directly dismissed from service because as per the Gujarat Government Service Rules, such dismissal does not take place if the employee has been permitted to join the service after his imprisonment. Another argument put forth by the counsel was that natural justice had been violated in the case as the dismissal of the employee could have been done only after giving him a due hearing which had not been done in this case and moreover, the Service Rules call for only a suspension of the employee during the period of imprisonment so he therefore could not have been dismissed from service unless any act amounting to disciplinary misconduct was proved against him. The counsel referred to a judgment of the Calcutta High Court to support his submissions on the basis that the rules for service as applicable in the states of Gujarat and West Bengal respectively are similar to each other.
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While noting that the view of the Calcutta High Court has only a persuasive value and is not binding on the Court, the Court asked the counsel for the State of Gujarat (the respondent in the case) to look for any decision on the point given by the Gujarat High Court. 4. The next Court visited by me was during the post lunch session of the High Court on that day which starts after 2:30 pm. Matters of appeal which were both civil and criminal in nature were listed before his Court. I witnessed the proceedings related to medical negligence at a hospital. The owner of the hospital was one of the parties to the case. Certain mishap at the hospital which had been caused by an assistant of a surgeon working at the hospital had lead to death of one of the hospitals patients. The counsel for the hospitals owner (who was himself a doctor by profession) argued that since the surgeons assistant who was responsible for the mishap was in no way connected or affiliated to the hospital, the hospital owner and the hospital staff could not have been made liable for the death of the patient. The hospital owner was basically in appeal against the judgment of the lower Court which had found the hospital owner and the staff guilty and accordingly had awarded damages to the other party. The counsel for the other party argued that the hospital could be held liable on the principle of vicarious liability which was one of the submissions made by him before the Court. Also in question by the counsel for the appellant were the charges framed by the police in the charge-sheet which had been submitted by it to the Court after carrying out its investigation wherein the police had booked the hospital owner under certain provisions of the Indian Penal Code. The High Court after listening to the arguments by both the parties, listed the matter for hearing after a week as sought by the counsel for the respondent for certain reasons.

Lecture session
The second part of the High Court visit was an Interactive Session with a person who was a member of the staff working at the office of the Registrar General of the Gujarat High Court. The session was conducted at the auditorium of the Gujarat Judicial Academy which was located within the High Court premises itself. The lecturer discussed with us the practicalities of filing cases with the Registry of the Gujarat High Court, the different types of jurisdictions which the High Court exercises, First and Second Appeals to the Court, Mediation, and Articles 226 and 227 of the Constitution of India. The different aspects that were discussed are as follows(i) Procedure for filing of cases The cases filed in the Gujarat High Court have to be filed before the Central Filing Registry. Different technicalities are checked by the registry such as the admissibility of the case and other particulars such as Court fees etc are also checked. If the case has been correctly filed, then a Case No. is allotted to the matter and it shall also be classified according to its nature such as Civil Application, Civil Appeal, Writ Petition etc. The cases are then listed before the Gujarat High Court based upon the roster which is decided by the Honble Chief Justice of the High Court of Gujarat. (ii) Jurisdictions of the High Court Talking about the types of jurisdictions exercised by the High Court, the lecturer mentioned that there are 2 types of jurisdictions namely- (A) Original Jurisdiction and (B) Appellate Jurisdiction. The Original jurisdiction of the High Court is exercised by it by the issue of writs by it to any person or authority which may include the Government as well. This jurisdiction is exercised by the High Court under Articles 226 and 227 of the Constitution of India. It extends to other matters too such as contempt of court, probate and matrimonial cases. The Appellate jurisdiction of the Court comprises of the Courts powers to hear appeals and is of 2 types- civil and criminal. The civil type covers cases which have been decided by the District judges or the Munsif Court while the criminal type covers cases which have been decided by the Sessions and the Assistant Sessions judges respectively.

(iii) Appeal to the High Court The instructor also discussed with us, the types of appeal that the High Court hears while exercising its appellate jurisdiction. Sections 96 and 100 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 deal with the provisions of the First and Second Appeals respectively. Both the sections have mentioned specific grounds and only on those grounds can the appeal lie to the High Court against the decision given by the lower Courts. Also, not all but only certain orders of the lower Court are appealable to the High Court. First appeal may be heard by a Court subordinate to the High Court but a Second Appeal always lies to the High Court. (iv) Letters Patent Appeal As told to us by the instructor, Letters Patent Appeal is an intra court appeal and is an appeal from the decision of a single judge bench to a Division bench (2 judge bench) within the same Court. Generally, a judgment given by the High Court under Article 226 of the Indian Constitution is appealable under this category while a judgment given under Article 227 is not so appealable. (v) Articles 226 and 227 of the Constitution of India Article 226 of the Constitution of India deals with the writ jurisdictions of the High Court. The writ jurisdiction of the High Court is wider than that of the Supreme Court because the writ jurisdiction of the Supreme Court under Article 32 of Indian Constitution is confined to matters involving the violation of fundamental rights only while the writ jurisdiction of the High Court can also be invoked for the violation of any other legal rights and not just in the case of fundamental rights of the citizens of India. Article 227 of the Indian Constitution provides for the supervisory jurisdiction of the High Court. It states that the High Court has the power to supervise over all courts and tribunals which are located within the territory that falls within the High Courts jurisdiction. (v) Division Bench Discussing about the Division Bench of the High Court, the instructor told us that the constitution of the division bench in the Gujarat High Court has been provided for under the Gujarat High Court Rules, 1993. The Bench is constituted only for some matters and basically hears appeals against the orders and decrees of the lower Courts. The single bench also has the power to hear appeals from such orders and decrees and the Schedule to these
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Rules enumerates those matters the orders and decrees relating to which can be heard in appeal by the High Court. The Division bench is also constituted by the Chief Justice of the Court in cases which involve decision to be given on a substantial question of law.

OBSERVATIONS
Following are the main observations made by me during the High Court visit1. As a whole, the Gujarat High Court seemed to be less overburdened with cases compared to the other High Courts and the Supreme Court of India. 2. Both the Single judge and the Division judge benches were in function at the Gujarat high Court. The Chief Justice of the High Court was hearing matters related to PIL as a part of a Division Bench in the Court. 3. The judges of the High Court were quick to criticize the advocates for not performing their duty properly by making mistakes such as not being well-versed with the facts, not appearing in the Court on time etc. The judges also were not keen on giving adjournments on flimsy reasons when requested by the advocates and accordingly refused.

CONCLUSION
The overall experience of the visit to the Gujarat High Court was a good and informative one giving a deep insight into different practical aspects such as how actually the High Court functions, the decorum that one should maintain inside courtrooms and the professional manner in which the advocates are expected to conduct themselves in Court and argue for their clients. The instructor explained different concepts in a simple way making them easy for us to understand and thus the lecture given by him proved to be an additional opportunity for us to gain further clarity on the working of the High Court while clearing any doubts on the same.