THE FUNCTIONS OF THE GOVERNMENT ARE MANIFOLD and those relating to maintenance of law and order, and security to life and property of citizens are carried out through police, judicial, social welfare and jail departments. in what follows is detailed the functioning and set up of these departments in the district.
THE POLICE DEPARTMENT
The primary functions of the Police are the prevention and detection of crime, i.e., to obtain intelligence concerning the commission of cognizable offences or designs to commit such offences, and to lay such information and to take such other steps consistent with law as shall be best calculated to bring offenders to book or to prevent the commission of offences, the maintenance of order, the prevention of public nuisances, the enforcement of police regulations for preventing breach of peace ; escorting and guarding of prisoners, treasure or property of which they may be placed in charge ; and the apprehension of offenders.
Under Section 17 of the Bombay Police Act, (XXII of 1951), the District Magistrate of the district has full control over the District Police Force. Under Section 6 (1) of the Act the direction and supervision of the whole Police Force in the State is vested in the Inspector-General of Police who is assisted by one or more Assistant Inspector-Generals of Police of the rank of the District Superintendent of Police. It is the duty of the Inspector-General of Police to decide, or to advise the Government on all problems requiring greater attention especially those of general policy connected with personnel, their training and equipment, supplies and stores, financial provision required for the maintenance of the Force and the powers and duties of ;the various grades of officers, to make rules and orders for the guidance of officers on all such matters, and to keep in touch by frequent inspections with the requirements of efficiency in all matters relating to maintenance of law and order and the prevention and detection of crime.
For the purposes of Police administration, the State is divided into five units, viz., Greater Bombay (comprising Bombay City and suburbs) and Bombay, Poona, Aurangabad and Nagpur Ranges. Greater Bombay is under the control of the Commissioner of Police while each of the four ranges is under a Deputy Inspector-General of Police. Below these officers are the District Superintendents of Police in charge of the districts and Superintendents of Police in charge of Railways (Recently Police Commissioners have been appointed at Poona and Nagpur.)
Subject to the orders of the District Magistrate and the Inspector-General of Police in their respective spheres of authority, the direction and regulation of Police throughout the district is vested in the District Superintendent of Police as the executive head of the force and he has full control over the internal economy of the force under him including arms, drill, exercise, prevention and investigation of crime, prosecution, discipline and other matters of executive details. An additional Superintendent of Police is in the same position as that of the Superintendent of Police.
Nagpur district, for the purposes of police administration, is divided into two charges, City and Rural. The control of the Nagpur City Police is invested in the District Superintendent of Police and Additional District Superintendent of Police, Nagpur City, and that of Rural Police in the District Superintendent of Police, Nagpur Rural. Nagpur city is divided into two subdivisions, viz., Kotwali and Sitabuldi, each in charge of a Sub-Divisional Police Officer. Each of these two Sub-Divisions contains four Police Stations. Of these eight Police Stations, six are in charge of Police Inspectors and two in charge of Sub-Inspectors. The rural area is divided into two Sub-Divisions, viz., Kamptee and Umrer, the former directly under the charge of the District Superintendent of Police, Nagpur Rural, and the latter under the charge of a Sub-Divisional Police Officer Kamptee Sub-Division contains seven police stations and two out-posts. The Umrer Sub-Division has 19 police stations and four out-posts. The police stations are in charge of the Sub-Inspectors of Police and the out-posts in charge of the Head Constables.
Recruitment and training of the constabulary and personnel required for other work in the district is done at the headquarters at Nagpur which is in charge of a Reserve Police Inspector. The training of the armed constabulary and all matters pertaining to arms and equipment of the whole police force arc the charge of the headquarters. The force at the headquarters consists mainly of the armed reserve and the. reserve for casualties such as leave or sickness and recruits under training.
There is a Constables' Training School at Nagpur which caters to the training of unarmed constabulary of the districts in the Nagpur Range. It functions on regional basis and is in charge of a Superintendent of the rank of the Deputy Superintendent of Police who is assisted by the necessary staff of Instructors. It is under the administrative control of! the Deputy Inspector-General of Police with headquarters at Bombay.
On November 1, 1956, there were 96 officers and 1,330 men in the Force. This strength was augmented from time to time and on December 31, 1960, the Police force of the district consisted of 123 officers and 2,615 men.
expenditure on the police in 1959-60 was Rs. 24,577.32 (City) and Rs.
As the chief police officer of the district, the primary duties of the District Superintendent of Police are to keep the force under his control properly trained, efficient and contented and at to ensure, by constant supervision, that the prevention, investigation and detection of crime in his district are properly and efficiently dealt with by the police force under his command.
The Assistant Superintendents of Police or the Deputy Superin-tendents of Police, i.e., officers in charge of Sub-Divisions are responsible for all crime work in their charges and visitation of serious offences as laid down in the standing orders. Under the general orders of the Superintendent of Police, they are responsible for the efficiency and discipline of the officers and men in their divisions and for holding detailed inspections of police stations and out-posts in their charge at regular intervals.
One Police Inspector, designated as Home Police Inspector, works as Office Superintendent in the office of the Superintendent of Police.
The Sub-Inspector of Police is ordinarily the officer-in-charge of a police station. He is responsible for the prevention and detection of crime in his charge.
Head Constables are subject to the orders of the Sub-Inspectors placed over them and of the superior officers of the police force. They are to report to the Sub-Inspector all crimes in their beats, investigate unimportant crime and also to assist the Sub-Inspector in the investigation and detection of important crime. When in charge of particular posts or beats of villages they act, in all police matters, in concert with the heads of the village police. When attached to the police station they hold the charge in the absence of the Sub-Inspector.
Appointments of Superintendents of Police are made by promotion of Assistant Superintendents of Police and Deputy Superintendents of Police in accordance with the regulations made in that behalf by the Government of India in consultation with the State Government and the Union Public Service Commission. Appointments of Assistant Superintendents of Police are made by the Government of India on the recommendations of the Union Public Service Commission. Before being posted to regular duty they are trained at the Central Police Training College, Mount Abu, and the States' Central Police Training College, Nasik. The Deputy Superintendents of Police are appointed by the Maharashtra Government, 70 per cent by the promotion of meritorious officers from the lower ranks of the Maharashtra Police Force, or, in exceptional cases, by the transfer of meritorious officers in the cadre of Police Prosecutors and 30 per cent by direct recruitment which is made by the State Government from candidates recommended by the Maharashtra Public Service Commission. Direct recruits, on selection, are attached to the Central Police Training College, Nasik, normally for a period of one year. After completion of training, they are attached to a Military Regimental Centre for a period of five weeks to undergo military training and thereafter attached to districts for practical training for a period of two years before their confirmation.
Inspectors are appointed by the Inspector-General of Police. Appointments as a rule are made by promotion of Sub-Inspectors, direct appointments being very rare.Recruitment of Sub-Inspectors is made by the Inspector-General of Police, 50 per cent by competitive examination and 50 per cent by promotion of officers from the lower ranks.
Appointments of Head Constables are made by the District Superintendent of Police, ordinarily by promotion from amongst constables on the basis of seniority-cum-fitness after giving them a short refresher course. Direct appointments as Head Constables to the extent of 33 1/3 per cent of the vacancies that may occur are also made by the Superintendent of Police with the sanction of the Deputy Inspector-General of the Range. Police Constables possessing requisite qualifications are considered for appointments as Head Constables. Appointments of Constables are made by the District Superintendent of Police.
Armed and Unarmed Police
With a view to bringing in uniformity in the working of the police stations in the State, the reorganization of the police force in the districts of Vidarbha was taken up and the strength of the police force in the region was augmented. In September 1958, the gradation of Head Cons-tables into three categories was introduced. In July 1.960, Armed and Unarmed branches of the constabulary were formed. In December 1960, the Armed and Unarmed Sections consisted of 128 Head Constables and 718 Constables and 367 Head Constables and 1,402 Constables, respectively.
To the Armed Police are mainly allotted the duties of guarding jails and lock-ups and of providing escorts to prisoners and treasure. The Unarmed Police are deployed for the prevention and detection of crime.
A women's branch of the police consisting of six Women Police Constables has been created in the district. The main functions of the women police are to render help in the recovery of abducted women, to attend to the convenience and complaints of female passengers at the railway stations, to apprehend and search female offenders, to help in the administration of the Bombay Children Act and to keep vigilance at the places of worship or of entertainments.
The district (in 1960) had a fleet of 29 motor vehicles and 8 motor-cycles.
There is a District Motor Transport Section and a Motor Transport Workshop (Range) in the district. The District Motor Transport Section is under the control of the District Superintendent of Police. Technical supervision over the staff is exercised by the Superintendent of Police, Motor Transport,Maharashtra State, Poona. The Motor Transport Workshop is directly under the control of the Superintendent of Police, Motor Transport. The workshop is in charge of a Police Inspector (Foreman).
A mobile workshop-van fitted with equipment and manned by technicians is attached to the workshop. It moves, within the Range at regular intervals and carries out repairs to vehicles on site.
In the district two systems of wireless communications (police) are in operation. One is called the H.F. (High Frequency) System or long distance communication network and the other system is called the V.H.F. (Very High Frequency) or short distance communication network. There is also a special emergency telephone installed for the use of public. On complaints or on information of an offence, immediate assistance is rendered.
Local Crime and Local Intelligence Branches
Local Crime and Local Intelligence branches are attached to the office of the District Superintendent of Police, Nagpur city and Nagpur Rural. The primary functions of the Local branch are to devote sustained attention to and to make efforts towards the investigation of important cases and those, in particular, in which the activities of local criminals extend over more than one police station and collection, collation and examination of information regarding crime and criminals in the district. The Local Intelligence branch collects intelligence and makes enquiries about political and other developments in the district.
Criminal Investigation Department
The Range Unit of the State Criminal Investigation Department in the City is under the control of a Deputy Superintendent of Police. Its primary functions are collection of intelligence regarding political activities in the Range as a whole and investigation of important crimes.
The district has also a handwriting and photographic bureau which is a branch of the main bureau located at Poona. The bureau functions under the administrative control of the Deputy Inspector-General of Police, C.I.D. The unit at Nagpur gives expert opinion on questioned documents and attends to identification of handwriting and all photographic requirements pertaining to finger-prints, chance prints, scenes of accidents, house-breaking and theft cases, unidentified dead bodies, intercepted letters, etc. It also supplies photos of externees and criminals for the purpose of identifying them and watching their movements whenever necessary. Similarly, a regional branch of the Finger-Print Bureau is stationed in the district. The Bureau is under the supervision of the Director, Finger-Print Bureau (Group I), Poona. The State Finger-Print Bureau is a wing of the Criminal Investigation Department and is controlled by the Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Criminal Investigation Department.
There is a sub-unit of the Anti-Corruption and Prohibition Intelligence Bureau in the district. The unit is under the charge of a Deputy Superintendent of Police.
State Reserve Police Force
There is a State Reserve Police Force (Group) stationed at Kamptee consisting of 1,133 persons trained more or less on military lines and equipped with modern weapons. The force is organised with a view to dealing with any disturbances or other emergency in the State. It is under the command of a Commandant who holds the rank of a Superintendent of Police. The Commandant is under the general control of the Deputy Inspector-General of Police with headquarters at Bombay.
A Superintendent of Police who has a Sub-Divisional Police Officer under him is in charge of the Railway Police in the district. The Superintendent is under the general control of the Range Deputy Inspector-General of Police.
Figures of crime
The following table represents variations in Crime during 1956-1960.
Prosecuting Staff and Prosecutions
In the city charge there were nine police prosecutors (1960). They worked under the supervision of a Deputy Superintendent of Police (Prosecution). The total number of cases conducted by the prosecuting staff during the year 1960 was 8,701 of which 3,769 ended in conviction.
In the rural charge there were one Senior Police Prosecutor and six Police Prosecutors. The total number of cases conducted by the prosecuting staff was 3,735, of which 1,802 cases ended in conviction.
A fund known as the Police Families Welfare Fund was started in the district with a view to providing amenities and comforts to the policemen and their families and other low-paid staff of the department. The fund is of a private nature and is operated by the District Superintendent of Police in his official capacity. Out of the proceeds of the fund, a police canteen, a police mess and a grain shop have been opened at the headquarters. A flour mill, a primary school, a children's park, a small recreation room and a library have also been opened. Besides, a vegetable garden is also maintained.
The district police is helped by the village Headman who is appointed under the Land Revenue Act of the former State of Madhya Pradesh. He is under the sole control of the head of the district administration and is treated not as a subordinate but as co-adjutor of the police. A village watchman who is a village servant assists him but he is not subordinate to the Police. The village Headman is entrusted with the duties of informing the magistracy and the police of offenders and offences in the village.
THE JAIL DEPARTMENT
There is a Central Prison at Nagpur. Casual male prisoners sentenced to two years and above and all women prisoners sentenced to more than one month from Chanda, Bhandara, Nagpur, Akola, Buldhana. Yeotmal, Amravati, Wardha and Jalgaon dis-tricts are confined in this prison. Casual prisoners convicted and sentenced to more than three months, but not exceeding two years from the Nagpur district, are sent to the Akola District Prison. All habitual prisoners from the district are sent to the Amravati District Prison. Juvenile prisoners from this district arc confined in the Chanda Sub-jail. Short-term prisoners of the district with sentences ranging from one week to a month are accommodated in the tahsil jails at Nagpur, Umrer, Saoner and Katol.
The Inspector-General of Prisons exercises, subject to the orders of the State Government, general control and superintendence over all prisons and jails in the State. He is assisted by the Deputy Inspector-General of Prisons, Superintendent of Jail Industries and the other necessary staff.
The prison at Nagpur
is classified as a ' Central ' Prison and is in charge of a Superintendent.
He is assisted by Jailors and other necessary staff. The guarding establishment
comprises 89 persons only. The Convict officers (i.e., prisoners promoted
to the ranks of Convict Overseers and Night Watchmen under the jail
rules) assist the jail guards in their executive duties.
The Superintendent is vested with the executive management of the prison in all matters relating to internal economy, discipline, labour, punishment and control, subject to the orders and authority of the Inspector-General of Prisons.
The post of the Inspector-General is generally filled in by the appointment of an officer belonging to the Indian Administrative Service or by promotion from amongst those who are home on the cadre of the Superintendent of Central Prison. The Superintendent of a Central Prison is an officer promoted from the ranks of Superintendents of District Prisons. The Senior-most Superintendent of Central Prisons is usually appointed to hold the post of the Deputy Inspector-General after consulting the Public Service Commission. The Superintendents of District Prisons are appointed both by direct recruitment or by promotion from amongst Jailors Grade I in the proportion of 1:2. Jailors in Grade I are appointed both by direct recruitment and by departmental promotions in the proportion of 1:2. The candidates for direct recruitment to the post of Superintendent of a District Prison and/or Jailor Grade I must be Honours graduates. They are recommended for appointment by the State Public Service Commission. A diploma in Sociology or Penology is considered to be an additional qualification. Appointments to Jailors Grade II are made by the Inspector-General by promotion of Jailors Grade III. Appointments to Jailors Grade III are also made by the Inspector-General, fifty per cent of which are filled in from amongst persons who are graduates and other fifty per cent of the appointments are given to suitable departmental candidates who have passed the S. S. C. or its equivalent examination.
The Superintendents of Prisons and Jailors receive theoretical as well as practical training in Jail Officers' Training School at Yeravda on a scientific basis in all fields of correctional work. A separate training class of three month's duration for non-commissioned officers has been started at the Jail Officers' Training School to impart the practical knowledge of the duties which are expected of a Jail guard.
A Physical Training Instructor visits the jails in the State in rotation and imparts training in drill, games and other physical activities both to the inmates of the Jail and also to the jail guards.
Part of the guarding establishment is armed. This section serves as a reserve guard to reinforce the unarmed guards in the immediate charge of prisoners inside the prison or in extramural gangs in the event of assault, mutiny, escape or other emergency, It is also available to mount guard over particularly dangerous prisoners or prisoners sentenced to death who are termed as " Condemned Prisoners ".
No posts of Matrons are sanctioned for headquarter sub-jails; but the Superintendent is empowered to engage a matron locally whenever a woman prisoner is admitted to the jail.
No medical staff is sanctioned for headquarter Sub-jails; but the Maharashtra Medical Service Officer in charge of the local government dispensary or the Medical Officer attached to the Zilla Parishad or municipal dispensary stationed at or nearest to the place where the sub-jail is situated is deemed to be the Medical Officer of the Jail.
Classification of Prisoners
Prisoners arc classified as Class I or Class II by the Court after taking into consideration their status in society and also the nature of the offence committed. They are further classified as casuals, habituals, undertrials and security or detenus. Prisoners are also grouped as "short termers, medium termers and long termers". Headquarter sub-jails are meant for the confinement of short-term and undertrial prisoners only.
In recent years many reforms, (Report of Jail Reforms Committee appointed in 1946.) calculated to bring about the reformation of prisoners, have been introduced. With the Abolition of Whipping Act, vide Bombay Act No. XXXIX of 1957 flogging as a jail punishment is stopped altogether. Punishments of penal diet and gunny clothing have been abolished. Rules about letters and interviews have also been liberalised.
Remission of Sentence
Only long termers come within the ambit of the rule on remission of sentence. Prisoners confined in the main prisons are granted liberal remissions which are ordinary remission, annual good conduct remission, special remission, blood donation remission, remission for conservancy work and remission for physical training. In addition, State remission is awarded by Government on the occasions of public rejoicing. It is granted unconditionally and cannot be forfeited under any circumstances.
Work is arranged according to the prisoner's health. On admission, the prisoner is examined by the Medical Officer who classifies him as fit for light, medium or hard labour. Work allotment committee is constituted for Central and District Jails, the members of which have to take into account health conditions of the prisoners,' their aptitude, past experience, etc., and assign suitable work for newly admitted prisoners with a sentence of six months and above. Any change in the work so allotted to prisoners by the Committee has to be effected only with the concurrence of the members of the Committee. No such committee is to be appointed for short-term prisoners.
Medium-term and long-term prisoners, so also security and undertrial prisoners who volunteer to work, are paid one-fifth of the wages, which are paid normally for similar work outside.
Parole and furlough
A prisoner may be released on parole in case of serious illness or death of any member of his family or his nearest relative or for any other sufficient cause. The period spent on parole will not be counted as part of the sentence. If any prisoner is found to have misused or violated parole rules, he is liable to be punished. Prisoners with a sentence of one year and above are entitled to being released on furlough for a period of two weeks which is counted as a part of the sentence.
Board of visitors
A Board of Visitors composing of official and non-official visitors is appointed for the central prison and tahsil sub-jails. There are ordinarily six non-official visitors for the central prison of whom three are members of the Maharashtra Legislature and three are nominated by Government including a woman. There are two non-official visitors for each sub-jail. The appointment of non-pdal visitors other than members of the Maharashtra Legislature is made for a period not exceeding three years. Persons who in the opinion of the Government are interested in the prison administration and are likely to take interest in the welfare of prisoners both, while they are in prison and after their release, are nominated by Government on the Board of Visitors on the recommendations of the District Magistrate concerned and the Inspector-General of Prisons. The Chairman of the Board of visitors who is usually the District Magistrate of the district arranges for a weekly visit to the prison by one of the members of the Board. Quarterly meetings of the Board are also convened. Bon-official visitors are also allowed to visit prison on any day at any time during the day in addition to the weekly visit arranged by the Chairman. The Board records in the Visitor's book its observations of the result of the detailed inspection of the jails. Any remark at the quarterly meeting or at the weekly visits deserving special and prompt disposal is immediately forwarded by the Superintendent to the Inspector-General for necessary orders. Other remarks made by the visitors and the quarterly meeting of visitors are forwarded immediately after the end of the month by the Superintendent to the Inspector-General with inch remarks as he may desire to offer.
In bigger jails a committee of prisoners is selected for each ward by the prisoners themselves, and the Jailor and the Superintendent consult the committee which is known as "Jail Panchayat Committee" in matters of discipline and general welfare of prisoners.
Literacy classes are conducted for those prisoners who are ignorant of the three R's under the supervision of literate convicts and paid teachers who are appointed only at some of the main jails in the State. Regular annual examinations are held in the jail by the Deputy Educational Inspectors. Towards these literacy classes, the Jail department receives a grant-in-aid from education department. Twenty-five per cent of the Grant-in-aid received is given to the Convict Teachers as an encouragement Her the quarterly examinations of the students (prisoners) are held and the remaining portion is utilised towards the purchase of looks, boards, etc., required for the literacy classes. Films of educational and reformative values are also exhibited by the District or the Regional Publicity Officer concerned.
DIRECTORATE OF SOCIAL WELFARE (CORRECTIONAL ADMINISTRATION WING AND NON-CORRECTIONAL WING)
THE CENTRAL PROVINCES AND BERAR CHILDREN ACT, 1928, is in operation in Vidarbha region. The Act except section 3 thereof has already been applied (Government Notification Labour, and Social Welfare Department, No BCA-1057-L, dated 6-12-1957,) to the City of Nagpur constituted under the City of Nagpur Corporation Act, 1948, with effect from December 15, 1957. Children apprehended under the Children Act are kept in the Remand Home, Nagpur. It is a place of safety where children are observed by the Probation Officers. The Probation Officer institutes proper enquiries in the nature of comprehensive social investigations. He submits his report and suggestions to the Juvenile Court Magistrate for consideration and disposal of the case. There were (in 1961) 43 boys in the Remand Home, Nagpur.
Children are committed to Certified Schools if found necessary by the Juvenile Court. In the Certified Schools craft training is imparted to children in addition to scholastic education.
The Government Certified School for boys at Nagpur has at present 90 boys. The Shraddhanand Anathalaya, Nagpur, which has been recognized as a private Certified School has on its roll 15 boys and 54 girls.
Welfare of Physically Handicapped Children.
The only institution for blind boys, viz., the Blind Boys' Institute, Ajni, Nagpur, has 69 boys. It is a voluntary institution receiving grant-in-aid from Government.
There are three institutions for deaf and routes, viz., the Deaf. Dumb and Blind Industrial Institute, Nagpur ; the Bhosle Deaf-Dumb Institute, Nagpur ; and the Bharat Muk Vidyalaya, Gandhi Baug, Nagpur, with 26, 23 and 53 inmates, respectively. The above three institutions are private institutions receiving grant-in-aid from the Government.
The Home for the Crippled Children, Ramdas Peth, Nagpur, established by Government admits orthopaedirally handicapped children. There are 32 inmates in the institution.
There are four
orphanages in the district. These orphanages are paid grant at the rate
of Rs. 12 per month per orphan below 12 years of age. A list of these
orphanages together with the number of inmates and the grant sanctioned
in 1960-61 is given below: —
There is one Government-run State Home for Rescued Women Nagpur. It admits women rescued from moral danger and has accommodation for 100 females. Women are first admitted to the nearest Government Reception Centre and after being carefully 'screened ' are sent to the State Home, Nagpur.
THE DISTRICT JUDGE, NAGPUR, IS THE HIGHEST JUDICIAL AUTHORITY in the district. He presides over the District Court. Under Article 233 of the Constitution of India, appointments, postings and promotion of district judges (Under Article 236 of the Constitution of India, the term "District Judge" includes additional district judge, assistant district judge, chief judge of a small Causes court, sessions judge, additional sessions judge and assistant sessions judge.) are to be made by the Governor in consultation with the High Court; and under Article 234, appointments of persons other than district judges to the judicial service(Under Article 236 of the Constitution of India, "Judicial service" is described as a service consisting exclusively of persons intended to fill the post of district judge and other civil judicial posts inferior to the post of & district judge.) are made by the Governor in accordance with the rules made by him after consultation with the State Public Service Commission and with the High Court. Under Article 235, the control over the District Court and the courts subordinate to it, including the posting and promotion of, and the grant of leave to, persons belonging to the judicial service and holding any post inferior to the post of a district judge, is vested in the High Court.
The District Court is the principal court of original jurisdiction in the district, and it is also a court of appeal from all decrees and orders up to the value of Rs. 10,000 passed by the subordinate courts from which an appeal can be preferred. The District Judge exercises general control over all the civil courts and their establishments and inspects the proceedings of these courts.
There are two courts at Nagpur, viz., (i) Court of Civil Judge, Senior Division, comprising the Civil Judge (Senior Dn.), Joint Civil Judge (Senior Dn.), second Joint Civil Judge (Senior Dn.), and six Joint Civil Judges (Junior Dn.) and (ii) Small Causes Court .(inclusive of the Registrar). Of the aforesaid six Joint Civil Judges three are of joint cadre designated as Civil Judges and Judicial Magistrates who temporarily try criminal cases. The Court of Small Causes deals with money suits of Small Causes nature up to Rs. 2,000 in value. Similarly, the Registrar of the Small Causes Court, besides administrative work, takes up cases up to the value of Rs. 100. The Small Causes Court is also entrusted with the cases under the Workmen's Compensation Act and the Payment of Wages Act. There is also a Civil Judge (Junior Dn.) at every tahsil place, viz., Saoner, Katol, Ramtek and Umrer.
Judical Criminal Court
The District Judge, Nagpur, is also the Sessions Judge of the district. He tries criminal cases which are committed to his court by the Judicial Magistrates after preliminary enquiry and hears appeals against the decisions of the subordinate magistrates.
The Assistant Judges also exercise the powers of Additional Sessions Judges on the criminal side. The Additional Sessions Judges are generally invested with powers of the Sessions Judge. The Sessions Judge and the Additional Sessions Judge may pass any sentence authorised by law, but any sentence of death passed by any such judge is subject to confirmation by the High Court. An Assistant Sessions Judge can pass any sentence authorised by law except a sentence of death or of transportation or imprisonment for a term exceeding seven years.
Separation of Judiciary from the. Executive was effected in the district from September I, 1959. Prior to this date the Magistrates were under the direct control of the District Magistrate, Nagpur. They were of three classes, viz., (i) Magistrate, First Class, (ii) Magistrate, Second Class, and (in) Magistrate, Third Class. The Bombay Separation of Judicial and Executive Functions (Extension) and the Code of Criminal Procedure (Provision for Uniformity) Act, 1958 (Bombay XCVII of 1958), have since been applied to this district with effect from September 1, 1959. As a result, Magistrates in the areas of Vidarbha and Marathwada have been divided into two classes, viz., Judicial and Executive Magistrates. In order to avoid any confusion, the Government have withdrawn the powers of all the Magistrates appointed till then in these two areas and appointed Judicial and Executive Magistrates afresh and invested them with requisite powers.
All persons holding office of the Civil Judges were appointed under section 12 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898, to be ex-officio Magistrates of the First Class in these districts in which they may, from time to time, be appointed, and all persons holding the office of the Collector under any of the Land Revenue Laws were appointed under sub-section (i) of section 10 of the Code to be District Magistrates of the districts, to which they may be posted for.such time, as they hold the aforesaid offices. Similarly, all persons holding the office of the Personal Assistant to the Collector in the aforesaid two areas were appointed, under sub-section (b) (ii) of section 10 of the Code, to be Additional District Magistrates and in exercise of the powers conferred by section 37 of the Code all District Magistrates of the aforesaid area were authorised to invest the Taluka Magistrates subordinate to them with powers under sections 107 and 164 of the said Code.
All legal proceedings, pending before a Magistrate or a Court on the date on which the aforesaid Act came into force, stood transferred to the Magistrate or Court having jurisdiction under the provisions of the relevant Acts as amended by this Act. Further, all such proceedings were pronounced to be heard and disposed of by such Magistrate or Court, and such Magistrate and Court were entrusted with all the powers and jurisdiction thereof as if they had been originally instituted Before such Magistrate or in such court.
The Presidency Magistrates work in Greater Bombay and Special Judicial Magistrates are appointed by the State Government in consultation with the High Court to try particular cases or classes of cases or cases generally in any local area. Special Executive Magistrates are appointed by the State Government for particular areas or for the performance of particular functions.
All judicial Magistrates are subordinate to the Sessions Judge who may from time to time make rules or give special orders as to the distribution of business among them.
All Executive Magistrates are subordinate to the District Magistrate. Appeals from orders requiring security for keeping peace or for good behaviour, however, He from Executive Magistrates to the Court of Sessions (Section 406, Criminal Procedure Code). The State Government has power by notification to direct that such orders made by a Magistrate other than the District Magistrate shall lie to the District Magistrate and not to the Court of Sessions. Again, under section 406-A of the Code any person aggrieved by an order refusing to accept or rejecting a surety under section 122 may appeal against such order, if made by a District Magistrate, to the Court of Sessions. Under section 435 (4), the High Court is empowered to call for and examine the record of any proceeding under sections 143 (prohibition of repetition of nuisance), 144 (temporary order in urgent cases of nuisance or apprehended danger) and 145 (procedure where disputes as to immoveable property are likely to cause breach of peace), even though such proceeding was before an executive magistrate.
There are no Judicial Magistrates who are entrusted with the powers of the Magistrates of the Third and Second Class. All of them are First Class Magistrates. In exercise of the powers conferred by Section XIV of the Code some of the Judicial Magistrates were invested with (i) all ordinary powers of the Magistrate, First Class, specified in schedule III of the said Code; and (ii) additional special powers cognizable by a Magistrate, first class.
There are fourteen courts of Judicial Magistrates in the district. They are all appointed for different purposes. Besides, three Civil Judges are entrusted with criminal cases. There is a judicial magistrate working at each tahsil headquarters in the district.
Other Law Officers
Besides, a Police Prosecutor, a District Government Pleader and Public Prosecutor and two Additional Public Prosecutors were functioning in the district.
In January 1961, in the district 258 advocates, 185 pleaders and seven barristers were practising in the various Civil Courts.
Number of legal practitioners.
There were six associations of lawyers in the district. Out of these, two were at Nagpur and one each at Katol, Saoner, Ramtek and Umrer. One of .the two bar associations at Nagpur was named as the High Court Bar Association and the other as the District Bar Association. Both were registered. The former was registered about 40 years back and the latter in 1935. Their membership was 120 and 350, respectively (1960). None of the bar associations at the taluka places was registered. These associations undertook to promote facilities for the study of law through their libraries and to promote the feelings of unity amongst its members.
Under the Bombay. Village Panchayat Act, 1958, 69 Nyaya Panchayats have been formed in several villages. They have been empowered to try petty Civil Suits and Criminal cases. The constitution and powers of the Panchayats are detailed in Chapter VI, Sections 63 to 89 of the Bombay Village Panchayat Act, 1958. A revision lies to the District Court against a decree passed by a Nyaya Panchayat in any suit, or to the Sessions Courts against any order in any case.
Statistics of Civil Courts.
In the district, 3,912 suits were pending at the end of the year 1958. In the year 1959, 4,142 suits were instituted, 8,290 were disposed of and 3,347 were pending at the end of the year. Of the 4,142 suits instituted. 3,040 were either for money or moveable property, 874 were for immoveable property and 228 other suits not falling under any of the aforesaid category. On the basis of the sums of money involved 961 suits were of value not exceeding Rs. 100, 2,434 were of value above Rs. 100 but not exceeding Rs. 1,000, 435 were of value above Rs. 1,000 but not exceeding Rs. 5.000 and 210 were of such value which cannot be estimated in money. The total value of the suits instituted was Rs. 53,82,787.
Of the 8,290 suits disposed of, 1,017 were without trial, 897 ex parte, 684 on admission of claims, 711 by compromise, 1,368 after full trial, 3,510 by transfer and 2 by reference to arbitration.
There were 193 appeals (including Miscellaneous Appeals) pending at the end of the year 1958. During the year 1959, 615 appeals were instituted, 533 were disposed of and 275 were pending at the end of the year. Of the appeals disposed of during the year 1959, 49 were either dismissed or not prosecuted, 146 confirmed, 101 modified, 124 reversed and 51 remanded for retrial.
Statistics of Criminal Courts.
In 1959, there were 14,853 offences reported in the criminal courts of the district. Persons under trial numbered 18,509, persons whose cases were disposed of, 7,745; persons discharged or acquitted, 952; persons convicted, 6,365; persons committed to sessions or referred to higher tribunals 34, and persons died or escaped or transferred to another State, 290. None was sentenced to death, two were sentenced to transportation or penal servitude, 1,361. to imprisonment and 4.863 to fine and 57 were asked to give security.
In 1959, 66 offences were reported in the Sessions Court. During the same period 109 persons were committed to Sessions. One hundred and two persons were tried in the Sessions Court. Of them 48 were acquitted and 54 convicted including one who was awarded death sentence. There were 50 criminal appeals pending at the end of the year 1958. During the year 1959, 331 criminal appeals were instituted, 343 were disposed of and 38 were pending at the end of the year. Of the 343 appeals disposed of, the sentence was confirmed in 122 cases, modified in 98 cases and was reversed in 123 cases. Similarly, there were 50 criminal revisions pending at the end of the year 1958. In 1959, 186 criminal revisions were instituted, 197 were disposed of and 39 were pending at the end of the year. Of the 197 revisions disposed of, applications were rejected in 153 cases and references to the High Court were made in 44 cases.
Revenue and Expenditure.
In 1959-60 the income of the Judicial Department in Nagpur district came to Rs. 14,889 comprising fines by Civil and Sessions Courts, Rs. 2,777; cash receipts of record rooms Rs. 11,862; and miscellaneous receipts, Rs. 250. During the same period the expenditure amounted to Rs. 6,61,982 consisting of pay of officers, Rs. 1,23.363; pay of establishment, Rs. 1,75.503 ; pay of process-serving establishment.. Rs. 26,633; traveling allowance, Rs. 3,589; house rent allowance, Rs. 30,205; dearness allowance, Rs. 2,73,510 and contingencies, Rs. 29,179.