Andhra Pradesh High Court
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This article is written by Aditi Srivastava of Law School, BHU (Banaras Hindu University). In this article, Aditi discusses the History of Andhra Pradesh High Court.

History of Andhra Pradesh High Court – A brief introduction

The Andhra Pradesh High Court is situated in the city of Nizams, Hyderabad, on the south bank of Musi river. The Andhra Pradesh High court is now known as the High Court of Judicature at Hyderabad for the States of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh and is the common High Court for two States.

The Andhra Pradesh High Court was renamed as the High court of Hyderabad in view of the division of the State into Telangana and smaller Andhra Pradesh. From 2 June 2014, after the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014 came into force, it has been renamed and serves as a common high court for both the states by the virtue of Article 231 which empowers the Parliament to establish a High Court for two or more states or for two or more states and a union territory.

In the coming years after a separate High Court for Andhra Pradesh is established, High Court of Judicature at Hyderabad shall remain the High Court for Telangana State.

When was the High Court set up?

The High Court of Andhra Pradesh was set up in the year 1956 as the consequence of the State Reorganization Act 1956. In the same year, the Judges strength was increased to 12 (from 6).

History of the High Court building

Situated amidst the city, the High Court building is one of the finest buildings in the city, built in red and white stones in Saracenic style, by Nizam VII Mir Osman Ali Khan the ruler of the princely state of Hyderabad. The plan of the High Court was drawn up by Shankar Lal of Jaipur and the local engineer who executed the design was Mehar Ali Fazil. The construction of the main building by the Nizam’s Government started on 15 April 1915 and was completed on 31 March 1919.

  • On 20 April 1920 the High Court building was inaugurated by Nizam VII Mir Osman Ali Khan.
  • It accommodated six Judges besides accommodation for the Office Staff, record rooms and Advocates’ Hall.
  • Also, an amazing fact is that while the foundation for the building was dug up, the ruins of Qutb Shahi Palaces (Hina Mahal and Nadi Mahal) were also unearthed.
  • If you take a look of the building you will find that it is based on Islamic architecture consisting chiefly of mosques and tombs and characterized by decorated surfaces, bulbous domes, and horseshoe etc. The view of the High Court building from the Naya Pul at sunset gives a view of the glory of Saracenic architecture at its best.
  • In the year 1936, on its silver jubilee celebrations, a silver model of the High Court with a silver key was presented to the Nizam by the judiciary.
  • Also, in August 2009, a major accidental fire broke out in the building and caused severe damage to the library housing rare England law reports, Privy Council journals and a life-size portrait of the Nizam and portraits of judges. The record of the court was reported to be safe.

Creation of additional buildings

After the reorganization of the Andhra State in 1956, the existing accommodation at that time was found inadequate to meet the requirements of the larger High Court and so the additional building was constructed in 1958-59.

By 1970, a large number of cases were flooding and the institution of cases of the High Court has gone up to 35,000 as against 20,000 in 1958. There was also an increase in the Judges strength from 14 to 21.

Again in order to facilitate and to provide additional accommodation for Judges, Staff and Advocates and Law Officers, the third building was proposed and the work of that building was completed in 1976. The Law Officers strength was increased from 8 to 18 by 1980 and the institution of cases had gone up to 55,593 cases.

Again in the year 1979, a plan was drawn for the four-story Annexe building but due to lack of funds that could not be taken up. There are at present 20 Court Halls and 24 Chambers located in the High Court main building and Annexe buildings.

The institution of cases had risen from 20,078 in 1958 to 1982,123 including miscellaneous cases in 1985. So, the pendency has also increased in High court as on 24 July 1987 are 84,855 (i.e., 66,276 main cases + 18,579 miscellaneous cases).

History of the Judiciary in Andhra Pradesh

The State of Andhra Pradesh was formed by the merger of the Andhra area of the Madras Presidency – Governed by the British and the Telangana area of the former Indian State of Hyderabad ruled over by the Nizam of the Hyderabad. So, basically before the reorganisation of the Andhra State in the year 1956, the court system differed in these two different regions i.e. in the Andhra area of the Madras presidency the journey began from the setting up of the Fort St.George in Madras in 1639 by the East India Company to establishment of Supreme court and further developments in Madras Presidency. Andhra, being part of Madras presidency was also governed by the same developments in the judiciary.

If we talk about the judiciary in Telangana region before state reorganization in 1956, it was governed by the Islamic System of administration of Justice introduced by the Mughals and governed from the beginning to end by the same Islamic System of administration.

The Consequence of Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill, 2014

A division bench of Hyderabad High Court in 2014 comprising of Chief Justice Kalyan Jyoti Sengupta and Justice P V Sanjay Kumar declared that the Hyderabad High Court shall continue to be the common court for both the states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, till a separate high court for AP State is formed.

It was held that article 231 of the Indian Constitution, says that parliament has the power to establish a High Court for two or more states or two or more states and a union territory, but there is exigency to create a separate high court.

Also, the bench held that section 30(1) of the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014 specifies that “ on and from, the day of the appointment, the High Court of Judicature at Hyderabad shall a common High Court for Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, till a separate High court for the State of Andhra Pradesh is constituted under article 214 of the Indian constitution read with section 32 of this act.

 List of former Chief Justices

Sl.No. Name Tenure
01 HON’BLE SRI JUSTICE KOKA SUBBA RAO (1956 – 1958)
02 HON’BLE SRI JUSTICE P.CHANDRA REDDY (1958 – 1964)
03 HON’BLE SRI JUSTICE P.SATYANARAYANA RAJU (1964 – 1965)
04 HON’BLE SRI JUSTICE MONOHAR PERSHAD (1965 – 1966)
05 HON’BLE SRI JUSTICE N.D.KRISHNA RAO (1966 – 1966)
06 HON’BLE SRI JUSTICE P.JAGAN MOHAN REDDY (1966 – 1969)
07 HON’BLE SRI JUSTICE N.KUMARAYYA (1969 – 1971)
08 HON’BLE SRI JUSTICE K.V.L.NARASIMHAM (1971 – 1972)
09 HON’BLE SRI JUSTICE GOPAL RAO EKBOTE (1972 – 1974)
10 HON’BLE SRI JUSTICE S.OBUL REDDI (1974 – 1976) &

(1977 – 1978)

11 HON’BLE SRI JUSTICE B.J.DIVAN (1976 – 1977)
12 HON’BLE SRI JUSTICE A.SAMBASIVA RAO (1978 – 1979)
13 HON’BLE SRI JUSTICE C.KONDAIAH (1979 – 1980)
14 HON’BLE SRI JUSTICE ALLADI KUPPU SWAMI (1980 – 1982)
15 HON’BLE SRI JUSTICE K.MADHAVA REDDY (1982 – 1984)
16 HON’BLE SRI JUSTICE KOKA RAMACHANDRA RAO (1984 – 1984)
17 HON’BLE SRI JUSTICE P.CHENNAKESAV REDDI (1985 – 1985)
18 HON’BLE SRI JUSTICE K.BHASKARAN (1985 – 1988)
19 HON’BLE SRI JUSTICE YOGESHWAR DAYAL (1988 – 1991)
20 HON’BLE SRI JUSTICE S.C.PRATAP (1991 – 1992)
21 HON’BLE SRI JUSTICE S.B.MAJMUDAR (1992 – 1993)
22 HON’BLE SRI JUSTICE SUNDARAM NAINAR SUNDARAM (1993 – 1994)
23 HON’BLE SRI JUSTICE SAIYED SAGIR AHMED (1994 – 1995)
24 HON’BLE SRI JUSTICE P.S.MISHRA (1995 – 1997)
25 HON’BLE SRI JUSTICE U.C.BANERJEE (1998 – 1998)
26 HON’BLE SRI JUSTICE M.S.LIBERHAN (1998 – 2000)
27 HON’BLE SRI JUSTICE SATYABRATA SINHA (2000 – 2001)
28 HON’BLE SRI JUSTICE AR.LAKSHMANAN (2001 – 2002)
29 HON’BLE SRI JUSTICE DEVINDER GUPTA (2003 – 2005)
30 HON’BLE SRI JUSTICE G.S.SINGHVI (2005 – 2007)
31 HON’BLE SRI JUSTICE ANIL RAMESH DAVE (2008 – 2010)
32 HON’BLE SRI JUSTICE NISAR AHMAD KAKRU (2010 – 2011)
33 HON’BLE SRI JUSTICE LOKUR, MADAN BHIMARAO (2011 – 2012)
34 HON’BLE SRI JUSTICE PINAKI CHANDRA GHOSE (2012 – 2013)
35 HON’BLE SRI JUSTICE KALYAN JYOTI SENGUPTA (2013 – 2015)
36 HON’BLE SRI JUSTICE DILIP BABASAHEB BHOSALE (2015 – 2016)
37 HON’BLE SRI JUSTICE RAMESH RANGANATHAN   (2016-till present)

Recent major developments in the High Court of Judicature at Hyderabad

  • India’s first e-court opened at Hyderabad High Court

India’s first e-court was opened in the year 2016 at High Court of Judicature at Hyderabad which is a common high court for the states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.

Key features :

  1. Speedy justice for the litigants
  2. Easy and better justice access to justice for the public
  3. Solution to a large number of pending cases
  4. Will make the work of judges, advocates and all those related with work of judiciary more effective.
  • Gender Sensitization and Internal Complaints Committee (GSICC)

The High Court of Judicature at Hyderabad has committee known as Gender Sensitization and Internal Complaints Committee (GSICC) which takes up the issues of Gender Sensitization and Sexual Harassment of Women.

The ‘aggrieved woman’ may make a complaint to Member Secretary of the High Court Gender Sensitization and Internal Complaints Committee with regard to the sexual harassment which includes any one or more of the unwelcome acts or behaviour as mentioned under rules and regulations (whether directly or by implication) which includes physical contact and advances, any demand or request for sexual favours ,making sexually coloured remarks, voyeurism (which means the practice of gaining sexual pleasure from watching others when they are naked or engaged in sexual activity) including overt or tacit observation by the Respondent by any means of the aggrieved woman in her private moments and other form of misbehaviour as mentioned in the regulations.

  • Andhra Pradesh Legal Services Committee

In the year 1987, the Legal Services Authorities Act was promulgated by the parliament with a view to provide free and competent legal services and to ensure opportunity for securing justice to the weaker section of the society.

Also, along with the Legal service authority at National, State, and District level, Legal service committee has also been set up at the high court to establish a society in which social, economic and legal justice is available to all on equal footing.

Andhra Pradesh Legal Services Committee is one such committee established to provide justice to all sections of people.

  • Juvenile Justice Committee

The high court of Judicature at Hyderabad is having a Juvenile Justice Committee consisting of Hon’ble judges and the committee is effectively monitoring the functioning of juvenile justice Courts and juvenile justice Boards.

  • ICJS (Integrated Criminal Justice System)

Telangana and Andhra Pradesh are the first states in the country where Integrated Criminal Justice System (ICJS) has been launched in the years 2017. ICJS is best defined as the integration of CCTNS (Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems) along with E-Courts, E-prisons, Forensics, and Prosecution– the key components of the Criminal Justice System. This will ensure that everyone has fast access to the information required not just for investigations but for faster and better prosecution of cases in courts. ICJS will simply connect (link) all the courts, police stations, prosecution, forensic science laboratories and Jails in Telangana and AP.

OTHER IMPORTANT COMPONENTS OF THE HYDERABAD HIGH COURT

  • THE A.P.HIGH COURT ADVOCATES ASSOCIATION

The A.P.High Court Advocates Association was formed in 1956 upon merger of Hyderabad High Court Advocates Association and Andhra High Court Advocates Association consequent on the formation of State of Andhra Pradesh.

The first President was Late Sri.D.Narasa Raju who was the first Advocate General of our state and also the first Chairman, Bar Council of Andhra Pradesh. Many luminaries succeeded as Presidents of the Bar Association.

  • HIGH COURT MEDIATION AND ARBITRATION CENTRE

High Court Mediation and Arbitration Centre is an initiative of the High Court of Judicature at Hyderabad. It has been conceived as a project for giving effect to Section 89 of the Code of Civil Procedure 1908 more particularly Arbitration and Mediation.

The Centre is responsible for Arbitration and Mediation related activities in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana State within the framework of Rules. The Centre functions under the immediate supervision and guidance of The Hon’ble The Chief Justice / Acting Chief Justice and The Hon’ble Board of Governors.

The Centre provides space for conducting Mediations and Arbitrations in well furnished Air Conditioned Mediation Rooms and Arbitration Halls with attached Chamber for the Mediators / Arbitrators. Current President of the center is Hon’ble Sri Justice Ramesh Ranganathan.

Important Andhra Pradesh High Court Judgements

The Andhra Pradesh High Court (as known earlier) has played important role in revamping the Indian laws. The Court has given many judges to the Supreme Court as well as many landmark rulings in all the areas of law. The AP High Court has played a dynamic role in the environment field –

  • Damodar Rao v. Special Officer, Municipal Corporation, Hyderabad, 1987

In this case, the court gave a landmark judgment and held that any construction of a residential house on the land allotted for a recreational park would upset the ecological balance of the area. It directed the Government to remove any such construction on recreational zones.

  • MP Rambabu v. Divisional Forest Officer,2002

In this case, the Andhra Pradesh High Court had to deal with the problem of salinity of the underground water.  The court said that deep underground soil and water belong to the state in the sense that the doctrine of public trust extends to them. Manifestly, their use is subject to the state regulation even in the absence of a specific law. The underground water can be used only for a purpose for which the superjacent land is held. If it is used for a different purpose and causes pollution of underground water or soil, the state can interfere and prevent contamination.

  • Ambuja Petrochemicals Ltd. v. A.P.Pollution Control Board,1997

In the case, one of the industries covered by Patancheru belt was served with the notice for violating the Water(Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act. Though the industry replied to the notice, the board found the reply unsatisfactory directed its closure. The court upheld this direction of the State board as the effluent treatment plant of the industry was not in operation and partially treated water was being discharged causing water pollution which in turn brought danger to public life.

By giving such landmark judgments, the AP High Court has contributed tremendously to the protection of the environment.

Internship at Andhra Pradesh High Court

If a person is interested in an internship at the High Court of Judicature at Hyderabad, then this is really a good opportunity to intern at the highest level of the judiciary in the state for the person. Also, various lawyers, senior advocates provide the opportunity to intern under them. From learning to the basics of the court to observing the court proceedings in the various courtrooms of the court, an intern will get a very wide exposure of court system. The court is well designed from inside as well as outside with white and red pattern of architecture, which adds charm to the court environment.

Court Calendar

The calendar provided by the Hyderabad High Court is for the court itself and the offices working under the control of the high court including A.P. Judicial Academy, Secunderabad, A.P.State Legal Services Authority, Telangana State Legal Services Authority, Telangana State Legal Services Authority, Mediation and Authority, Mediation and Arbitration Centre and High Court Legal Services Committee .

The calendar provides holidays on all public holidays, Sundays and second Saturdays. Also, the calendar provides for a summer and a winter break when the courts and other offices remain closed. This year the winter break was for a period of 10 days in the month of January. The summer break was for a period of days from Thursday the 3rd of May 2018 to Friday the 1st of June 2018 (both days inclusive).

See more details about holidays here.

Conclusion

So, till date a separate court is created, the high court of Judicature at Hyderabad shall be a common court for both the states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. Let us see in future how many landmark judgment and initiatives like ICJS, the introduction of e-court Hyderabad High Court shall bring in the public interest.

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