(1) Every High Court shall have superintendence over all courts and tribunals throughout the territories in relation to which it exercises jurisdiction.

 

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing provision, the High Court may —

 

(a) call for returns from such courts;

 

(b) make and issue general rules and prescribe forms for regulating the practice and proceedings of such courts; and 

 

(c) prescribe forms in which books, entries and accounts shall be kept by the officers of any such courts.

 

(3) The High Court may also settle tables of fees to be allowed to the sheriff and all clerks and officers of such courts and to attorneys, advocates and pleaders practising therein:

 

   Provided that any rules made, forms prescribed or tables settled under clause (2) or clause (3) shall not be inconsistent with the provision of any law for the time being in force, and shall require the previous approval of the Governor.

 

(4) Nothing in this article shall be deemed to confer on a High Court powers of superintendence over any court or tribunal constituted by or under any law relating to the Armed Forces.

Debate Summary

 

Article 103, Draft Constitution, 1948

(1) Every High Court shall have superintendence over all courts throughout the territories in relation to which it exercises jurisdiction.

(2) The High Court may-

(a) Call for returns from such courts;

(b) Direct the transfer of any suit or appeal from any such court to any other court of equal or superior jurisdiction, or withdraw such suit or appeal from any such court to itself;

(c) Make and issue general rules and prescribe forms for regulating the practice and proceedings of such courts; and 

(d) Prescribe forms in which books, entries and accounts shall be kept by the officers of any such courts.

(3) The High Court may also settle tables of fees to be allowed to the sheriff and all clerks and officers of such courts and to attorneys, advocates and pleaders practising therein:

Provided that any rules made, forms prescribed or tables settled under clause (2) or clause (3) of this article shall not be inconsistent with the provisions of any law for the time being in force, and shall require the previous approval of the Governor.

 

Draft Article 200 (Article 224) was debated on 15 June and 16 October 1949. It gave the High Courts the power of superintendence over all courts within their jurisdiction.

 

The Chairman of the Drafting Constitution proposed that the heading of the Article be changed to 'Power of superintendence over all courts by the High Court’. In response, a member argued that the term ‘over all courts’ was redundant. The Assembly accepted the Chairman’s amendment.

 

The amended Draft Article was initially adopted on 15 June 1949.

 

Subsequently, a member of the Drafting Committee proposed to add clause (4) to the Draft Article, which clarified that the High Court’s power of superintendence would not extend to any court or tribunal of the Armed Forces. He stated that this clause had been introduced at the behest of the Defence Ministry. The amendment was accepted without any debate on 16th October 1949.