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Friday, April 26, 2013

What are the hierarchy & jurisdiction of civil courts?


Subordinate Civil Courts:
The subordinate civil courts were established in Bangladesh under the provision of the Civil Courts Act 1887. District Judge is the head of the Judiciary in each of the 61 out of 64 districts of the country. In the remaining three hill district there are no separate civil courts, Magistrate perform the functions of the civil courts in those three districts. Civil courts decided dispute rights between one individual and the other. It is only the suits of civil nature that can be adjudicated in civil courts. The Civil Courts subordinate to the High Court Division are established by several enactments. Some of them are set up under special and other under general laws having well defined jurisdiction to administer in civil matters.
The district courts and courts subordinate to them shoulder the main burden of administering civil justice. The original jurisdiction of subordinate courts is invariably determined with reference to the pecuniary value involved in the suit to be tried by it and appeals for in accordance with requirements of the provision enacted in that behalf.

Hierarchy & Jurisdiction of Civil Courts:
Section 3 of the Civil Courts Act 1887 as amended by the Civil Courts (Amendment) Act 2001 provides for following five classes of Subordinate Civil Courts—

Every court mentioned above is a separate court and has jurisdiction assigned to it by the Civil Courts Act or any other law which may be either territorial, original jurisdiction, appellate jurisdiction or transferred jurisdiction (can hear suit or cases when transferred to it).

1.   The Court of District judge:
This court is nest in the hierarchy down from the HCD is headed by a District Judge. A District Judge exercise administrative control over all civil courts within the local limit of his jurisdiction. The local limit is determined by the government. His administrative control is supervised by HCD. A District Judge has, in respect of all suits in his district, original, appellate as well as revisional jurisdiction.

·         A District Judge usually does not try original suits. This is because of the provision in section 15 of the Code of Civil Procedure that every suit must be instituted in the court of the lowest grade competent to try it. He is the only court competent to try certain kinds of cases such as, Insolvency cases, Guardianship cases, Probate or Administration cases etc.
·         The District Judge’s pecuniary jurisdiction is unlimited. Under sections8, 11, 22, 23 etc. of the Civil Courts Act 1887.
·         This Court has administrative control over all the civil Courts under the Civil Courts Act 1887 within the local limits of his jurisdiction (section 9).
·         This Court has power to try, transfer, withdraw, any suit, appeal or other proceeding in any civil courts below the High Court Division.
·         The District Judge has pecuniary jurisdiction of taka five lacs valuation of the subject matter giving rise appeal or revision.
·         The District Judge has been given revisional power by section 115 of the Code of Civil Procedure in 2003. To this effect it is provided in section 115 that where an order has been passed by a Court of Joint District Judge, Senior assistant Judge or Assistant Judge from which no appeal lies, and if such courts appears to have committed any error of law resulting in an error in such order occasioning failure of justice, the Court of District Judge may revise such order and, make such order as it may think fit.
·         An appeal of decree or judgment from District Judge or Additional District Judge shall lie to the High Court Division.

2.   The Court of Additional District Judge:
The judicial function of an Additional District Judge is similar to that District Judge. He tries those cases which are transferred to his court from the court of District Judge. And an appeal form this court normally shall lies to the High Court Division.

3.   The Court of Joint District Judge:
·         The Joint District Judge’s pecuniary jurisdiction on original suit is unlimited. This court has jurisdiction to try those cases the value of which exceeds tk. 4 lac.
·         Appeal of a decree or judgment from this court shall lies to the High Court if the case value exceeds tk. 5 lac.
·         Appeal of a decree or judgment from this court shall lies to the District Judge if the case value did not exceeds tk. 5 lac.

4.   The Court of Senior Assistant Judge:
·         The pecuniary jurisdiction of the Senior Assistant Judge is 200, 001-400000 tk.
·        An appeal of decree or judgment from this court lies to the Court of the District Judge.

5.   The Court of Assistant Judge:
This court is stands at the base of the hierarchy of civil courts. Its original Jurisdiction is limited to a claim the value of which does not exceeds tk. 2 lac  (1 tk. to 2lac tk.). This court also been invested with the revisinoal power in petty civil mattes coming from Village Court under the Village Ordinance 1976 (section 4 (2)).