RULES AND ORDERS OF THE PUNJAB HIGH COURT
PRACTICE IN THE TRIAL OF CIVIL SUITS
PART A --- General
HOURS, HOLIDAYS AND CAUSE LISTS
(1) All Civil
Courts in Punjab and Haryana, and Delhi shall sit
at the same hour on every day that is not a holiday
for Civil Courts.
The ordinary Court hours are from 10 A.M
to 4 P.M. with an interval for luncheon from 1 to
1-30 Saturdays shall be full working day for courts
and offices attached thereto but the Second Saturday
of each month may be observed as a close day.
The working hours for offices attached to
Civil Courts are from 10 A.M. to 5 P.M.
Change of Court Hour
These hours may be varied in summer (May
to September) with the previous sanction of the
High Court if it would be for the convenience of
the litigating public generally and of the Courts
to do so.
Ordinarily, when change of hours is desired,
the Deputy Commissioner should apply through the
District and Sessions Judge; but if the Deputy Commissioner
does not move in the matter and the District and
Sessions Judge desired the change, he should apply
after consulting the Deputy Commissioner.
The date from which it is proposed that any
change should take effect should be fixed sufficiently
ahead in order to allow not only for time for obtaining
the sanction of the High Court, but also for proper
notice to the public in general and to the parties
to civil suits in particular. It is not necessary to obtain the
sanction of the High Court before the normal court
hours are reverted to at the close of the summer,
but such reversion should take place at the same
time for all courts, civil and criminal, and the
Deputy Commissioner and District and Sessions Judge
should consult each other before the reversion is
Local and seasonal changes
(2) In view of the intensity of heat the change
of hours of working from 1st May to 31st
July is effected throughout Haryana, whereas in
Punjab this change is effected in Bhatinda District.
Generally the following working hours are observed:
January to 30th April 10 am to 4 pm
May to 31st July 7:30 am to 1 pm
August to 31st December 10 am to 4 pm
Note: The observation of
above working hours is not the hard and fast rules.
Any change of hours of working is intimated through
(3) Likewise, the working hours for offices located
at the hill stations of Shimla, Dharamsala and Kulu
Sub-division are sometimes cut short by an hour
during certain winter months by instruction issued
from time to time.
Taking up cases after Court Hour
new case should be taken up after the closing hour
of the Court but the hearing of a case taken up
before that hour may, if necessary, be continued
for a short time.
The holiday allowed to the Civil Courts are annually
prescribed by the High Court, under the provisions
of Section 47 of the Punjab Courts Act, and any
other authority can allow no other holidays. The
list of Civil holidays comprises general holidays
and local holidays, the latter being usually limited
to three days in the year for each district.
Taking up cases in holidays
Civil suits and appeals ought not, as a rule,
to be taken up during the vacation or on a holiday;
but any civil suits or appeal may be legally heard,
by consent of the parties during the vacation or
on a holiday, if the Presiding Officer of the Court
thinks it expedient, for any reason, to keep his
Court open for the purpose.
“Provided that the District Judge
and in his absence any Additional District Judge
or Subordinate Judge specially authorized by the
District Judge in this behalf may entertain any
urgent civil matter (suit appeal or application)
during the period when the civil courts are closed
for vacation. “
Attendance of ministerial establishment
The members of the ministerial establishment
of the Courts should (subject to any special rules
regarding the Vacation Department) attend their
office on all days except on holidays allowed to
Civil Courts. An official may, however, be ordered
by the Presiding Officer to attend office on a holiday
to clear off areas. An official should not always
except in most exceptional cases be made to attend
on a holiday pertaining to his religion.
Preparation of cause lists
Cause List of
cases fixed for each day should be prepared a day
lists should be exhibited in the Court room, or
the verandah of the Court-house, at least by the
afternoon of the day preceding that to which they
relate, for the information of parties and their
pleaders and the order of causes in the list should
not be departed from without cogent reasons, unless
the case be settled by compromise or the claim be
admitted before the day fixed for trial.
A strict adherence to this practice will
secure punctual attendance and greatly promote the
dispatch of business and the convenience of parties
Cases should as far as possible be so arranged
in the cause lists that the litigants may not have
to wait long for simple cases and petty work such
as miscellaneous applications, executions and objections,
Form of Cause List.
Cause lists should
be in the following form: -
IN THE COURT OF ______________________________________________
LIST FOR (Day of the week and date)__________________________
and description of the case
Plaintiff Appellant or Petitioner
of the case viz., for issues, evidence, arguments
RECEPTION OF PLAINTS AND APPLICATIONS
Plaints and petitions are received everyday except
on holidays: -
and petitions should be received by the Civil Courts
on every day which is not an authorized holiday,
during office hours.
Reception by Mofassil Courts: -
situated away from the head-quarters of the district
can receive plaints and petitions direct, under
the general directions prescribed by the District
Judge or by a Subordinate Judge, empowered under
section 37 of Punjab Courts Act, 1918, to do so.
of cases: -
Plaints and petitions presented at the headquarters
of a district will be received and distributed by
the District Judge who may delegate this power under
section 37 of the Punjab Courts Act to any Subordinate
Judge and should always do so when it is for the
convenience of the litigants.
Regard should be had to provisions of Sections
15 and 20 and Order IV, Rule 1, of the Code of Civil
Procedure, in framing directions regarding the reception
of Civil suits.
(ii) Duty of distributing officer: -
The work of distribution of cases should not
be left to the Reader or the Clerk of Court. The Judge should attend to it personally,
noting in his own hand the name of person presenting
the case and the Court to which the case has been
assigned for trail. He should also inform the person
presenting the plaint or petition of the date on
which he is required to attend the Court to which
the case is sent and note the fact of his having
done so in his order. This will avoid the necessity
of a notice being issued to the plaintiff or petitioner
by the court to which the case is sent.
(iii) List of cases assigned to be exhibited: -
At the end of each day a list of all the cases
so distributed should be exhibited in the Court
of the distributing officer.
Similarly each Court should exhibit at the
end of each day a list of the cases assigned to
it by the distributing officer.
almost all the districts in the Punjab, the District
Judges have delegated their powers of the distribution
of plaints to the Senior Subordinate Judges under
the authority of Circular letter No. 653-G, dated
27th January, 1915.
Examination, endorsement and distribution of
plaint or petition should, if possible, specify
the provision of law under which it is presented
and should, at the time of its reception, be at
once endorsed with the date of its receipt, and
such endorsement should be signed by the receiving
Court-fees should be forthwith examined and cancelled
in the manner prescribed in that behalf.
The receiving officer should prepare a list
of all plaints and applications received each day,
and be held responsible that they are duly distributed
in accordance with the orders passed thereupon,
and the general instructions (if any) given by the
District Judge or the Senior Sub-Judge in that respect.
Insufficiently stamped plaints etc: -
It shall be the duty of the Superintendent of
the District and Sessions Judge, Clerks of Court
of the Senior Sub Judge and Judges of Small Causes
Courts and Readers of all other Subordinate Judges
to see that appeals, plaints and petitions, etc.,
received in the Courts, to which they are attached,
are properly stamped. When they are in doubt what Court-fee
is due on any document, it shall be their duty to
refer the matter to the Presiding Officer for orders.
These officials are primarily responsible for
any loss of revenue caused to Government by insufficiently
stamped documents having been received owing to
their neglect, but the ultimate responsibility for
the loss lies on the Judge of the Court whose duty
it is to look into such matters either when the
plaints are instituted or when the plaints came
up for hearing before him.
Note: --- The clerk of Court too the Senior Sub-Judge
is responsible for checking the Court fee on those
plaints only which the Senior Sub-Judge retains
for trial by himself. In other cases the Reader of the
Court to which the suit is sent for trail is responsible.
Provided that the personal responsibility
of the officers concerned shall only be enforced
where obvious mistakes have been made and not in
cases in which a genuine doubt was possible regarding
the correctness of the Court-fee due.
Transfer of cases to equalize work: -
The equal distribution of work amongst the Courts
available can always be effected by the transfer
of cases when necessary from one Court to another
under the authority vested in the District Judge.
When a case is transferred by judicial order,
the Court passing the order should fix a date on
which the parties should attend the Court to which
the case is transferred.
(a) Petition box: -
The petition box shall be placed in the verandah
of the Court house about one hour before the Court
sits, an official being specially made to attend
early for this purpose. It shall be opened in the presence
of the Judge about 15 minutes after the Court opens
when all petitions shall be initialed by him.
The Judge shall pass proper order forthwith
or inform the petitioner when orders will be ready
after the necessary kaifiyats have been put
box shall be replaced in the Verandah and opened
again shortly before the Court rises for luncheon
in the presence of the Judge and the same procedure
It shall then be replaced once more in the
Verandah and opened for the last time 15 minutes
before the time fixed for the rising of the Court
and the procedure prescribed above followed.
After the box has been opened for the third
time, it shall not be replaced in the Verandah but
petitions may thereafter be presented upto the closing
hour of the Court to the Presiding Officer personally
who shall receive them.
A list of all miscellaneous or execution applications,
on which orders cannot be passed forthwith, should
be prepared and exhibited outside the court room
specifying the date fixed for the disposal of each
Urgent case: - In urgent cases, the judge may exercise his discretion
and personally receive documents presented to him
direct at any time.
Reception by ministerial establishment prohibited:
members of the ministerial establishment are strictly
forbidden to receive petitions, plaints or other
documents direct from lawyers and their clerks or
from litigants except when the Judge is on leave
and no other judicial officer is incharge of his
District Judges should, however, invariably
make arrangements for the reception of plaints and
petitions, etc., by another officer of a court when
an Officer is temporarily absent on leave, tour
Where there is a single Judicial Officer
at a station such as a Moffassil or outlying Court,
arrangements should be made for the reception of
plaints, petitions, documents, etc., by the Tahsildar
or the Naib Tahsildar in consultation with the Deputy
Exceptions: - The above orders do not apply to applications
put in by counsel for the inspection of records
which may be presented to the Presiding Officer
personally, nor do they apply to talbanas
and stamped postal envelopes filed by litigants,
which should be received direct by the Ahlmad or
the moharrir and a receipt given for the same whether
demanded or not.
Who can file petition etc.: -
and petitions must be filed, except, when otherwise
specially provided by any law for the time being
in force, by the party in person or by his recognized
agent or by a duly authorized and qualified legal
agents are defined in Order III, Rule 2, of the
Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, As to appointment
of a pleader, the provisions of Rule 4 of Order
III, Civil Procedure Code, as amended by Act XXII
of 1926, and the instructions of the High Court
given in Chapter 16, Part A, of this volume should
be carefully studied.
Power of attorney: -
parties appear by pleaders or agents duly authorized
in that behalf, their powers-of-attorney should,
when practicable, be filed in original with the
plaint. Where the power-of-attorney is a
general one, a copy should be filed, the original
being presented for verification. When so filed,
the power-of-attorney will be considered to be enforced
until revoked, with the leave of the Court, by a
writing signed by the client and filed in Court,
or until the client or pleader or agent dies, or
all proceedings in the suit are ended so far as
regards the client.
Sending by post: -
reception of plaints and petitions made under the
Code of Civil procedure for judicial purposes by
post is irregular. All applications of a judicial
nature received by post should be filed and on each
application so filed an endorsement should be made
to the effect that it was filed as not having been
properly presented. This does not apply to applications
for copies of judicial proceedings, which are not
applications for judicial purposes made under the
Code; but are applications dealt with under administrative