Delhi District Courts

Delhi was recognized as a separate ‘district legal entity’ with the help of a Notification proclaiming the same on 17.09.1912. This notification number was issued with the power of the Governor General of India in the Council. With the help of this, Delhi as a whole fell with the direct authority and subsequent management of the office of the Governor General of India in the Council along with Mr. William Malcolm Hailey, C.I.E., and I.C.S. who was the foremost Chief Commissioner of Delhi. At the same time the ‘Delhi Laws Act’ came into enactment on 1912 which enforced the already existing laws in Delhi. In 1915, Trans Yamuna was also included in the district of Delhi.


To start with, Mrs. Forster’s house served as the district court. The space restricted the use to only 8 courts. In the year 1899 space grew as some more space was rented in the H-Abdul Rehman Ataul Rehman Building. In 1949, it was declared that the old building of the court was unsafe. Four years later, 22 ‘Civil Subordinate Courts’ were shifted to the building of Hindu College  which was at 1, Skinners House at Kashmiri Gate. 31.3.1958 was the last day of the functioning of the courts here. The construction of the complex at Tis Hazari had begun in 1953. It took 85 lakhs back then as construction cost. Chief Justice Mr. A. N. Bhandari inaugurated the space on 19.03.1958. Several criminal and all of the civil courts were shifted to this complex. Till date, Tis Hazari serves as the main court complex in the city. Back then, certain courts of smaller jurisdictions worked out of Parliament Street and the Shahdara complex. The criminal courts were shifted to Patiala House from Parliament Street in March 1977. The Kakarduma Courts Complex was inaugurated on 15-05-1993 and the courts functioning at Shahdara were shifted there.

The court at Rohini was completed in 2005. The Rohini Court has jurisdiction over West and North West Districts of Delhi and deals with Criminal, Civil, Motor Accident Claims and rent issues. The Dwarka court was completed in the year 2008 and the Chief Justice of India back then Hon’ble Sh. K.G. Balakrishanan inaugurated the space on the 6th of September that year. IGI Airport and South West District falls under this court.

The Court at Saket started functioning since the august of 2010. South Civil, South East and South Districts of the city earlier fell under the Patiala House Court making it an extremely burdened court. These three districts were shifted to Saket after it started functioning.  In the same way, Motor Accident Claim Petitions of these districts also started falling under the jurisdiction of the state of the art court set up at Saket

Civil Courts

In the year 1913, the judiciary at Delhi consisted of the following:

1 District & Sessions Judge
1 Senior Sub-Judge
1 Judge, Small Causes Court
1 Registrar, Small Causes Court
3 Sub-Judges 

Two Courts were added with Sub-Judges in 1920. These courts are still functioning in Delhi. Leading to exigency, certain measures of temporary nature were taken into account to clear long back logs. In the year 1948, another post for a Sub-Judge was crafted to put into effect the ‘Rent Control Act’. After that a total of 6 Courts of temporary nature with Sub-Judges came into power in 1953. In the year 1959, The Sub-Judges’ strength swelled to 21. During that time, there used to be just one District & Sessions Judge along with 4 other Additional District & Sessions Judges. These courts remained under the jurisdiction of the Punjab High Court until the Delhi High Court was established in the year 1966.



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