History of Ganjam Judiciary
Ganjam was originally formed a part of the southern kingdom of ancient and there were local kings in the charge of administration of Justice. The principal Judicial Officers of the kingdom were called the "Dewan" who used to dispose of both Civil and Criminal cases.
The British annexed Ganjam to their crown along with other Zamindars of Southern Orissa in the year 1766. But it was only in 1803, the British Govt appointed Collectors and they used to function as the head of administration of Justice. By that time collectors were dealing with both civil and criminal cases. The relevant record discloses that Peter Cherry was the first collector of the District of Ganjam and he was vested with Magisterial Power in 1816. Subsequently Ganjam and Vishakhapatnam Act 1839 came into force and the Collectors were considered the be the agents of the Governor having been vested with the powers to try and dispose of both the civil and criminal cases. Accordingly the Collector of the Ganjam District used to discharge his duties as Judcial head of the District for both Civil and Criminal cases, Collector's Courts was located at Ganjam till the year 1815 and thereafter it was shifted to Berhampur and then to Chattrapur, the present District Headquarters.
Zilla and sessions Court was functioning at Chicacala and the Judge was designated as Civil and Sessions Judge. However in the year 1865 a permanent Zilla Court functioned at Ganjam and Mr. H. Morria Esq was the first Civil and Sessions Judge, then Madras Civil court Act, 1873 was enacted and the designation of Zilla Court became the District & session Court and accordingly the Civil and Sessions Judge was re-designated as District and Sessions Judge.
The official record discloses that the Judgeship of Ganjam was reorganized and its local limits was expanded over Ganjam & Puri District was bi-furcated from Ganjam Judgeship and it came to be known as Ganjam, both Judgeship vide notification No.2932 dated 10.06.1957. Later Phulbani District was carved out leaving this Judgeship to be known as Ganjam Judgeship in the year 1984. After reconstitution of Districts in the State a new District Viz Gajapati was constituted and the nomenclature of the Judgeship was changed to be Ganjam-Gajapati Judgeship on 02.10.1992, subsequently on 30.07.2011 Gajapati District was also bi-furcated from this Judgeship and now this Judgeship "Ganjam Judgeship".