HISTORY OF PUDUCHERRY
It is a known fact that Union Territory of Pondicherry was a French Colony till it was transferred to the Indian Government by an agreement, dated 21.10.1954 between France and India. However, only on 01.11.1954, the Indian Government took over the administration of Pondicherry under the Foreign Jurisdiction Act, 1947. The Indian Government issued two Notifications on 21.10.1954 and 30.10.1954 under the said Act. The first one called the French Establishments (Administration) Order 1954, and the other one is called the French Establishments (Application of Laws) Order 1954.
Again, the de jure transfer took place on 16.08.1962. The Jurisdiction of the Madras High Court was extended to Pondicherry from that date. Through the Treaty of Cession, the process of legal mayor become complete after the 14th amendment in the year 1962. The Government of India issued the Pondicherry (Administration) Act, 1962 on 16.08.1962.
Judicial Department has its existence since French regime and after the introduction of The Pondicherry Civil Courts Act, 1960 the erstwhile French Civil and administrative Courts have been abolished. The Courts like the Tribunal Superieur d’ Appel, Tribunal de lere Instance, Tribunal de Grands Instance Com d’ Appel, Juge de Paix and Cour de Cassation have no cannotation after the above said Act has come into force. Instead the Courts of District Judge, Courts of Subordinate Judges and Courts of Munsif have become the successors Courts.
ACTIVITIES OF JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT
The activities of Pondicherry Subordinate Judiciary can be classified as follows:
1. Dispensation of Civil justice
2. Administration of Criminal justice (delivery) system
3. Adjudication of Labour disputes.
FUNCTIONS OF THE COURTS
ON THE CIVIL SIDE
Adjudication of the disputes of civil nature brought before the Civil Courts.
ON THE CRIMINAL SIDE
Administration of Justice on the cases brought before the criminal courts by the prosecution in respect of the criminal offences committed by the accused persons after analysing the oral and documentary evidence adduced on the side of the prosecution as well as by the defence and if the offence complained of the accused is proved beyond reasonable doubt, to punish the accused by awarding the sentence of imprisonment / sentence of fine and if the offence is not proved beyond all reasonable doubt, to acquit the accused by setting him at liberty.
OLD COURT BUILDING
The Old Court Building of Puducherry gives the elegant view and it is shown below,