The Pioneer and the Lahore High Court : The Tribune India

In a recent issue, we had something to say about the attack by the Pioneer on the Lahore High Court in connection with the proposal to transfer the judicial administration of the N.W. Frontier Province to that Court. Among the allegations which the journal made against our High Court were:–(1) “It is in its infancy as a High Court” and (2) “from the remarks of the speakers in Wednesday’s debate it has yet to win its spurs as fit to stand beside the other High Courts of the country by reason of its judicial reputation.” As regards the second of these allegations, we have been at pains to go through some of the more important speeches delivered on the official side during the debate, as published in the official report, but we have not come across anything justifying the Pioneer’s remark that the Lahore High Court is yet to win its spurs. This, for instance, is what we find in Dr. Sapru’s speech, and Dr. Sapru was the foremost spokesman of the Government on the occasion:– “Give back this Province to the High Court which, you say, is not quite so good as the Madras High Court or the Calcutta High Court.” Dr. Sapru does not identify himself or the Government with the opinion. The only High Courts he mentions are those of Madras and Calcutta, while the Pioneer’s remark is far more sweeping and includes the High Courts at Bombay, Allahabad and Patna, with two of which at least the Lahore High Court cannot be said even by its worst detractors to compare unfavourably. There is nothing in the remark to show that Dr. Sapru was thinking of judicial reputation at all, and not of some of the other things to which the Pioneer refers. Both Dr. Sapru and Pioneer forget that the sole issue in this case is not whether the Punjab High Court is an ideal High Court, but whether it is not incomparably better than a Judicial Commissioner’s Court.

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