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History

The Advocate General for the State of Punjab is a Constitutional post and is an Authority duly appointed under Article 165 of the Constitution of India.  The Advocate General holds office during the pleasure of the Governor of Punjab. A person who is qualified to be appointed as a Judge of the High Court is appointed as the Advocate General for the State. The Office of Advocate General is a exalted one.  He is the Supreme Law Officer of the State.

It is the duty of the Advocate General to advise the Government of the State upon such legal matters and to perform such other duties of a legal character, as may from time to time be referred or assigned to him by the Governor, and to discharge the functions conferred upon him by or under the Constitution of India or any other law for the time being in force.  The Advocate General have the right to speak in, and otherwise take part in the proceedings of, any Committee of the Legislature of which he may be named as Member.  But he shall not be entitled to vote. The Advocate General and his office defends and protects the interest of the State Government and gives invaluable legal guidance to the State Government in formulation of its policy and execution of its decision.

The office of the Advocate General is directly connected with the High Court of the State.  Pre-independence the High Court of judicature for the premises of Punjab and Delhi was established at Lahore and was called the High Court of Judicature at Lahore.  After independence of India, the High Court at Lahore ceased to have jurisdiction over Delhi and the then East Punjab.  The new High Court for the premises of Delhi and then East Punjab, thus, found and Shimla was selected as the seat of new High Court which was called the East Punjab High Court of Judicature.  On 15th August, 1947 the Constitution of India came into force on January 26, 1950 and the State of East Punjab came to be known as Punjab and accordingly the name of the High Court was also changed to Punjab High Court.  The seat of the High Court was arrived to Chandigarh and the Court started functioning at Chandigarh from its present building w.e.f. January 17th, 1955.  There existed the Patiala and the East Punjab Union (PEPSU) alongwith State of Punjab which also had its own High Court known as a PEPSU High Court.  The State of PEPSU was merged in the State of Punjab by the States Reorganization Act, 1956 and accordingly the Punjab High Court assumed jurisdiction over the territories which were under the PEPSU High Court.   A separate High Court was constituted for the Union Territory of Delhi under the Delhi High Court Act, 1966 having jurisdiction over the Union Territory of Chandigarh from 31.10.1966.  With the States Reorganization Act, 1966 coming into force another State named Haryana and the Union Territory of Chandigarh was brought into existence from November 1st, 1966 and from the date of enforcement of the above Act, the High Court of Punjab was renamed as the High Court of Punjab and Haryana.

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