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History - Kottayam Judiciary

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     The District Headquarters of judiciary is set up at Kottayam town with the Principal District Court as it Administrative Centre. The justice delivery system consists of eight Munsiff Courts, ten Judicial 1st Class Magistrate Courts, three Sub Courts, one Chief Judicial Magistrate Court and three Additional District Courts. Beside these regular courts, two Motor Accidents Claims Tribunals and one special court for Vigilance cases and two Family Courts also function in this district.


     In olden times, crime and punishment was the duty of Dewans and Sarvadhikaryakars of the state. It was during the administration of Ummini Thambi Dalawa, courts began to be established for dispute resolution and punishment. He established four Insuaf Cutcheries for dispensation of justice. He also established jails in each district.Her highness Rani Gauri Lakshmi Bai who assumed the power dissmissed Ummini Thambi and appointed Col. Munro, the resident dewan. He introduced a system of administration modelled after the system prevailing in British India. He reformed the judicial administration and Zilla courts were established at Padmanabhapuram, Thiruvananthapuram, Mavelikkara, Vaikom and at Aluva. He also set up a Court of Appeal at Thiruvananthapuram with 5 judges including the dewan in Kollam 1010. He also drafted a set of rules called Sattavariyolas based on the Dharma sastras, the regulations in vogue under the company and established usages in the country. These were promulgated in 1811 for guidance of the courts. During the reign of King Swathi Thirunal(1829-1847) the munsiffs courts were opened for the disposal of civil and police cases. A code of Regulations framed on the British Indian model was issued in 1835. In Kollam 1040(1865) Vakil regulations were issued by King Ayilyam thirunal. The sadar court(appeal courts) was renamed as Travancore High Court and one Chief Justice and 5 judges were appointed. The judgement of the high court can be appealed to the King. In 1882 Travancore civil courts regulations came into existance and reforms were introduced. The District Court at Kottayam was established in 1910 during the period of Sree-Moolam Thirunal Maharaja. The District Court Kottayam had celebrated its centenary during the year 2010. The Hon. Chief Justice of India Sri. K.G Balakrishnan who hails from Kottayam had inaugurated the year long Centenary celebrations.

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