B y the Indian High Courts Act passed by British Parliament in 1861, provision was made, not only for the replacement of the Supreme Courts of Calcutta, Madras and Bombay and for the establishment of High Courts in their places, but for the establishment of a High Court by Letters Patent in any other part of Her Majesty’s territories not already included in the jurisdiction of another High Court. In the year 1866, the High Court of Judicature for the North-Western Provinces came into existence at Agra under Letters Patent of the 17th March, 1866, replacing the old Sudder Diwanny Adawlat.
Sir Walter Morgan, Barrister-at-Law and Mr. Simpson were appointed the first Chief Justice and the first Registrar respectively of High Court of North-Western Provinces.
The seat of the High Court for the North-Western Provinces was shifted from Agra to Allahabad in 1869 and its designation was altered to ‘the High Court of Judicature at Allahabad’ by a supplementary Letters patent issued on March 11, 1919.
The Oudh Chief Court at Lucknow, replacing the Oudh Judicial Commissioner’s Court, was established on November 2, 1925 not by Letters Patent but by the Oudh Civil Courts Act, IV of 1925, enacted by the U.P. Legislature with the previous sanction of the Governor-General to the passing of this Act, as required by the Government of India Act, 1919s. 80-A (3).
By the U.P. High Court Amalgamation Order, 1948, the Chief Court of Oudh was amalgamated with the High Court of Allahabad and the new High Court was conferred the jurisdiction of both the Courts so amalgamated. By the Amalgamation Order the jurisdiction of the Court under the Letters Patent and that of the Chief Court under the Oudh Courts Act was preserved.
In July, 1949 the States Merger (Governor’s Provinces) order was passed which was amended in November the States Merger (United Provinces) Order, 1949 whereby the powers of the Government of some Indian States specified in the Schedule, which had vested in the Dominion Government were transferred to the adjoining Governors’ Provinces. In Schedule VII, Rampur, Benaras and Tehri Garhwal were the States specified, and by section 3 the said states were to be administered in all respects as if they formed part of the absorbing province.
On the eve of the Republic Day celebrations on the 26th January, 1950 the date of commencement of the Constitution of India, the High Court of Judicature at Allahabad came to have jurisdiction throughout the entire length and breadth of the State of Uttar Pradesh.
By the Uttar Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2000, State of Uttaranchal and Uttaranchal High Court came into existence from the midnight intervening 8 and 9 November, 2000 and in view of section 35 of the Act, High Court at Allahabad ceased to have jurisdiction of 13 districts falling within the territory of State of Uttaranchal.
At present, sanctioned strength of Judges of the High Court of Judicature at Allahabad is 160.