Civil Police. – The Civil Police is posted at the police station/police posts in the district. The Senior Superintendent of Police, Bathinda, is the head of Civil Police force in the district. There are 25 police stations, 9 police posts and 9 S.P.O. Pickets in the district. The Station House Officer is in charge of each police station. He is normally assisted by one or more Assistant Sub-Inspectors, a Head Constable, a Moharrir and a number of constables. The Station House Officer is responsible for maintaining peace and investigation of offences occurring in the area of his police station.
Vigilance Police. – The main function of the Vigilance Police is to make enquiries into the complaints of corruption and other irregularities committed by government employees. It takes speedy action where corruption and misconduct have come to notice. Moreover, it also assists the other administrative departments to rid the administration of anti-social evils. For the effective functioning of its policy and programme, the Vigilance Bureau is functioning at Bathinda. The staff posted in the district comprises 1 Deputy Superintendent of Police, 2 Inspectors, 2 Sub Inspectors, one Head Clerk and 10 Constables.
The unit of Vigilance Bureau at Bathinda functions under the Vigilance Bureau, Punjab. It collects intelligence reports regarding corruption amongst public servants. It conducts enquiries into the complaints of corruption against public servants and also investigates criminal cases involving corruption. It also assists in prosecution of cases against the defaulting public servants before the enquiry officer or the court and keeps a watch on the departmental proceedings on charges of corruption. It conducts raids to catch corrupt government servants. Moreover, the Vigilance Bureau suggests measures to check corruption in various departments.
Railway Police. – The Railway Police force functioning in the Bathinda District, as in other districts of the State, works under the Deputy Inspector General, Government Railway Police, Punjab, with headquarters at Patiala. It is not allotted to any district in particular. The circles of the Railway Police are formed according to the sections of the railway lines in which they control crime committed in railway trains and within the railway premises.
The main functions of the Railway Police are to protect travelers from injury to person or loss to property; to maintain law and order at railway stations and in trains; to attend the arrival and departure of passengers trains at station and to bring to the notice of the proper authorities all offences under Railway Act and breaches of bye-laws, and all cases of fraud, oppression, etc. on the part of railway officials; to render all possible assistance to passengers and VIP's; to keep railway platforms clear of idlers and beggars and to keep a watch over suspicious persons; smugglers, and persons travelling with arms without licences; to search all empty carriages plying for hire at the railway stations and to enforce the regulation of railway passengers entering railway stations on occasion of fairs, festivals etc. Besides, the railway police patrols all passenger trains and provides escort to important night trains.
In the Bathinda District, there is one Railway Police Post at Bathinda. The staff posted in the district consists of 1 Sub-Inspector, 2 Assistant Sub-Inspectors, 6 Head Constables and 35 Constables.
Excise Police. – The main functions of the Excise Police are to accompany the Excise Staff while conducting raids to check the activities of moonshiners and bootleggers. It comprises 1 Sub-Inspector, 1 Assistant Sub-Inspector, 5 Head Constables and 24 Constables, who are on deputation from the Police Department. These officials are posted with Assistant Excise and Taxation Commissioner, Bathinda.
Village Police. – The Chowkidar is at the lowest rung of the police organization. He helps the village Sarpanch in the maintenance of law and order. He also helps in the detection of crimes. It is his duty to report the occurrence of any crime in the village to concerned authorities.
Punjab Home Guards. – The Punjab Home Guards Act of 1948 empowers the State Government to raise on voluntary basis a disciplined and self-reliant force of citizens, known as Home Guards, with a view to supplementing the police force in the maintenance of law and order and other essential services during emergencies and providing relief in the event of natural calamities like flood, fire, etc.
The Home Guards volunteers of both the wings assist the local police in the maintenance of law and order at the time of need. It also guards various strategic points such as railway lines, power station, etc. in the district, as and when required.
The Punjab Home Guards was set up in Bathinda District on 23 October 1963. The District Commander, Punjab, Home Guards, Bathinda, is the head of this organization at the district level. He is assisted by 4 Company Commanders, 8 Platoon Commanders, 9 Havaldar Instructors, 6 Corporal Instructors, besides other Class III and Class IV staff.
With the passage of time, the institution of jails has undergone a lot of change. Previously, these were known as cells for giving deterrent punishments to the criminals. No efforts were made to change the mental attitude of prisoners. However, after the Independence of the country in 1947, revolutionary changes have taken place in the administration of prisons. More emphasis is now given to change the mental attitude of the prisoners. As the basic function of a prison has changed from punishment to reformation, it is now called a sudhar ghar or reformatory, which is indeed the appropriate nomenclature.
In the recent years, the State Government has taken effective steps to improve the conditions of prisoners in the sudhar ghars. Much care is taken in respect of diet, health, educational and emotional requirements of the prisoners. The unique feature of the modern administration of sudhar ghar is that effective steps are taken to enable the prisoners to earn their livelihood and to adjust themselves with society on release.
There is a Central Jail (sudhar ghar) at the district headquarters at Bathinda. Besides, there was a Sub-Jail (up-sudhar ghar) at Mansa which functioned upto 20 October 1984. Thereafter the staff and the prisoners of this sub-jail were transferred to the Central Jail, Bathinda. Besides, there are lock-ups attached to each police station, which are controlled by the Police Department. The jail administration in the district functions under the administrative control of Inspector General of Prisons, Punjab.
Central Jail, Bathinda. – The Central Jail, Bathinda was set up as District Jail on 30 July 1960 and it was upgraded as Central Jail on 1 August 1970. It is situated on the Bathinda-Mansa Road. It has a capacity to accommodate 498 prisoners. It is under the charge of the Superintendent of Jail, who is assisted by 1 Deputy Superintendent, Grade I, one Deputy Superintendent, Grade II, 4 Assistant Superintendents, Grade III, one Accountant, one J.B.T. Teacher, 7 Head Warders, 67 Warders, besides other ministerial Class III and Class IV staff.
The Central Jail, Bathinda is having a female ward with a capacity to keep 10 female prisoners. In the female barrack, 8 women can be housed. In addition to this, there is a cell where two violent or mentally retarded women prisoners can be locked up. One female matron looks after these women prisoners. Besides, a juvenile section for the minor prisoners also exists in the Central Jail, Bathinda.
The total admissions during the year, average daily population and maximum population on any day in a year in the Central Jail, Bathinda during 1977-89 are given in the following table :-
Year Total admissions Average Maximum population
during the year daily on any one day during
Population the year
1977 2,043 439.78 576
1978 3,697 468.14 1,269
1979 2,212 542.15 747
1980 2,349 533.65 574
1981 3,460 647.69 869
1982 5,388 845.19 1,619
1983 4,698 831.19 1,350
1984 5,429 836.48 1,211
1985 5,287 751.51 1,009
1986 4,025 780.41 872
1987 3,830 857.40 985
1988 3,241 810.21 895
1989 3,120 636.98 727
(Source : Superintendent, Central Jail, Bathinda)
The number of convicted prisoners released on different grounds such as parole, bail, transfer, remission, etc. during 1977-89 is given below :-
Year Number of prisoners released
(Source : Inspector-General of Prisons, Punjab, Chandigarh)
Educational, Recreational and Medical Facilities
All facilities are being provided to the prisoners for learning three R's and for improving their educational qualifications up to University level. There is a paid J.B.T. teacher who looks after the adult literacy scheme under the supervision of two Welfare Officers.
To break the boredom of prison life, certain recreational facilities are provided to the inmates of the jail. A stage has been set up in the Central Jail, Bathinda for entertaining the prisoners with variety shows which are organised in collaboration with the Public Relations Department and other voluntary social service organisations from time to time. Nine television sets have been installed in different barracks and all the prisoners confined in the jail daily watch the same.
In the Central Jail, Bathinda, there is also a library which contains 1,260 books in Punjabi, Hind, English and Urdu on different subjects. The literate prisoners make use of these books and develop their mental horizon. Besides, daily newspapers in adequate numbers are also supplied to them. There is also an arrangement for sports in the jail and the prisoners daily play volley-ball and badminton, besides some in-door games. Moreover, a canteen has also been set up for providing various commodities to the prisoners at reasonable prices.
Medical facilities are available for the prisoners within the jail premises. There is a hospital which is being looked after by a whole-time Medical officer assisted by a Pharmacist, besides one additional Medical Officer and one more Pharmacist lent by Civil Surgeon, Bathinda. This hospital has a 12-bedded general ward, besides a 6-bedded special ward for T.B. patient. Moreover, when there is a necessity for special consultation, the expert doctors from the Civil Hospital, Bathinda are called into examine the ailing prisoners.
As in other jails of the State, panchayat system has also been introduced in both the jails of this district. The members of the panchayat are elected by the prisoners themselves to look after their betterment. They assist the convicts working in the kitchen to draw their rations from the store and also supervise the cooking and distribution of food. This system has created a sense of responsibility and trust among the prisoners and has been of great value in maintaining discipline.
Official and Non-Official Visitors
Visits to a jail by the official and non-official visitors are regulated under the Punjab Jail Manual. These are helpful both to the prisoners and the jail authorities. The official visitors personally take notice of the problems of the prisoners and also see whether provisions of the Prisons Act, 1894 and all rules, regulations, orders and directions made or issued thereunder are fully observed by the prison management or not. The visits of the non-official visitors are also useful, as they provide a community touch to the prisoners which give them a realization that the society has not forgotten them.
District Probation Officer, Bathinda. – The Probation of the Offenders Act, 1958 came into force in the Bathinda district in 1966 when a District Probation Officer was posted there. He is under the control of the Chief Probation Officer, Chandigarh, who supervises and directs the work in the entire State under Inspector General of Prisons, Punjab, Chandigarh.
The Probation of Offenders' Act is a reformative measure for the juvenile offenders (below the age of 21 years) and for first offenders, irrespective of their age to save them from the confines of the jail. The Act provides for the release of offenders on bail after entering into a bond with one surety for the amount considered sufficient and for a period up to three years, as desired by the court, keeping in view the offenders who have committed an offence for which they can be sentenced to death of life imprisonment. Whenever, a juvenile or first offender is brought before the court with some charges for which the benefit of Probation of Offenders' Act, 1958, can be given to the offender, and as soon as the challan is put up by the police in the court, the latter asks for pre-sentence report from the District Probation Officer. The District Probation Officer enquires about the offender's character, antecedents, socio-economic and environmental background and other particulars which the court directs him to enquire. Keeping in view the intensity of the crime and the report submitted by the District Probation Officer, the offender is released on probation with or without supervision.
Those offenders who are released on conditional supervision are kept under the supervision of the District Probation Officer who acts as a friend, philosopher and guide to all the probationers. He looks into their personal problems and tries to solve them. He impresses upon the probationers through personal advice, persuation and warning, the necessity for keeping good conduct during probation. The Probation Officer also tries to improve the behaviour, attitude, habits, character and moral of the probationers so that they may not revert to crime. All this is done by arranging meetings with the probationers in their villages and in the office of the Probation Officer. The Probation Officer makes enquiries about the character and behaviour of the probationer from respectable persons of the village like sarpanch, members of panchayat and lambardars, etc.
The following table shows the number of prisoners released on probation on various grounds during the year 1977-78 to 1988-89 :-
Year Prisoners released on probation
Under Without Released u/s 3 Social
Supervision Supervision of the Probation investigation
of Offenders Act report
1977-78 187 310 --- 41
1978-79 401 639 --- 26
1979-80 217 709 --- 6
1980-81 98 544 --- 12
1981-82 62 567 --- 13
1982-83 79 759 --- 7
1983-84 59 1,083 --- 4
1984-85 78 870 --- 7
1985-86 43 594 --- 3
1986-87 23 762 --- 2
1987-88 27 455 --- 1
1988-89 24 292 --- --
(Source : District Probation Officer, Bathinda)
As already mentioned, Bathinda was conquered by Maharaja Ala Singh with the aid of Sikh confederacy around A.D. 1752. Consequently, most of the areas of the present Bathinda District became part of the princely State of Patiala. The judicial system prevailing in Patiala State as given in Phulkian State Gazeteer (Patiala, Nabha and Jind), 1904 (pp-141-42) is described below :
Before the time of Maharaja Karam Singh of Patiala, the administrative and judicial work of the State was in the hands of the Thanedars (faujdars of the (Ain-i-Akbari), the Collectors of revenue (ugraha) being under them. There was no treasury and no court. In each pargana, there was a thanedar. The offences, of whatever nature, were disposed of after verbal enquiry. No record of evidence was made and no judgement prepared. Final orders were given by word of mouth. The people acquiesced in the decisions and seldom appealed to the Diwan or Wazir. There was no regular law in force; the custom and usages of the country were followed in deciding cases, and had the force of law. The panchayat system was generally in vogue and boundary disputes specially were referred to arbitration. The administering of oaths (nem) to the litigants was a great factor in bringing cases to an amicable settlement. The offenders were generally fines, but habitual and grave offenders were imprisoned without any fixed term of years and were released at the pleasure of the presiding officer. In murder cases, the offender's relations were ordered to pay the price of blood to the heirs of the deceased by offering either a nata (female relative in marriage) or some culturable lands or some cash, and thus to bring about an amicable settlement of the case; otherwise the perpetrator was hanged, generally on a kikar tree, in some conspicuous place where the corpse was left hanging for many days. Barbarous punishment such a maiming and mutilation, were in force to some extent. Sometimes, the face, hands and feet of an offender were blackened and he was proclaimed by beat of drum, mounted on a donkey through the streets of the city.
Maharaja Karam Singh began the work of reform by appointing an Adalti, (Judicial Minister), but no line of demarcation was drawn between his powers and those of the thanedars. Orders in criminal cases were still given verbally, but in civil cases files were made and judgements written. Cases of proprietorship in land were decided by the Adalti though they were transferred subsequently to the Diwan. During the time of Maharaja Narinder Singh, give nizamats were marked off and Nazims appointed to each. One tahsil comprised two thanas, and sixteen Tahsildars were appointed who, in addition to their revenue work, dealt with criminal and civil cases. Maharaja Karam Singh introduced a Manual of Criminal Law, "The Law of Sambat 1916," for the guidance of criminal courts. In most respects, it was similar to the Indian Penal Code. In the reign of Maharaja Mohinder Singh, Tahsildars were deprived of their judicial and criminal powers and two Nai-Nazims were appointed in each nizamat to decide civil and criminal cases to superintend the police. A code of civil procedure, compiled from British Indian Act (VII of 1859 and Act XXXIII of 1861) with suitable modifications, was introduced.
A Tahsildar could give three months' imprisonment and Rs. 25 fine and a Naib-Nazim three years' imprisonment and Rs. 1,000 fine. Appeals from the courts of Tahsildars and Naib-Nazims all went to the Nazim. The Nazim was a Sessions Judge with power to pass sentences of 14 years' imprisonment and Rs. 1,000 fine. From the Nazims' decision, appeals could be made to the Adalti in civil and criminal and the Diwan in revenue cases, with further appeals to the Chief Court revenue cases, with further appeals to the Chief Court and the Iklas-i-khas (the court of the Maharaja). At the capital, there was a Magistrate and a Civil Judge with Naib-Nazim powers. Appeals from these courts went to the Muawan Adalat, the court of the Additional Sessions Judge, who assisted the adalat and had the powers of a Nazim. The Chief Court was competent to pass any sentence authorised by law. Capital punishments and imprisonment for life, however, needed the confirmation of the Ijlas-i-khas. In murder cases, the opinion of the Sadr Ahlkars was taken before the sentence was confirmed. Special jurisdiction in criminal cases was also exercised by certain officials. The Foreign Minister had the powers of a Nazim in cases where on party or both were not subjects of Patiala, Jind or Nabha. Cases under the Telegraph and Railway Acts were decided by an officer of the Foreign Department subject to appeal to the Foreign Minister. Certain Canal and Forest Officers had magisterial powers in cases falling under Canal and Forest Acts and the Inspector General of Police exercised similar powers in respect of cases which concerned the police. During the settlement operations, the Settlement Officers were invested with powers to decide revenue cases with an appeal to the Settlement Commissioner.
Powers of revision (nigrani) could be exercised by the adalti and the Sessions Courts; review (nazarasani) by the Chief Court and Ijlas-i-khas only.
With the merger of Pepsu with Punjab in 1966, Bathinda District became part of Punjab State and as such it came under the judicial system of Punjab.
The judiciary at the district level functions under the supervision and administrative control of Punjab and Haryana, High Court, Chandigarh. As in other districts of the State, judiciary in the Bathinda District is headed by a District and Sessions Judges at the district headquarters. A brief description of civil and criminal justice in the Bathinda District is given below :
The administration of civil justice in the district is controlled by the District and Sessions Judge Bathinda, who is assisted by two Additional District and Sessions Judges and one Senior Subordinate Judge, at Bathinda. Besides, there are 5 Subordinate Judge-cum-Judicial Magistrates (one at Bathinda, three at Mansa and one at Phul), who also assist in the administration of civil justice in the district.
The civil courts try all kinds of cases of civil nature upto the extent with which each Senior Subordinate Judge has been vested. The main functions of different judges working in the civil courts in the district are described, in brief as under :
District Judge. – He is the senior-most judge in the district and controls the administration of civil justice in the district. His jurisdiction as head of the civil court in the district is very wide. As Civil Judge of the district, he has both types of jurisdiction original and appellate. The matters decided by him in exercise of his original jurisdiction are appealable to the High Court. As Appellate Civil Court, he hears appeals against the judgement and decrees of subordinate judges up to Rs. 5 lakhs.
In the administration of civil justice, he is assisted by other Civil Judges as mentioned above. On administrative side, he is the competent authority for appointments, postings and transfers, etc. in respect of the ministerial staff working in all the courts in the district. For deciding civil cases, he and the Additional Judge have concurrent jurisdiction. All cases, however, are instituted first in the Court of District Judge and then he decided as to whether a case or a category of cases is/are to be decided by him or by one of the civil judiciary at district level, he is competent to transfer any case from one court to another in one district.
Additional District Judges, Bathinda. – Additional District and Sessions Judges, Bathinda, work as Additional District Judges on the civil side. Appeals against the judgements and decrees of Subordinate Judges up to Rs. 20,000 and cases under the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 and the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, are heard by them
Senior Subordinate Judge, Bathinda. – The Senior Subordinate Judge hears cases of rents, succession certificates, insolvency, guardianship and appellate work upto a certain limit, suits under the Torts and the Indian Contract Act, 1872.
Subordinate Judges. – All Subordinate Judges have been vested with the powers of unlimited jurisdiction of civil nature in their areas including rent cases, succession certificates and others.
The number of cases tried by the Civil Courts relating to the Courts of Subordinate Judges in the Bathinda Districts from 1978 to 1989 is given in the following table :-
Year Pending Instituted Total for Disposed of Balance at the
from the during the disposal during the close of the
previous year year year
1978 2,520 3,712 6,232 3,948 2,284
1979 2,284 3,493 5,777 3,283 2,494
1980 2,494 3,969 6,463 3,680 2,783
1981 2,783 5,058 7,841 4,521 3,320
1982 3,320 5,365 8,685 5,098 3,587
1983 3,635 5,788 9,423 5,529 3,894
1984 4,494 6,584 11,078 6,324 4,754
1985 4,754 6,751 11,505 5,748 5,757
1986 5,757 8,901 14,658 7,005 7,653
1987 7,653 7,864 15,517 6,802 8,715
1988 8,715 7,702 16,417 5,930 10,487
1989 10,487 9,338 19,825 8,068 11,757
(Source: Registrar, Punjab and Haryana High Court, Chandigarh and District Judge, Bathinda)
The Judicial Officers have both civil and criminal jurisdiction. The same Judicial Officer functions as a civil court when adjudicating upon civil matters and as a criminal court while deciding criminal cases. The main functions of different criminal courts in the district are described in brief, as under :
Sessions Judge. – The District and Sessions Judge, Bathinda acts as Sessions Judge of the district while exercising his powers in respect of criminal jurisdiction. The administration of criminal justice, both in original and appellate jurisdiction is controlled by him. The cases decided by him are appealable in the High Court. As the appellate criminal court, he hears appeals against the judgements and orders of the Judicial Magistrates. On the administrative side, he has the same powers as in the capacity as the District Judge.
The District and Sessions Judge, Bathinda, is assisted by 4 Additional Sessions Judges, a Chief Judicial Magistrate-cum-Subordinate Judges (4 at Bathinda, 3 at Mansa and one at Phul).
Additional Sessions Judges, Bathinda. – The Additional District and Sessions Judges, Bathinda work as Additional Sessions Judges on the criminal side. They hear appeals against the judgements and orders of Judicial Magistrates.
Chief Judicial Magistrate. – On the criminal side, the powers exercised previously by District Magistrate have been vested in the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Bathinda, who functions under the supervision and control of the District Sessions Judge, Bathinda.
The Chief Judicial Magistrate and Judicial Magistrates deal with all types of criminal cases except security cases. The Chief Judicial Magistrate is vested with the powers of a 1st Class Judicial Magistrate, i.e. the power to try juvenile offenders, to ascertain delivery of letters, telegrams, etc; to issue search warrants for documents in custody of postal or telegraph authorities; to entertain cases on complaints; to transfer cases to a Subordinate Magistrate; and to report certain cases to High Court, etc.
Judicial Magistrates. – All Judicial Magistrates try cases under the Indian Penal Code, 1860, the Punjab Excise Act, 1914, the Essential Commodities Act, 1955, and other Special Acts relating to the police stations under their jurisdiction. They have the powers under Section 78 of the I.P.C. to direct warrant to land-holders, to issued search warrant for discovery of persons wrongfully confined; to record statements and confessions during police investigation, to recover penalty on forfeited bond, etc. All criminals may have been apprehended or in whose jurisdiction the crime has been committed.
After investigation, the police puts up challans in the courts of Judicial Magistrates who, also act as illaka Magistrates and watch the investigation of criminal cases. The Judicial Magistrates have also been vested with the powers of Subordinate Judge with varying jurisdiction.
Security Cases. – Besides their executive functions, the Sub-Divisional Officers are also entrusted with certain judicial duties. Cases of security for keeping peace and security for good behaviour under the Criminal Procedure Code are tried by the Sub Divisional Magistrates of Bathinda, Mansa, Talwandi Sabo and Rampur.
Prosecuting Agency. – The Prosecuting Agency was separated from the Police Department with effect from 1 April 1974. The posts of Prosecuting Deputy Superintendents of Police, Prosecuting Inspectors and Prosecuting Sub-Inspectors in the Police Department were abolished and Directorate of Prosecution and Litigation was set up in the State under the administrative control of the State Home Department.
In the district, the Prosecuting Agency is divided into two wings, namely, District Prosecuting Agency. The head of Prosecuting Agency in the district is the District Attorney who is assisted by Assistant District Attorneys Grade – I, and Assistant District Attorneys Grade – II, who have been appointed as Additional Public Prosecutors and Assistant Public Prosecutors, respectively, under the Code of Criminal Procedure and are also appointed as Government Pleaders under its Code of Civil Procedure. Thus, the District under its Code of Civil Procedure. Thus, the District Attorney, with the assistance of Assistant District Attorneys Grade-I and Assistant District Attorneys Grade – II, conduct criminal and civil cases of the state and its officers in the various courts in the district. The District Attorney works in the court of Sessions Judge, whereas the Assistant District Attorneys Grade-I works in the court of Additional Sessions Judge, whereas the Assistant District Attorneys Grade-II work as Assistant Public Prosecutors in the courts of the Magistrates. They also advise the district Magistrate and other Heads of Officers in the district on matters involving legal points. The District Magistrate in the district supervises and controls the functioning of the Prosecuting Agency.
With the abolition of the posts of Prosecuting Deputy Superintendents of Police, Prosecuting Inspectors and Prosecuting Sub-Inspectors, the Police Department was left with no law Officers who could guide them in legal matters. The District Attorney (Legal) is posted in the Police Department to render legal advice to the Senior Superintendent of Police and other police officers in the district. The Assistant District Attorney (Legal), in charge of Legal Advisory Agency is on the cadre strength of the Directorate of Prosecution, and Litigation Punjab, but is posted in the Police Department under the direct control of the Senior Superintendent of Police. The Assistant District Attorney in the Legal Advisory Agency is liable to be shifted to the Prosecuting Agency after two or three years and vice versa.
The District Attorney, Bathinda, as in charge of the Prosecution Agency, is assisted by 5 Assistant District Attorneys Grade I and 11 Assistant District Attorneys Grade II, besides allied Class III and class IV Staff at the district headquarters. In addition to above, 4 Assistant District Attorneys Grade II at Mansa and 1 Assistant District Attorneys Grade at Rampura Phul are working in the Agency.
Apart from the above functions, the Prosecution and Litigation Department, Punjab also provides free legal aid to the poor persons as defined in the Punjab State Grant of Free Legal Service and Advice to the Poor Rules, 1977. For this purpose, Legal Aid Bureau has been set up throughout the State. Three such Bureaus are functioning in the Bathinda District, one each at Bathinda, Mansa and Rampura Phul. Each of the Legal Aid Bureau is headed by an Assistant District Attorney Grade II. The Legal Aid Bureaus make adequate arrangements for providing free legal service and advice to the poor and weaker sections of the people with a view to bringing the system of justice within their reach and thereby making the legal process surer means to social and economic justice. The aims and objectives of this programme are to secure the upliftment of the weaker sections of the society in the field of justice. The Legal Aid Bureau maintains a list of lawyers who offer aid for the working of the Scheme. No Legal Practitioner on the list of any Bureau of any Law Officer shall charge any remuneration from an aided person in any form whatsoever.
Since the inception of the Scheme in the Bathinda District, i.e. 1 June 1979, an amount of Rs. 5,88,462 had been spent by the close of the financial year 1988-89. The number of beneficiaries under the Scheme in the district upto 31 December 1989 was 730.
Under the Punjab Gram Panchayat Act, 1952, certain civil, criminal and revenue powers are vested in the panchayats. Petty cases of various categories are disposed of by the panchayats. This has been done to decentralize authority to strengthen the roots of democracy and lessen the burden of heavily occupied courts. The entrusting of judicial powers to the panchayats has enhanced their prestige. Under Section 47(1) of the Punjab Gram Panchayat Act, 1952, the panchayats are competent to grant bail to an individual against a surety of not exceeding Rs. 500.
The criminal jurisdiction of a gram panchayat is confined to the trial of offences specified in Schedule 1-A and 1-B of the Punjab Gram Panchayat Act, 1952. The panchayats are also competent to take cognizance suo-moto of cases falling under Sections 160, 228, 264, 277, 289, 290, 294 and 510 of the Indian Penal Code and under Sections 3 and 4 of the Punjab Juvenile Smoking Act, 1918 or under any other Act in force at the time of decision.
With regard to civil and revenue judicial functions, the panchayats are competent under Section 52(1) of the Punjab Gram Panchayat Act, 1952, to try suits for recovery of moveable property or the value of such property, suits for money or goods due on contracts or price thereof, suits for compensation for wrongfully taking or injuring moveable property; and suits mentioned in Clauses (j), (k) (l) and (n) sub-Section (3) of the section 77 of the Punjab Tenancy Act, 1887 or under any other Act applicable at that time. The panchayat while trying such suits is deemed to be a civil or criminal or revenue court as the case may be.
Bar Associations look after the interest of their members and render useful service to the cause of legal profession. Their main objective is to uphold the dignity of the legal profession, besides promoting harmony between the Bench and the Bar. Bar Associations also endeavour to help courts in the Administration of justice and inculcate a sense of respect for law and order in the public mind.
There are four Bar Associations in the district, one each at sub-divisional headquarters, viz. Bathinda, Rampura Phul, Mansa and Talwandi Sabo. The Bar Association, Mansa is the oldest one in the district and was formed in about 1929. Its strength as on 31 March 1989 was 172. The Bar Association, Bathinda is one of the biggest Bar Associations in Punjab. It was formed in the year 1950 and its strength on 31 March 1989 was 375. It maintains a library from where member-advocates get books for consultation and reference purposes. The Bar Association, Phul was formed on 8 September 1981 and it had 32 members on 31 March 1989.
The smallest Bar Association in the district is that of Talwandi Sabo (Damdama Sahib). It was formed on 9 May 1979 and had only 15 members on 31 March 1989.
The organizational set-up, strength of staff (as on 31 March 1989), jurisdiction and functions of the departments not mentioned earlier in the Gazetteer, are briefly given hereunder :
Public Works Department is one of the important departments of the government as various developmental works are executed through it. The activities of the Public Works Department may be divided mainly into construction and maintenance of buildings, bridges and roads, rural water supply works, drainage works, irrigation channels, etc. The jurisdiction of the circles/divisions of the department is not necessarily confined to one district. It can extend to more than one district. The circles/divisions, which have jurisdiction over the Bathinda District, are briefly mentioned below :
(i) Superintending Engineer, Canal Lining Circle, Canal Circle, Bathinda. – This circle was opened on 23 March 1976 at Chandigarh. Its headquarters were shifted to Bathinda on 30 September 1977. This circle has three divisions, viz. Canal Lining Division No. 1, Bathinda; Canal Lining Division, Rampura Phul; Canal Lining Division No. II, Bathinda.
The Superintending Engineer is under the administrative control of the Chief Engineer Lining, Irrigation Works, Punjab, Chandigarh. He is assisted by 1 Assistant Design Engineer, 1 Superintendent, 1 Circle Head Draftsman, 4 Draftsman, 1 Superintendent Grade II, 3 Accounts Clerks, 1 Stenographer, 2 Sub Divisional Clerks, 11 Clerks and 2 Tracers, besides miscellaneous Class IV staff.
In addition to above, 1 Sub Divisional Officer, 1 Assistant Research Officer, 4 Research Assistants, 4 Slit Analysts and 4 Laboratory Attendants from the quality control and research side assist the Superintending Engineer.
The main function of this circle is to provide lining to channels for irrigation, with a view to conserving water from seepage, etc.
Executive Engineer, Canal Lining Division, Rampura Phul. – This division was set up on 27 June 1980. The Executive Engineer is assisted by 1 Superintendent Grade II, 1 Divisional Accountant, 2 Accounts Clerks, 1 Steno-typist, 8 Clerks, 1 Head Draftsman, 2 Draftsmen, 2 Tracers, besides miscellaneous Class IV staff.
This division has five subdivisions, viz. Canal Lining Subdivision No. V, Rampura; Canal Lining Subdivision No. VII, Rampura; Canal Lining Subdivision No. VIII, Barnala , district Sangrur and Canal Lining Subdivision No. XVI. Bathinda. Each of these subdivisions is under the charge of a Sub Divisional Engineer, who is assisted in each subdivision by 5 Junior Engineers, 1 Sub Divisional Clerk, 1 Clerk, besides miscellaneous Class IV staff.
Executive Engineer, Canal Lining Division No. 1, Bathinda. – This division was set up in December 1980. The Executive Engineer is assisted by 1 Superintendent Grade II, 1 Divisional Accountant, 2 Accounts Clerks, 1 Steno-typist, 8 Clerks, 1 Head Draftsman, 2 Draftsmen, 2 Tracers, besides miscellaneous Class IV staff.
There are four subdivision under the control of this division, viz. Canal Lining Subdivision No. II , Bathinda; Canal Lining Subdivision No. X, Bathinda; Canal Lining Subdivision No. XI, Bathinda; Canal Lining Subdivision No. XII, Bathinda. Each of these subdivisions is under the charge of a Sub Divisional Engineer, who is assisted by 5 Junior Engineers, 1 Sub Divisional Clerk , 1 Clerk, besides miscellaneous Class IV staff.
Executive Engineer, Canal Lining Division No. 1I, Bathinda. – This division was set up on 1 September 1980. This Executive Engineer is assisted by 1 Superintendent Grade II, 1 Divisional Accountant, 2 Accounts Clerks, 1 Steno-typist, 8 Clerks, 1 Head Draftsman, 2 Draftsmen, 2 Tracers, 1 Ziledar, 1 Assessment Clerk, 1 Assistant Revenue Clerk, 5 Irrigation Booking Clerks, besides miscellaneous Class IV staff.
This division has four subdivisions, viz. Canal Lining Subdivision No. XIII, Bathinda; Canal Lining Subdivision No. XIV, Bathinda; Canal Lining Subdivision No. XV, Bathinda; and Canal Lining Subdivision No. IV, Bathinda. Each of these subdivisions is under the charge of a Sub Divisional Engineer. Each Sub Divisional Engineer is assisted by 5 Junior Engineers, 1 Sub Divisional Clerk, 1 Clerk, besides miscellaneous Class IV staff.
(ii) Superintending Engineer, Bathinda Circle, PWD, B&R, Bathinda - This circle was opened in February 1972. It deals with the construction/maintenance of State roads/district roads, etc. and bridges of Bathinda, Faridkot and Firozpur districts. This circle has three divisions, out of which one division, viz. State Highway Division, PWD (Roads), Bathinda, falls in the Bathinda District.
This circle is headed by a Superintending Engineer, who is under the administrative control of the Chief Engineer (Plan Roads), PWD, B&R, Patiala. He is assisted by 1 Circle Superintendent, 1 Circle Head Draftsman, 2 Draftsmen, 1 Superintendent Grade II, 6 Assistant, 1 Stenographer, 2 Junior Draftsmen, 11 Clerks, besides miscellaneous Class IV staff.
State Highway Division, PWD (Roads), Bathinda. – This division is headed by an Executive Engineer. He is assisted by 1 Superintendent Grade II, 1 Divisional Accountant, 2 Assistants, 1 Steno-typist, 8 Clerks, 1 Head Draftsman, 2 Draftsmen, 2 Junior Draftsmen, 1 Driver, besides miscellaneous Class IV staff. The division deals with roads of Bathinda District.
This division has three subdivisions, viz. Road and Bridges Subdivision No. II, PWD, B&R, Bathinda, Road and Bridges Subdivision, PWD, B&R, No. I, Bathinda, Roads and Bridges Subdivision, Mansa. Each of these subdivisions is under the charge of a Sub Divisional Engineer, who is assisted by 4 Junior Engineers, 1 Sub Divisional Clerk, 1 Clerk, besides Class IV staff.
(iii) Executive Engineer, Construction Division, P W D, B&R, Bathinda. – This division is headed by an Executive Engineer, who functions under the administrative control of the Superintending Engineer, Central Works Circle, PWD, B&R, Firozpur. The Executive Engineer is assisted by 1 Superintendent, 1Head Draftsman, 1 Divisional Accountant, 2 draftsmen, 1 Junior Draftsman, 1 Research Assistant, 1 steno-typist , 8 Clerks, besides miscellaneous Class IV staff.
This division has two subdivisions, viz. Central Works Subdivision No. I, PWD (B&R), Bathinda and Central Works Subdivision No. II, PWD (B&R), Bathinda. Each of these subdivisions is under the charge of a Sub Divisional Engineer. Each Sub Divisional Engineer is assisted by 4 Junior Engineers, 1 Sub Divisional Clerk, 1 Assistant Sub Divisional Clerk and miscellaneous Class IV staff.
The main functions of this division are to construct National Highways/ strategic roads, bridges and maintain them.
(iv) Superintending Engineer, Public Health, Rural Water Supply (RWS), Circle, Bathinda. – This circle has been functioning since 1970 and is headed by a Superintending Engineer. This circle has four divisions viz. Public Health (RWS) Division No. 1, Bathinda; Public Health (RWS) Division No. II, Bathinda; Public Health (RWS) Division No. III, Bathinda; and Public Health (RWS) Division, Mansa.
The Superintending Engineer is under the administrative control of the Chief Engineer, PWD, Public Health (RWS), Patiala. He is assisted by 1 Superintendent Grade II, 1 Superintendent Grade IV, 1 Circle Head Draftsman, 2 Draftsmen, 1 Stenographer, 2 Tracers, 5 Assistants, 12 Clerks and miscellaneous Class IV staff.
The main functions of this circle are to execute rural water supply schemes in the area under its jurisdiction.
Executive Engineer, Public Health (RWS) Division No. I, Bathinda. – This division was opened in 1959. The Executive Engineer is in charge of the division. He is assisted by 1 Superintendent Grade III, 1 Divisional Accountant, 1 Head Draftsman, 2 Assistant Draftsmen, 2 Tracers, 3 Accounts Clerks/Assistants, 1 Steno-typist, 6 Clerks and miscellaneous Class IV staff.
There are four subdivisions under the control of this division, viz. Public Health (RWS) Subdivision No. I, Bathinda; Public Health (RWS) Subdivision No. II, Bathinda; Public Health (RWS) Subdivision No. III, Bathinda; and Public Health (RWS) Subdivision No. IV, Bathinda. Each of these subdivisions is under the charge of a Sub Divisional Engineer, who is assisted in each subdivision by 4 Junior Engineers, 1 Sub Divisional Clerk, 1 Clerk and Class IV staff.
Executive Engineer, Public Health (RWS) Division No. II, Bathinda. – Opened in 1971, this division is headed by an Executive Engineer. He is assisted by 1 Superintendent Grade III, 1 Divisional Accountant, 1 Head Draftsman, 2 Assistant Draftsmen, 2 Tracers, 3 Accounts Clerks/Assistants, 1 Steno-typist, 6 Clerks and miscellaneous Class IV staff.
This division has four subdivisions, viz. Public Health (PWS) Subdivision No. V, Bathinda; Public Health (RWS) Subdivision Rampura Phul; Public Health (RWS) Subdivision, Sardulgarh. Each of these subdivisions is under the charge of a Sub Divisional Engineer, who is assisted by 4 Junior Engineers, 1 Sub Divisional Clerk, 1 Clerk and miscellaneous Class IV staff.
Executive Engineer, Public Health (RWS) Division No. III, Bathinda. – This division was opened in December 1984. It is headed by an Executive Engineer, who is assisted by 1 Superintendent, 1 Divisional Accountant, 1 Head Draftsman, 2 Assistant Draftsmen, 2 Tracers, 3 Accounts Clerks/Assistants, 1 Steno-typist, 6 Clerks and miscellaneous Class IV staff.
This division has four subdivisions, viz. Public Health (RWS) Subdivision No. II, Bathinda; Public Health (RWS) Subdivision No. VI, Bathinda; Public Health (RWS) Subdivision No. VII, Bathinda; and Public Health (RWS) Subdivision, Talwandi Sabo. Each of these subdivisions is under the charge of a Sub Divisional Engineer, who is assisted by 4 Sectional Officers, 1 Senior Clerk, 1 Clerk and miscellaneous Class IV staff.
(v) Sub Divisional Engineer, Drainage, Subdivision (Canal Colony), Bathinda. – This subdivision was set up on 1 October 1977. It is headed by a Sub Divisional Engineer, who functions under the administrative control of the Executive Engineer, Drainage Construction Division, Firozpur. He is assisted by 7 Junior Engineers, 2 Clerks, besides Class IV staff.
The functions of this subdivision are reconditioning/desilting of existing drains and construction of new drains.
Executive Engineer, Public Health (RWS) Division, Mansa. – This division was opened in 1976 and is headed by an Executive Engineer. He is assisted by 1 Superintendent Grade II, 1 Divisional Accountant, 1 Head Draftsman, 2 Assistant Draftsmen, 2 Tracers, 3 Accounts Clerks/Assistants, 1 Steno-typist, 6 Clerks, besides miscellaneous Class IV staff.
The subdivisions functioning under it, are; Public Health (RWS) Subdivision No. 1, Mansa; Public health (RWS) Subdivision No. II, Mansa; Public health (RWS) Subdivision No. I, Budhlada; and Public health (RWS) Subdivision No. II, Budhlada. Each of these subdivisions is under the charge of a Sub Divisional Engineer, who is assisted in each subdivision by 4 Junior Engineers, 1 Sub Divisional Clerk, 1 Clerk, besides miscellaneous Class IV staff.
(vi) Executive Engineer, Bathinda Canal Division, Bathinda. – This division is headed by an Executive Engineer, who functions under the administrative control of the Superintending Engineer, Canal Circle, Ludhiana. The Executive Engineer is assisted by 1 Superintendent Grade II, 1 divisional Accountant, 1 Head Draftsman, 1 Junior Draftsman, 1 Draftsman, 1 Deputy Collector, 1 Deputy Collector Revenue, 3 Assistants and 3 Senior Clerks, 1 Steno-typist, 8 Clerks, besides miscellaneous Class IV staff.
This division has four subdivisions, viz. Raikot Canal Subdivision, Sehna Canal Subdivision, Bathinda Canal Subdivision and Trona Canal Subdivision. Each of these subdivisions is under the charge of a Subdivisional Engineer. Each Sub Divisional Engineer is assisted by 4 Junior Engineers, 1 Sub Divisional Clerk, 1 Sub Divisional Reader, 2 Ziledars, 2 Assistant Revenue Clerks, 7 Dak Runners, besides miscellaneous Class III and IV staff.
The main functions of this division are maintenance of channels of Bathinda Branch system and supply of water to Guru Nanak Dev Thermal Plant, M.E.S., Fertilizers Plant, etc.
(vii) Executive Engineer, Mansa Division, I.B. at Jawaharke. – This division has been functioning since the opening of Sirhind Canal system, it is headed by an Executive Engineer, who is assisted by 1 Collector, 1 Superintendent, 1 Divisional Accountant, 2 Assistants, 1 Head Draftsman, 1 Draftsman, 1 Tracer, besides ministerial and Class IV staff.
This division has three subdivisions, viz. Bhaini Subdivision I.B., Jawaharke, Talwandi Subdivision, I.B., Talwandi Sabo and Jhunir Subdivision, I.V., Jhunir, Each of these subdivisions is under the charge of a Sub Divisional Engineer, who is assisted by 4 Junior Engineers, 2 to 3 Ziledars, 1 Sub Divisional Clerk, 2 to 3 Clerks and miscellaneous Class IV staff.
This department is represented by the District Public Relations Officer, Bathinda. He is assisted by 4 Accountants/Information Centre Assistants, 2 Assistant Public Relations Officers, 3 Tahsil Publicity Organizers, 1 Dama Inspector, 1 Stage Master, 1 Harmonium Master, 1 Table Master, 5 Actors, 2 Cinema Operators and other ministerial/technical Class III and Class IV staff. Besides, there is a sub-office at Mansa which was established in 1956. It is manned by an Assistant Public Relations Officer, one Tahsil Publicity Officer and one Information Centre Assistant.
The main functions of the District Public relations Officer are to maintain liaison between government and public, to publicize government policies and programmes through press and mass media of plays, cinema shows, and to convey to the government the reactions of the public. Besides, he handles the distribution of government publicity literature and press publicity for the coverage and publication of government news. He also organizes public meetings, kavi darbars (poetic symposia), exhibitions and variety programmes. Two Information Centres, one each at Bathinda and Mansa are also functioning under him.
The department is represented in the district by the Deputy Registrar, Co-operative Societies, Bathinda, whose office was established on 5 November 1973. He is under the control of the Registrar, Co-operative Societies, Punjab, Chandigarh. Two Assistant Registrars, one posted at Bathinda and the other at Mansa, work under his control. The jurisdiction of the Assistant Registrar, Bathinda extends to Rampura Phul and Bathinda tahsils, whereas the jurisdiction of Assistant Registrar, Mansa extends to Mansa and Talwandi Sabo tahsils in the districts.
The office of the Assistant Registrar, Co-operative Societies, Bathinda was established in 1954. He is assisted by 37 Inspectors and 44 Sub-Inspectors, 1 Superintendent, 1 Accountant, 1 Statistical Assistant, besides ministerial and Class IV staff.
The office of the Assistant Registrar, Co-operative Societies, Mansa was established in 1973. He is assisted by 31 Inspectors, 35 Sub-Inspectors, 1 Superintendent, 1 Statistical Assistant, besides ministerial and Class IV staff.
The main functions of the department are to ensure proper growth and development of the co-operative movement, registration of co-operative societies and to exercise supervision over them; and to ensure the audit of the accounts of these societies. Besides, loans are advanced to the members of the co-operative societies for stepping up agricultural production. Loans are also advanced in the form of fertilizers, seeds and agricultural implements.