Appointment of Commissioner by Court: A Comprehensive Analysis

November 29, 2023
A statue of Lady Justice

The appointment of a commissioner by a court under the Civil Procedure Code (CPC) holds significant importance in the administration of justice, particularly in cases where intricate investigations, assessments, or other specialized tasks are required. Section 75 to Section 78 of the CPC specifically outline the provisions governing the appointment, role, and powers of a commissioner by the court.

Understanding the Concept of Commissioner:

In legal terms, a commissioner is an individual appointed by the court to perform certain functions on its behalf. This role extends to a variety of tasks, such as taking evidence, conducting local investigations, making inquiries, or executing specific orders of the court.

Circumstances Necessitating Commissioner’s Appointment:

Complex Investigations: In cases involving complex factual inquiries or situations demanding specialized knowledge, the court may appoint a commissioner to thoroughly investigate and report back with findings.

Property Surveys and Assessments: Property disputes often require a commissioner to conduct surveys, valuations, or assessments of the property in question to assist the court in making informed decisions.

Execution of Decrees: Sometimes, the court mandates the execution of its decrees or orders through a commissioner. This involves tasks like sale, partition, or distribution of properties as directed by the court.

Evidence Collection: When evidence needs to be collected from witnesses or through other means, a commissioner may be appointed to facilitate this process.

Provisions and Procedure:

Application for Appointment: The process typically begins with an application made to the court seeking the appointment of a commissioner. The application must specify the reasons for seeking such an appointment and the scope of work expected from the commissioner.

Court’s Discretion: The decision to appoint a commissioner rests within the discretion of the court. The court considers the nature of the case, the complexity of the matter, and the necessity of such an appointment before making a decision.

Scope of Commissioner’s Authority: Once appointed, the commissioner receives specific instructions from the court regarding the scope and extent of their authority. This includes the tasks to be performed, the timelines for completion, and the reporting mechanism back to the court.

Powers of the Commissioner: Commissioners are vested with certain powers akin to those of the court. They can administer oaths, examine witnesses, gather evidence, and take necessary steps within the bounds of their appointment.

Report Submission: Upon completion of the assigned tasks, the commissioner submits a detailed report to the court. This report contains their findings, observations, and any other relevant information pertinent to the case.

Objections and Consideration: Parties involved in the case have the opportunity to raise objections to the commissioner’s report. The court considers these objections before arriving at a decision based on the commissioner’s findings.


The appointment of a commissioner by a court under the CPC serves as a vital mechanism to ensure fair, thorough, and efficient administration of justice. It allows for in-depth investigations, specialized assessments, and the collection of evidence, which are often crucial in complex legal proceedings. The commissioner acts as an extension of the court, executing tasks entrusted to them with diligence and impartiality. However, it’s imperative to note that the commissioner’s role is subject to the court’s oversight, ensuring adherence to legal procedures and the principles of justice.

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