type of courts in India (Indian Judicial System) Wed - 07 July, 2022
The Indian Constitution gives force to the country's existing judicial system. Indian judicial system consists of The Supreme Court, The High Courts, and Subordinate Courts. Our judicial system as stated in the Constitution does rely upon the British law. The provisions which are adopted is not exactly the one but with certain changes as per the requirement of our own country.
Hierarchy of Courts:
A. SUPREME COURT
The Indian judicial system is organized in a hierarchical pattern. The Supreme Court of India is the highest court, then we have the High Court and after that all the District Courts. As per the statement mentioned under Article 124(1); 34 judges, including the Chief Justice of India, constitute the composition of this court.
Important Articles which talks about the provisions related to Supreme Court of India:
1. Qualification: Article 124(3) talks about the eligibility criteria to become the judge of the apex court.
- Must be citizen of Indiaand
- Must have at least five years a Judge of a High Court or of two or more such Courts in succession; or
- Must have at least ten years an advocate of a High Courtor of two or more such Courts in succession; or
- Must be, in the opinion of the President, a distinguished jurist.
2. Terms / Removal: Article 124(4): These are following conditions when the tenure of judges can be shortened: Resignation, Death, and Impeachment (during the tenure)
Age: He can serve until he attains the age of 65
3. Courts of record: This court will also be considered as court of record and has the authority to penalize for contempt itself, as stated quite explicitly in Article 129.Court of record refers to the hearings, judgments, or other actions of a court that are recorded for evidential, permanent, and testimonial purposes. When presented to another court, they are beyond dispute.
- Original: original jurisdiction can be exercised under Article 131 of the Indian constitution
- Appellate: Under the ambit of appellate jurisdiction it does cover Constitutional appeal, Civil & Criminal Appeals.
- Advisory Jurisdiction: The court do have the authority to advice on the matter related to national interest.
B. HIGH COURT
The President appoints the Chief Justice of each High Court of a state or states with the consultation of CJI & Governor of the state. The President appoints other judges in addition to the Chief Justice based on the requirement of that court. The appointment of judges to a High Court is not subject to any set restrictions. It might change occasionally.
Important Articles 217 (1) (2) (3) which talks about the provisions related to High Court:
1. Qualification of Judges
The following requirements must be met in order for someone to be appointed as a High Court judge:
- He must be an Indian national.
- He ought to have ten years of judicial experience. Or
- He must work as an advocate in the High Court for ten years.
2. Tenure / Removal of High Court Judges
- A High Court judge can serve in such capacity until the age of 62.
- A High Court judge resigns and submits a letter of resignation to the President.
- Any High Court judge may be removed by the President if he so chooses and on the advice of the legislature.
- A High Court judge is said to resign from his position when he is elevated to the SC or transferred to another HC.
3. Court of Record
Article 215 of the Constitution, all decisions and orders issued by the relevant High Court must be maintained on file for future reference. For the lower and inferior courts, these rulings serve as precedents.
4. Jurisdiction and Powers of High Court
- Original Jurisdiction
It denotes that the High Court has the authority to hear a case as an original court in the first instance. Due to financial constraints, many cases involving marriage, wills, contempt of court, the enforcement of fundamental rights, and other issues are filed directly with the HC.
- Writ Jurisdiction
High Courts have the authority to issue writs to enact both legal and fundamental rights.
- Appellate Jurisdiction
According to state hierarchy, the High Court is the highest court. Although it reports to the Supreme Court, it has control over all lower courts.
- Supervisory Jurisdiction
All courts and tribunals in a state that fall under its territorial authority must be under its supervision. The High Court's authority to exert unnecessary influence over lower courts is limited. However, the High Court must only occasionally and sparingly exercise its authority.
C. DISTRICT COURT
Every district has a district court, though occasionally more than one district will share a district court depending on the number of cases pending in the court. A district judge preside over each court at the district level. The local administration of justice is their primary goal. The High Court, the Supreme Court, has judicial and administrative authority over these subordinate courts. There are currently 672 district courts in India. Additionally, the District Court's decision falls under the High Court's appellate jurisdiction. The District Court’s comprises of:
1- District judges (for both criminal and civil cases)
2- Additional District magistrates.
3- Assistant District judges.
The structure of court at District level is further categorized as:
- District Court: It includes District Judge, Senior Civil Judge & Junior civil judge.
- Session Court: It includes Session Judge, Judicial Magistrate first class & Judicial Magistrate Second Class.
- Metropolitan Court: These kind of courts are established in metropolitan places where the population is more than 10 lakhs. For Civil matter it includes City Civil Courts & Courts of Smaller Causes. For Criminal matter it includes Session Judge, Chief Metropolitan Judge & Metropolitan Magistrate First Class.
2. NEED OF JUDICIAL INDEPENDENCE
There will always be conflicts between individuals, between groups, and between individuals or groups and the government in any society. According to the rule of law, all such conflicts must be resolved by an impartial tribunal. All people, regardless of wealth, gender, caste, or sexual orientation, are supposedly subject to the same laws under this concept of the rule of law. The prime responsibility of judiciary is to protect the rule of law and to ensure its supremacy. It safeguards individual privileges, resolves clashes in line with the law, and makes sure that democracy does not give way to dictatorship by one person or group. It needs to be independent of executive and legislative body.
Indian Judiciary system is independent one and have their own way of working. The constitution of India does explains all the fundamentals regarding the court structure, composition, powers & functions. Judiciary is the one who has the power to interpret rules and regulations as mentioned under different Laws. It is important because it delivers the observation as per the changing circumstances. Being a citizen of India we have to utmost belief in our judiciary system which helps us to live in an environment free from any kind of crimes an offences.