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Judiciary of India

Judiciary of India
  • The Judiciary of India is an independent body and is separate from the Legislative and Executive bodies of Indian Government. The Indian Judicial System is one of the oldest legal systems in the world today.
  • The Judicial System of India is stratified into various levels. At the apex is the Supreme Court, which is followed by High Courts at state level, District Courts at the district level and Lok Adalats at village level.
  • An important feature of the Indian Judicial System is that it’s a ‘common law system’. In a common law system, law is developed by the judges through their decisions, orders or judgments.
  • The Judiciary of India takes care of maintenance of law and order in country along with solving problems related with civil and criminal offences.
  • India has a Quasi-Federal Structure with 29 states further sub-divided into about 601 administrative Districts.
  • Indian judicial system has adopted features of other legal Systems in such a way that they don’t conflict with each other while benefitting the nation and the people.
Jurisdiction & Powers of the Courts
The Supreme Court
  • The Jurisdiction and powers of the Supreme Court are defined under Articles 124 to 147 of the Indian Constitution. The jurisdiction includes original, writ and appellate jurisdiction.
  • The Supreme Court of India is located only in the capital city of Delhi, without any benches in any part of the nation, and is presided by the Chief Justice of India.
  • It is an appellate court which takes up appeals against judgment of the High Courts of the states and territories. It also takes writ petitions in cases of serious human rights violations or any petition filed under Article 32 which is the right to constitutional remedies or if a case involves a serious issue that needs immediate resolution.
  • The Supreme Court comprises the Chief Justice and 30 other Judges.
The High Court
  • Every state has a High Court, which works under the direct guidance and supervision of the Supreme Court of India and is the uppermost court in that state. There are 24 High Courts at the State Level.
  • The High Courts are also termed as the courts of equity, and can be approached in writs not only for fundamental rights under the provisions of Article 32 of the Indian Constitution.
  • The High Courts are the principal civil courts of original jurisdiction in the state along with District Courts which subordinate to the High Courts.
  • However, primarily the work of most High Courts consists of Appeals from the lower courts and writ petitions in terms of Article 226 of the Indian Constitution.
  • Judges in a High Court are appointed by the President after consultation with the Chief Justice of India, Chief Justice of High Court and the Governor of the State.
The District Court
  • The District Courts of India are established by the State Government of India. The highest court in each district is District Court. These courts are under administrative control of the High Court of the State to which the district concerned belongs. The decisions of District court are subject to the appellate jurisdiction of the concerned High Court.
  • The District Court is presided over by one District Judge appointed by the State Government. In addition to the district judge there may be number of Additional District Judges and Assistant District Judges depending on the workload. The Additional District Judge and the court presided have equivalent jurisdiction as the District Judge and his district court.
  • The district judge is also called "Metropolitan session judge" when he is presiding over a district court in a city which is designated "Metropolitan area" by the state Government.
  • The district court has appellate jurisdiction over all subordinate courts situated in the district on both civil and criminal matters. Subordinate courts, on the civil side are, Junior Civil Judge Court, Principal Junior Civil Judge Court, Senior Civil Judge Court (also called sub-court).
  • Subordinate courts, on the criminal side are, Second Class Judicial Magistrate Court, First Class Judicial Magistrate Court, and Chief Judicial Magistrate Court. In addition 'Family Courts" are established to deal with matrimonial disputes alone. The Principal Judge of family court is equivalent to District Judge.