Understanding Hierarchy of Courts in India
Their are three pillars of Indian Government, namely Legislature, Judiciary and Executive. Whereas, the function of Legislature and Executive is to make laws for the citizens and execution of laws made by Legislature respectively. Judiciary’s role is to interpret the statutes laid down by the Legislature. India is one of the biggest and highly populated country has a very strong judicial system. The efficient working of a judiciary depends upon systemised hierarchy and the judicial system to be followed by the citizens. Each court has its own jurisdiction in respect of subject and area they cover. Such a system provides livelihood to a large number of professional attached to it and serves the nation with justice.
Because of the population, India is rich in diversity and judiciary has always aimed for the highest satisfaction of the aggrieved. The system is planned as per the requirement of the citizens and location of courts as per the status to serve community efficiently. The constitution of India is the backbone of the Judicial system. Hence, different court has different powers and jurisdiction. Generally, a matter of dispute escalates from the lower level of courts and move to the upper levels. At dissatisfaction of the party, the judgement can be challenged in higher court.
Hierarchy of courts in india
Supreme Court or Apex Court The Constitution of India has established different courts at the different level to meet the needs of justice of the citizens. It places the Supreme Court at top of the ladder, followed by the high court and district court respectively.
Established on January 28, 1950; and Part V, Chapter IV of Indian Constitution empowers the Supreme Court. Also, Supreme court is guardian of the Constitution of India. Moreover, it got the highest status as an Appellate court. Because Supreme Court accepts the appeal in those cases which have been adjudged by different high courts. Also, given that the parties to the suit were not satisfied with the decision of the court. In short, the Supreme Court’s our highest court of appeal.
Constitutional Regulations of Supreme Court
Article 124 to 147 defines the jurisdiction and composition of the Supreme Court. The Primary status of Supreme court is of Appellate Court. Also, the Supreme Court accepts the writ petition regarding such activities in which occurrence of a violation of the human right is suspected. Moreover, it also entertains the petition after happening of such events. Writ petitions are accepted by the virtue of Article 32. This Article confers right to remedies through writs.
Structure and Application of Supreme Court
Currently, the Supreme Court has 1 Chief Justice of India along with 30 others judge. The official language of the Supreme Court is the English language. Moreover, Supreme Court rules, 1966 governs the Supreme Court. Article 145 provides same rules for the Governance of the Supreme court. This Article has been passing through the process of upgrading according to Supreme Court Rules.
In Indian Judiciary, High Courts are the Second courts of Importance. In general, they are subordinate to Supreme court. However, they have entirely different jurisdiction and are of operation than the Supreme Court. The work of High court primarily consists of appeal from lower court and writ petitions conferred by the virtue of Article 226. Writ Jurisdiction is also the Original Jurisdiction of High Court.
Constitutional Validity of High Court
Article 141 of the Indian Constitution guides High Court. According to Article 141, the Supreme Court’s judgments or precedent will gover other lower courts in India. Which means, the Rules and Orders laid down in Earlier Judgement by Supreme Court becomes the guiding post for all the other courts including High courts.
Part VI, Chapter V, Article 216 of Indian Constitution established High courts as Constitutional Courts. They are Principal courts of Civil Jurisdiction situated in each State and Union Territory. Currently, there are 24 high courts all over India.
Jurisdiction of High Courts
Originally, High Court’s jurisdiction extends to States, Group of States and Union Territories. Also, they have power to govern the jurisdiction of subordinate courts i.e District courts. The status of High Court is of principal civil court. However, High Court exercises their Original civil and criminal jurisdiction only when the subordinate court is not competent enough to try such matters. Such a situation will arise by the inability of the financial or territorial jurisdiction of lower courts. Only High Courts have jurisdiction to try certain types of cases. For example- Company Law cases.
Structure and Application
President of India with the consultation of CJI and Governor of the State appoints the Chief Judge of High court. Similarly, they appoint other judges of High Court. Moreover, The number of judges in High Court is mainly fixed by considering the higher number of either the average of the organization of main cases for the last years as per the average nationally calculated or the average rate of main cases disposed of per judge per year in the respective high court.
As the name suggests, district Court operates at the district level in our country. It is the sole discretion of the state’s or union territory’s (UT) govt to decide the number of courts to be in state or UT. Such decision is generally based upon Number of cases and the population distribution in a district. These courts exercise their power as administer of justice at the state level. However, the judgements of District courts are appealable in subsequent high courts.
Composition and Structure of the District Court
The highest court in a district is of district or session judge court. These are the principal court of original civil jurisdiction besides High court in a state. District court derives its jurisdiction from the code of Civil Procedure in the civil matter. And as a session court, it derives jurisdiction from the code of Criminal procedure in criminal matters. District judge and Session judge presides over the District court and Session courts respectively. The Governor of the state on the advice of Chief Justice of the State appoints them. Beside District judge, there is a number of Additional or Assistant District judge, depending on the workload. Also, they have equal jurisdiction as of District or Session Judge.
Jurisdiction of District Court
The district court exercise jurisdiction of both original side and appellate side. The District Court has principal civil and criminal jurisdiction. However, The civil courts derive their territorial and pecuniary jurisdiction from concerned state enactment on the subject matter. And, derives jurisdiction from the Code of criminal procedure in criminal matters. As per the code, a District or Session judge can award a convict, a maximum sentence of Capital Punishment.