Here Is The Brief Explanation On Hierarchy of Courts in India

hierarchy of courts in india


There are three pillars of the 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 the systemized hierarchy and the judicial system to be followed by the citizens. Each court has its own jurisdiction with respect to the subject and area they cover. Such a system provides a livelihood to a large number of professionals attached to it and serves the nation with justice.

Because of the population, India is rich in diversity and the 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 the community efficiently. The constitution of India is the backbone of the Judicial system. Hence, a 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 the dissatisfaction of the party, the judgment can be challenged in a higher court.

Hierarchy of courts in India

Supreme Court or Apex Court The Constitution of India has established different courts at a 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 the Indian Constitution empowers the Supreme Court. Also, the Supreme court is the guardian of the Constitution of India. Moreover, it got the highest status as an Appellate court. Because the 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 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 the Supreme court is of Appellate Court. Also, the Supreme Court accepts the writ petition regarding such activities in which the 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 the 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 the same rules for the Governance of the Supreme court. This Article has been passing through the process of upgrading according to Supreme Court Rules.

High Courts

In the Indian Judiciary, High Courts are the Second courts of Importance. In general, they are subordinate to the Supreme court. However, they have entirely different jurisdictions 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 the 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 the 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, groups of States and Union Territories.  Also, they have the power to govern the jurisdiction of subordinate courts i.e District courts. The status of the High Court is of the principal civil court. However, the High Court exercises its 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 the 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.

District Court

As the name suggests, the 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 a decision is generally based upon the 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 judgments 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 preside 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 judges, depending on the workload. Also, they have equal jurisdiction as of District or Session Judge.

  • Jurisdiction of District Court

The district court exercises the jurisdiction of both the original side and the 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.

What is the hierarchy of courts in India?

The hierarchy of courts in India comprises the Supreme Court (apex court), High Courts (second in importance), and District Courts (at the district level). The Supreme Court, established in 1950, is the highest appellate court with the power of judicial review. High Courts, governed by Article 141, serve as constitutional courts in states and union territories. District Courts, presided over by District or Session Judges, operate at the district level and exercise both original and appellate jurisdiction in civil and criminal matters.

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by kunal kashyap

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