Types of Courts in INDIA

how many types of court in india

The present article deals with the hierarchy of the court in India and what type of court usually found in our country’s judicial system. The Judicial system of law in India is a common law in which customs, precedents, and legislation all have justiciability in the court of law. This type of system, in fact, is a legacy of the British legal system constituted by the then colonial powers and the princely states since the mid-19th century and has partly retained features of practices from the ancient and medieval times.

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India is one of the largest countries in the world with an enormous (2nd largest in the world) population and it has a very strong legal system that is ingrained with the structure of the various courts and the whole judicial system is arranged in hierarchical order.

There are four types of courts in India, i.e., Supreme Court, High Court, District Court, and subordinate courts. The seat of the Supreme court is in New Delhi. There are 25 High courts in India as of now, the newest one is Andhra Pradesh High Court. Each district of India has a District Court.

Read Also – How Judges of Indian Court are appointed?

Hierarchy of Courts in India

The main characteristics of the Indian judicial system are its hierarchical composition of courts. This type of system is capable enough to make limitation of court with its jurisdiction and power in terms of exercising it. The Supreme Court of India which is also considered as the Apex court of the nation is placed at the top of the hierarchical position followed by those 25 High Courts in the regional level and lower courts (District court or session court) at micro-level with the distribution of power and using or exercising of the same for the welfare of people of India.

  1. Supreme Court of India- 

The Supreme court of India is the apex court or the highest judicial body. It is also considered as the highest constitutional court having the power of Judicial review and the last and the final court of appeal (which made against any subordinate court like High Courts or any tribunals) under the Indian Constitution. It consisting basically all type of jurisdictional power like Original, Appellate and Advisory. The composition of the court is that it consists of 30 judges + a Chief Justice of India means a maximum of 31 judges can appoint at a time in the Court.

The actual duty of any court in India is to safeguard the Part III of the Indian Constitution, i.e., Fundamental Right of the Citizens also settling disputes between various government authorities along with central vs. state or state versus some other state of the country. As part of Advisory court, this court also hears the matter which sometimes referred by the President of India. As the apex court of the country, the law declared by the supreme court is binding in all over the Nation ( power is given under Article 142 ), and it is the duty of the president to enforce the decree of this court.

     2. High Courts-

The High Court is the supreme judicial body in a state, and According to the Article 214 of the constitution of India, each state of India must have a High Court, and It is also considered as the final interpreter of the constitution after the Supreme Court. High Court exercises its original civil and criminal jurisdiction only if the lower courts are not authorized by law to try such kind of matters for lack of pecuniary (monetary), territorial jurisdiction, and lastly, this court also has original jurisdiction too sometimes.

Each and every district is consist of a district court in a state or Union territories, The actual basis of constituting of district courts in India almost depends upon the discretion of the state governments or the government of union territories. The compositions are based on such factors as how much cases are register, or total population or actual scenario of the district, etc.  Depending upon those factors involved the state government may give the decision of numbers of District Courts to be in operation for the single district, or two districts may be a single district court.

  4. Subordinate Court-

Lastly, although each court is a subordinate court of someone except the Supreme Court. As High Court is the subordinate court of the Supreme court, District and session court are the subordinate courts of the high court, but in the conceptual term, a subordinate court basically denotes the village court known as Lok Adalat or Nyay Adalat which means the service of justice is now extended to the villagers of India. The village people may not come to all away from their village to nearby district city. This system becomes part of the judicial system started from Madras Village Courts act 1888 for resolving disputes at the micro-level.

Read Also – Salary of Judges In India

How many types of courts are there in India, and what is the hierarchy of the Indian judicial system?

India has four main types of courts in its hierarchical judicial system – the Supreme Court (apex court), High Courts (state-level supreme judicial bodies), District Courts (at the district level), and Subordinate Courts (including village courts). The Supreme Court is the highest constitutional court with powers of judicial review and final appeal.


So these are basic types of courts exists in the country in hierarchical form. There are so many other courts, or tribunals were also there, but they come under the ambit of the courts, which already mentioned above. Like in District Court, there is a session court, mediation courts, consumer forum, etc. were there. For knowing more about the types of the district court or its composition or how does it work, read out the next article which discussed in detail about the District Court. Along with its type and structure.

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by Ketan Srivastava
  1. Respected sir,
    I am writing one book on indian constitution and I have to compile some matter regarding indian judicary system. Can I Use the contant of your website in my book ?

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