Karnataka High Court
The history of the Karnataka High Court can be traced back to the year 1884 when the Chief Court of Mysore was created with three judges and was designated as the highest court of appeal, reference and revision in the State of Mysore, the earlier name of Karnataka. The court had District Courts, Sub-ordinate Judges' Courts and Munsiff Courts to assist it on civil cases and a Court of Sessions, District Magistrate and First, Second and Third Class Magistrates to assist it on criminal cases. In 1881, the office of the Chief Judge was created and the designated person had the utmost authority in the court. In 1930, it was renamed as the High Court of Mysore and the Chief Judge was given the new name of Chief Justice. In 1973, it got its present name of Karnataka High Court.
The High Court is located in a building called as Attara Kacheri (meaning Eighteen offices). It is a two-storied building of stone and brick, painted red, in the Graeco-Roman style of architecture - a structure of vast expanse with Ionic porticoes at the center and at the two ends of the elevation. The construction of the building was supervised by Rao Bahadur Arcot Narayanaswami Mudaliar and completed in the year 1868. It was earlier named as Old Public Offices and got its name of Attara Kacheri when the eighteen departments in the general and revenue secretariat of the Mysore Government were shifted here from their crowded premises in Tipu Sultan's summer palace. Tipu's Palace was only a temporary house for the offices. When Mr. Bowring took over as Commissioner after Cubbon, he found the building unsuitable, both because of its state of maintenance as well as its limited accommodation which no longer sufficed for the much increased work of administering the State. It was he who conceived and prepared the plans for a full-fledged secretariat building in the city area. The construction was taken up in 1864 and completed at a cost of Rs. 4.5 lakhs in 1868.
There was a proposal to demolish this building in the year 1982. However, a public interest litigation (PIL) was filed in order to save this old building from getting demolished. This was the first PIL to be filed in the Karnataka High court and the case was heard in the very building that was supposed to be demolished. In August 1984, the judges M. N. Venkatachaliah and Vittal Rao pronounced a judgement that stayed the demolition.
Present set up of judiciary in the State of Karnataka:
At present, recruitment and promotion to the Karnataka Judicial Service are governed under the Karnataka Judicial Service (Recruitment) Rules, 1983.
The Judicial Service in the State consists of :
(i) District & Sessions Judges (Supertime scale);
(ii) District Sessions Judges;
(iii) Civil Judges (Senior Division) and Chief Judicial Magistrates,
(iv) Civil Judges (Junior Divn.) and Judicial Magistrates of First Class.
Initial recruitment to the cadre of the Civil Judges (Junior Division) and Judicial Magistrates First Class, is made directly by the High Court from amongst the practicing advocates of not less than 4 years' experience at the Bar, or, from amongst the Senior Asst. Public Prosecutors or Asst. Public Prosecutors with 4 years' service inclusive of Bar experience. The selected candidates would be on probation for a period of two years. During this period they shall undergo such training as prescribed by the High Court.
There are 330 posts in the said cadre carrying a pay scale of Rs. 2375-75-2900-100-3700-125-4450.
The cadre of Civil Judges (Senior Division) and Chief Judicial Magistrates are purely promotional posts from the cadre of the Civil Judges (Junior Division) and Judicial Magistrates First Class, in the pay scale of Rs. 3825-125-4700-150-5300-175-5825. There are 167 posts in this cadre.
The cadre of District Judges is filed up by direct recruitment, as well as, by promotion from the cadre of Civil Judges (Senior Division) and Chief Judicial Magistrates in the ratio of 1:2. Direct recruitment is made from amongst the members of the Bar with 7 years practice. The District Judge starts with a basic pay of Rs. 4700/- in the scale of Rs. 4700-150-5300-175-6000-200-6400.
There are 115 posts of District Judges at present. The directly recruited Judges from the Bar will be on probation for a period of two years and they must undergo such training, as may be, prescribed by the High Court.
There are 20 posts of District & Sessions Judges (Supertime scale) in the pay scale of Rs. 5825-175-6000-200-6800. These posts are filled up by promotion on selection from the cadre of the District & Sessions Judges who have put in 5 years of service as such.
The presiding officers of the Labor Courts and Industrial Tribunals get a special pay of Rs. 100/- per month.
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