Judiciary is that branch of government which interprets law, settles disputes
and administers justice. Laws are like dead letters without courts to explain
and expound their meaning. Judiciary is the watchdog of democracy, guardian of
the constitution as well as champion of liberty.
In India the structure of
judiciary is like a pyramid. The Supreme Court is at the apex, below it, there
are High Courts, the next step in the hierarchy are the district courts and at
the bottom of the judicial pyramid are the subordinate courts. In India, the
courts from top to bottom deal with the disputes arising under the laws enacted
by the Union Parliament as well as by state legislatures.
Functions Of The Judiciary
- Administration of Justice: To apply the law to specific cases or
disputes. When it brought before the courts and renders the appropriate
awards and judgment. Creation of judge made law When the might appear in
conflict under the given circumstances, judges decided appropriate law on
the basis of their wisdom and common sense. Under the doctrine of the ‘stare decisis' the previous
decision of judges are regarded as binding on forthcoming similar cases.
- Guardian of the Constitution: The conflicts of jurisdiction between the
central government and the state governments or between the legislature and
the executive are decided by the court. Any law or executive order which
violates any provision of the constitution is declared unconstitutional or
null and void by the judiciary. For e.g. Judicial review guaranteeing the
fundamental rights of individuals and ensuring balance between the union and
the units in a federal state.
- Protector of Fundamental Rights: The judiciary protects the rights of
people against the encroachment of the government or any other association
or individual. The superior courts enforce the fundamental rights of the
people through appropriate writs in the nature of Habeas Corpus, Mandamus,
Certiorari, Quo-Warranto etc.
- Advisory Function: In India the Supreme Court, the highest court of law,
may give advisory opinion on constitutional questions. Such advice is given
even in the absence of an actual dispute, when the chief executive so
- Supervisory Function: Higher courts, in most cases, are assigned the
task of supervising the work of the lower courts. The High Courts supervise
the work of the subordinate courts in India.
- Non-judicial or Administrative Functions: Miscellaneous functions like
the courts may grant certain licenses, administer the estates of deceased
persons and appoint receivers. They register marriages; appoint guardians of
minor children and lunatics. In some states, they are authorized to confer
citizenship on aliens. Superior courts are given the power to exercise
control over their officers and servants.
Appointment of the Chief Justice of India: There is no procedure laid down for
the appointment of the Chief Justice of India. A convention was followed to
appoint the senior most judge as the Chief Justice until it was broken by Mrs.
Indira Gandhi who appointed justice A. N. Ray as the chief justice superseding
three senior justices of the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court has laid down in a
judgment that only the senior most judge of the Supreme Court is eligible to
become the Chief Justice. At present the convention of appointing the senior
most judge as the chief justice prevails.
Appointment of Judges (Art. 124): Every judge of the Supreme Court shall be
appointed by the President after consultation with such judges of the Supreme
Court and of the High Court as the President may deem necessary. In case of the
appointment of a judge other than the chief justice, the chief justice of India
shall always be consulted. The consultation process has been made systematic,
elaborate and effective by the Supreme Court in various cases known as Supreme
Court Judges case.
The Supreme Court has held that the Chief Justice must
consult the four senior most judges of the Supreme Court and if two judges give
an adverse opinion, the Chief Justice should not send the recommendation to the
government. Thus, the word consultation with the judiciary while appointing the
Supreme Court judges has been practically converted into concurrence.
Qualification for appointment as a Judge (Art. 124):
No person shall be
qualified for appointment as a judge of the Supreme Court unless he is:
- a citizen of India; and
- has been for at least 5 year a judge of a High Court; or
- has been for at least 10 years an advocate of High Court; or
- is in the opinion of the President, a distinguished jurisdictions (a
highly qualified academia / law professor)
A judge of the Supreme Court holds office until he attains the age of 65
years. No minimum age for appointment is fixed. A judge may at any time resign
his office by writing addressed to the President. He may be removed by the
President by an order issued after being presented an address by each House of
Parliament passed by special (also known as double majority) majority.
Such removal can be on the ground of:
- proved misbehaviour or
Salary of Supreme Court Judges:
Chief Justice -1 lakh and Other Judges -90,000
(From consolidated fund of India).
Appointment of acting Chief Justice (Art. 126): In case of absence of the Chief
Justice of the Supreme Court by any reason, the President may appoint a judge of
the Supreme Court as the acting Chief Justice during such absence.
Ad-hoc Judges (Art. 127):
The Chief Justice with the previous consent of the
President can ask a High Court judge after consulting the chief justice of that
High Court to attend at the sittings of the Supreme Court as an ad hoc judge.
The ad hoc judge will have all the jurisdiction, powers and privileges of a
judge of the Supreme Court.
Attendance of retired Judges (Art. 128): The chief justice may with the prior
consent of the President request a retired judge of the Supreme Court or a High
Court who is qualified to be judge of the Supreme Court to and act as a judge of
the Supreme Court. The President may determine his allowances. He shall have all
the jurisdiction, powers and privileges of the Supreme Court. But he shall not
be deemed to be a judge of the Supreme Court.
Removal of Supreme Court judges Art. 124(4): The manner of removal of a Supreme
Court judge which is an impeachment like process.
A judge may be removed from his office on the ground of:
- misbehavior or
The removal involves the following steps: A motion for presenting an address to
the President praying for the removal of a judge must be signed by at least 100
members of the Lok Sabha (if notice is given in the Lok Sabha). The Chairman or
the Speaker (as the case may be) may consult such persons as he thinks fit and
consider such material as may be available and may admit the motion or refuse to
admit it. If the motion is admitted, a committee consisting of 3 persons will be
constituted of whom:
- One shall be from among the Chief Justice and judges of the Supreme
- One shall be from among the Chief Justice and the judges of the High
- One shall be a person who is a distinguished jurist.
If the committee arrives at a finding that the judge is guilty of misbehaviour
or suffers from an incapacity, then the motion for removal of the judge together
with the report of the committee will be taken up for consideration in the House
in which it is pending. The motion must be passed by each House by a majority of
the total membership of that House and by a majority of not less than two-third
of the members of that House present and voting. After being so passed, the
address is presented to the President.
The President passes an order removing the judge. By order of President, after
an address in each house of parliament, supported by a majority of total
membership of the house & passed by a resolution supported by not less than
2/3rd of the members present & voting.
A motion can be preferred before the house if signed by 100 members.
A motion can be preferred before the house if signed by 50 members.
Only on grounds of proven misbehavior or incapacity. Only after giving 14 days
prior notice to said Judge against whom the motion is passed. A 3 persons
judicial committee is formed headed by serving judge of SC and 2 others from (SC
or HC or eminent jurists). Report of same must be passed by both the houses &
Acting CJ & Ad Hoc Judges
Appointment of Acting CJ:
By President if CJ is ill or incapable to serve.
Appointment of Ad-hoc Judges:
IF there is lack of quorum of Judges of SC to hold
or continue any session in court, CJ of India with previous consent of President
& after consultation with CJ of HC concerned, request in writing the attendance
of judges to sit in SC as ad-hoc judges for certain period (Judges shall be
qualified to be judges of SC).
Retired judges of SC can sit in SC as Ad-hoc Judges on request of CJ after
consent of President, provided they fulfill the criteria of SC.
Criminal proceedings initiation against a judge of SC or HC requires CJs
consent. After retirement, a Judge of SC is prohibited from practising or acting
as a judge in any court.
Independence of Supreme Court:
The Constitution secures the independence of the
judges of the Supreme Court by the following provisions:
- The appointments are made by the President in consultation with the
Chief Justice of India.
- The judges are to be removed by Parliament through a tough impeachment
process. They cannot be removed by the executive.
- Salaries, allowances and pensions of Supreme Court judges are charged on
the Consolidated Fund of India (CFI) and shall not be varied to their
- The conduct of a judge cannot be discussed in the parliament or any
legislature (Art.121 and 211).
- A retired judge of the Supreme Court is prohibited from pleading or
acting in any Court or authority in India.
Supreme Court to be a court record
The Supreme Court is a Court of record (Art. 129). It means that its record has
evidentiary value and cannot be questioned when produced in a Court. It also
means that it has the power to punish for contempt.
Jurisdiction And Power Of Supreme Court:
- Original Jurisdiction:
Original jurisdiction of SC is power to hear a
case for the 1st time unlike Appellate jurisdiction. Purely federal in
character i.e. have exclusive authority to decide any dispute involving a
question of law between, UOI (Union) v/s state or states – UOI & any state / states on one side
& state / states on the other – Two or more states. However, according to 7th
amendment, 1956, original jurisdiction of SC does not extends to disputes,
arising out of provisions of a treaty, agreement etc. which was executed before
26th Jan 1950 & is in operation ever since.
As per article 71, all disputes
regarding election of President & vice President are handled by SC Exclusion to
original jurisdiction of states (Art.131). In disputes between centre & state
due to disputes arising out of provisions of a treaty, agreement etc. which was
executed before 26th Jan 1950 & is in operation ever since. Parliament may by
law exclude SC's jurisdiction in disputes with respect to use, distribution &
control of water in any interstate river.
Exclusive jurisdiction in following cases:
- Between the government of India and one or more states.
- Between the government of India and one or more states on one side, and
one or more states on the other.
- Between two or more states. The dispute must involve any question of law
or fact on which the existence or extent of a legal right depends. A legal
right is one which is capable of enforcement by a Court law. It must be
based on a rule of positive law and not be a matter of political
- Writ Jurisdiction (Art.32): A type of original jurisdiction of Supreme
Jurisdiction of SC to enforce FRs:
Every individual has a right to move to SC
directly by appropriate proceedings for the enforcement of his FR, without
coming via HC, by means of writs.
- Appellate Jurisdiction:
Constitutional Matters (Art.132)
- Appeal lies to SC if HC certifies that the case involves a substantial
question of law as to interpret the constitution.
- If HC refuses to give certificate, SC may grant a special leave for
appeal if it is satisfied that case does involve such question.
Civil Matters: An appeal lies to SC from any judgement in civil proceeding of HC
if it certifies:
- that the case involves a substantial question of law of general
- that in opinion of HC, the said question needs to be decided by SC.
Thus, No appeal in case of civil matters lies to SC as a matter of right as
it lies only when HC issues a certificate on above 2 conditions
Criminal Matters (Art.134): Constitution provides the following provisions as to
appeal in criminal matters:
- If HC has sentenced someone to death
- If HC has withdrawn for trial before itself a case from the lower court
& in such trial, lower court has sentenced the accused to death
- If HC certifies that the case is fit for appeal to SC, even if HC on
appeal has reversed an order of acquittal of accused & sentenced him to
death or life imprisonment or for period not less than 10 years (Appellate
Jurisdiction is not Applicable in cases of Court Martial) Grant of special
leave to appeal - Article 136 Articles 131, and 133 provide for appeals to
the Supreme Court from constitutional, civil and criminal matters
- Under Article 136, the Supreme Court has the power to grant special
leave to appeal from any judgement, decree, determination, sentence or order of a Court
or tribunal except military tribunals. In the earlier articles, the appeals flow
only from the determinations of a High Court.
- Article 136 puts no such restrictions. Under this article, the Supreme
Court may hear an appeal even from a subordinate court or tribunal. Even
where the law does not provide for any appeal, e.g., from Industrial
Tribunals, Election Tribunals, the Central Board of Revenue, the Central
Government, the Railway Rates Tribunal, etc.
Advisory Jurisdiction (Only consultative Role):
- President can refer to court either on a question of law or on a
question of fact provided it is of public importance. However, it is not
compulsory for court to give its advice.
- Further, President is empowered to refer to SC for its opinion regarding
disputes, arising out of provisions of a treaty, agreement etc. which was
executed before 26th Jan 1950 & is in operation ever since. In such case, it
is obligatory for the court to give its opinion to President (In this cases,
opinion expresses by SC is only advisory in nature & not binding on
- Revisory Jurisdiction
- Empowered to review any judgment or order made by it with a view to
remove any mistake or error that might have crept in judgment
- Even though, judgment have been passed by SC has a binding effect on all
the courts of India, but not on SC itself.
- Supreme Court as Court of Record:
- Records & judicial proceedings are of evidentiary value before any
court. Has power to determine its own jurisdiction.
Review of judgements for orders by the Supreme Court (Article 137)
Under this provision the Supreme Court has the power to review its own judgement.
Since there is no court above Supreme Court, its judgement can be reviewed by no
court but by itself.
A review will lie on the following grounds:
- Discovery of new and important matters or evidence;
- Mistake or error apparent on the face of the record; and
- Any other sufficient reason.
Transfer of certain cases (Article 139 A):
In cases involving the same questions of law having general importance, the
Supreme Court may withdraw such cases and dispose them itself.
Advisory jurisdiction (Article 143):
• The power of consulting the Supreme Court by the President on a matter
affecting the nation is known as advisory jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.
• If the President at any time feels that a question of law or fact of public
importance has arisen which requires the opinion of the Supreme Court, he may
refer the matter to the Supreme Court to seek its advice.
• However, the President is not bound by the advice given by the Supreme Court
nor Supreme Court is bound to tender its advice always.
Transfer of Certain Cases to High Court (Article 228):
If the High Court is satisfied that a case pending in a subordinate Court
involves a substantial question of law as to the interpretation of the
Constitution, the High Court will withdraw the case and either determine the
question of law and return the case to the court from where it was withdrawn or
dispose of the case itself.
Contempt of court:
(Supreme Court has power to punish its own contempt).
- Civil: Willful disobedience to any judge or other processes of the
- Criminal: Publication of any matter or doing any act whatsoever which
scandalizes or tend to scandalize authority of the court or tend to
interfere course of any judicial proceedings.
- A review petition may be filed in SC after delivery of its judgment;
Court may review the case under its inherent power but on very restricted
- The petition 1st has to circulate to a bench of 3 senior most judges &
judges who passed the judgment complained of.
Others Powers of SC:
- Make rules regarding procedure & practice of court
- Can recommend removal of members of UPSC to the President
- Power to review the laws passed by the legislature & orders issued by
executives & to declare them ultra vires if they contravene any of the
provisions of the constitution
- It must be noted that SC cannot pronounce upon the constitutionality of
any law or executive's action on its own. It can only pronounce judgment, when said
law or executive action is actually challenged by someone
- The ultimate authority to interpret the constitution also rest with SC ,
which has been described as mouth piece of Indian constitution.
Appointment & Transfer Of Judges - By National Judicial Appointments
Composition of the NJAC – 6 members:
- Chief Justice of India (Chairperson, ex officio)
- Two other senior judges of the Supreme Court next to the Chief Justice
of India – ex officio.
- The Union Minister of Law and Justice, ex-officio
- Two eminent persons (one of which would be from the SC or ST or OBC or
Minority communities or a woman), for 3 yrs, not eligible for re-nomination, to
be nominated by a committee consisting of : Chief Justice of India – Prime
Minister of India – Leader of opposition in the Lok Sabha ( where there is no
such Leader of Opposition, then, the Leader of single largest Opposition Party
in Lok Sabha).
Functions of the Commission:
- Recommending persons to president for appointment as: – Chief Justice of
India, – Judges of the Supreme Court, – Chief Justices of High Courts and
other Judges of High Courts.
- Recommending transfer of Chief Justices and other Judges of High Courts
from one High Court to any other High Court.
- Ensuring that the persons recommended are of ability and integrity.
Pre- 1993- Law ministers selected judges in consultation with
judiciary. Post-1993- Judiciary assumed primacy by creating collegiums in
Supreme Court and high courts. NC judge is appointed after a collegium of judges
of that court suggests his/ her name, which then has to be cleared by a
three-member SC collegium. The 3 judges include the CJI and at least one SC
judge who has been associated with that particular HC in the past.
appointments cleared by 5-member collegium including CJI and 4 other senior most
judges. 2014 Proposed National judicial appointments commission seeks to make
selection process more transparent. To have 6 members, inducing law minister,
Cell, 2 SC judges and 2 eminent persons. At least 5 members will have to agree
on each judge's appointment. 2015 NJAC system is ruled over by SC, collegiums
system revised and back in practice.
The judiciary in the states consists of a High Court and a system of
subordinate courts below it. The High Court is at the apex of the judiciary in
the state. Article 214 provides for High Court for each state but there can be
common High Courts for two or more states established by Parliament under
Article 231. Under Article 230 the jurisdiction of High Court can be extended to
the Union Territories also. At present there are only 24 High Courts. A High
Court may also have one or more benches of itself within the area of its
Indian High court Act, 1861
- High courts established at Calcutta, Bombay & Madras.
- Constitution states that there shall be HC in every state, but,
parliament has the power to establish a common HC for 2 or more states.
- Strength of HC is flexible (Unlike SC – which can be increased by
- President may from time to time appoint judges of HC, keeping in view
amount of work before HC.
Appointment of High Court Judges:
Initiation of proposal for appointment of
judges of HC must invariably be made by CJ of that HC Appointment is made with
respect to recommendations of NJAC Composition of the NJAC – 6 members i.e.
Chief Justice of India (Chairperson, ex officio), Two other senior judges of the
Supreme Court next to the Chief Justice of India – ex officio, The Union
Minister of Law and Justice, ex-officio, Two eminent persons (one of which would
be from the SC or ST or OBC or Minority communities or a woman ), for 3 yrs, not
eligible for re-nomination, to be nominated by a committee consisting of:
Chief Justice of India-Prime Minister of India – Leader of opposition in the Lok Sabha ( where there is no such Leader of Opposition, then, the Leader of
single largest Opposition Party in Lok Sabha).
Functions of the Commission: Recommending persons to president for appointment
- Chief Justice of India.
- Judges of the Supreme Court.
- Chief Justices of High Courts and other Judges of High Courts.
Recommending transfer of Chief Justices and other Judges of High Courts from one
High Court to any other High Court. Ensuring that the persons recommended are of
ability and integrity.
Appointment of Acting CJ, Additional Judges & Ad Hoc Judges
High Court Appointment of acting CJ By President if CJ is ill or incapable to
serve. Appointment of additional judges Duly qualified persons as additional
judges , for a period of not extending 2 years (when President thinks that there
is temporary increase in business of HC) Ad hoc judges CJ of HC with prior
permission to President may request retired HC judges to sit & act as a judge of
HC for a temporary period Tenure of High Court Judges, 62 Years. Any dispute
regarding the age of judge of HC is decided by President in consultation with CJ
of India Removal of High Court Judges. HC judge can resign by writing to
President; or. By same removal process as in case of SC judges.
Salary of High Court Judges,CJ
- Rs. 90,000 and Others – Rs.80,000, From
consolidated fund of State.
before Governor (Unlike before President as in case of Supreme Court).
Qualification for High Court Judges
- Must be citizen of India.
- Must have held a judicial office in territory of India for atleast 10
- Must have been an advocate of HC in succession for 10 years. After
retirement a judge of HC cannot plead in a court or before any authority in
India except in SC or HC other than in which he held office Jurisdiction of
- Original Jurisdiction
- In civil cases with amount > 2000.
- In criminal cases, authorised to them by President Magistrates.
- Appellate Jurisdiction
All HCs entertain appeals in civil & criminal cases from their subordinate
courts. They have, however, no jurisdiction over tribunals established by the
law relating to armed forces of the country.
- Writ Jurisdiction
- Jurisdiction to issue writs under HC is larger than the SC.
- SC can issue them only where a FR has been infringed whereas a HC can
issue them, not only in such cases but also where an ordinary legal right
has been infringed.
- Administrative & supervisory Functions of HC:
- HC supervise & controls the working of courts subordinate to them.
- Frame rules & regulations for transactions of their business. For ex.
Transfers, Postings, Promotions etc.
- Not applicable in case of tribunals dealing with armed forces (HC acts
as court of records & has power to punish its own contempt)
Superintendence over Courts:
- Under Article 227 every High Court has a power of superintendence over
all courts and tribunals throughout the territories in relation to which it
exercises jurisdiction. Superintendence covers both administrative as well
- The power of superintendence is an extraordinary power to be exercised
most sparingly and only in appropriate cases in order to keep the
subordinate courts within the bounds of their authority and not for making
- The High Court should intervene in cases of gross injustice or
non-exercise or abuse of jurisdiction even though there is no provision for
appeal or revision.
Transfer of Certain Cases to High Court (Article 228): If the High Court is
satisfied that a case pending in a subordinate Court involves a substantial
question of law as to the interpretation of the Constitution, the High Court
will withdraw the case and either determine the question of law and return the
case to the court from where it was withdrawn or dispose of the case itself.
Control over the Subordinate Judiciary:
As the head of the judiciary in the State, the High Court has got an
administrative control over the subordinate judiciary in respect of certain
matters. The subordinate courts include District Judges of the city, Civil
Courts as well as the Metropolitan Magistrates and Members of the Judicial
The control over the judges of these subordinate courts is exercised by the
High Court in the following matters:
- The High Court is to be consulted by the Governor in the matter of
appointing, posting and promoting district judges.
- The High Court is consulted along with the state Public Service
Commission, by the Governor, in appointing persons to the judicial service
of the state.
- The control over district courts and courts subordinate thereto,
including the posting and promotion of and the grant of leave to persons
belonging to the judicial service and holding any post inferior to the post
of a district judge is vested in the High Court.
The initial appointment of a District Judge or Additional District Judge is made
by the Governor who has to act in consultation with the High Court. After he is
appointed his posting and promotion is done by the Governor in consultation with
the High Court (Article 233). Normally the High Court's recommendation must be
accepted. Departure from it must be rare and for cogent and compelling reasons.
The posting and promotion of the district judge is done by the Governor in
consultation with the High Court but posting and promotion of persons belongings
to state judicial service (other than district judges) exclusively rests with
the High Court (Article 235).
Article 235 expressly states that the control over district court and courts
below it vest in the High Court. The control is administrative, removal or
reduction in rank. In the matter of dismissal, removal and reduction also the
High Court may recommend such punishment to the Governor.
Powers to issue writs:
- The Supreme Courts and High Courts can issue writs to ensure that rights
of the people are not violated either by State or otherwise.
- The Constitution has specifically given the power ‘to issue certain
writs' to the High Courts.
- These Courts can issue writs (which are binding directions of the Court)
to any person or authority, including government of the State concerned.
- The writs in the nature of Habeas, Corpus, mandamus, prohibition, quo
warranto, and certiorari for the enforcement of rights of the people.
- This power is exercised in the original jurisdiction of the High Court,
and is not derogatory to similar power of the Supreme Court.
Transfer of Cases to the High Court.
- If a High Court is satisfied that a case pending in a subordinate court
involves a substantial question of law as to the interpretation of the
Constitution, the High Court may withdraw such a case from the lower court.
- After examining the case, the High Court may either dispose it off
itself, or may return it to the lower court with instructions for disposal
of the case.
Superintendence of Subordinate Courts
Court of Record
- A High Court has the right of superintendence and control over all the
subordinate courts in all the matter of judicial and administrative nature.
- In the exercise of its power of superintendence, the High Court may call
for any information from the lower courts; may make and issue general rules
and prescribe norms for regulating the practice and proceedings of these
courts; and it may issue such directions, from time to time, as it may deem
- It can also make rules and regulations relating to the appointment,
demotion, promotion and leave of absence for the officers of the subordinate
- A High Court is also a court of record, like the Supreme Court.
- Lower courts in a State are bound to follow the decisions of the High
Court which are cited as precedents.
- A High Court has also the power to punish for its contempt or
Subordinates courts- district courts.
Civil cases- district judges.
Criminal cases- session judges
Appointed by Governor in consultation with CJ of HC. In each district of India
there are various types of subordinate or lower courts. They are civil courts,
criminal courts and revenue courts. These Courts hear civil cases, criminal
cases and revenue cases, respectively.
- Civil cases pertain to disputes between two or more persons regarding
property, breach of agreement or contract, divorce or landlord - tenant
disputes. Civil Courts settle these disputes. They do not award any
punishment as violation of law is not involved in civil cases.
- Criminal cases relate to violation of laws. These cases involve theft,
dacoity, rape, pickpocketing, physical assault, murder, etc. These cases are
filed in the lower court by the police, on behalf of the state, againt the
accused. In such cases the accused, if found guilty, is awarded punishment
like fine, imprisonment or even death sentence.
- Revenue cases relate to land revenue on agriculture land in the
Qualifications and Appointment of Judges
- The judges of subordinate courts are appointed by the Governor in
consultation with the Chief Justice of the High Court of the concerned
- These days, in most of the States judicial service officers including
the magistrates are selected through competitive examinations held by the
State Public Service Commission. They are finally appointed by the Governor.
- Any person who has been an advocate for at least seven years or one who
is in the Structure of Government service of the State or the Central
Government is eligible to be a judge of the District Court provided he/she
possess the required legal qualifications.
The Designation System:
- As per the direction of the Supreme Court, a uniform designation has
been brought about in the subordinate judiciary's judicial officers all over
the country, namely, district or Additional District Judges, Civil Judge
(Senior Division) and Civil Judge (Junior Division) in the Civil Courts and
in Criminal Courts, Sessions Judge, Additional Sessions Judge, Chief
Judicial Magistrate and Judicial Magistrate, etc. Supreme Court of India
High Courts Subordinate or Lower Courts in Districts Civil Courts Criminal
Courts Revenue Courts District Judge District Judge and District & Sessions
Judge Board of Revenue Sub-Judge Family Metropolitan or I Class Magistrate
Commissioner, Collector Munsif II Class Magistrate Tehsildar Small Cause
Court, Lok Adalat III Class Magistrate Asst. Tehsildar
- The next set of courts is described as courts of District and Sessions
Judge, which also includes courts of the Additional Judge, Joint Judge, or
Assistant Judge. The court of the District and Sessions Judge at the
district level is the principal court of original jurisdiction.
- It is presided over by an officer called the District and Sessions
Judge. As a rule, the same officer is invested with power under both the
statutes and presides over the court, known as the District and Sessions
- Depending upon workload, a district court may have jurisdiction over
more than one district- In some states, there is a court called the Court of
Civil and Sessions Judge.
- These courts generally have unlimited pecuniary jurisdiction and
depending upon the power conferred on the incumbent officer-in-charge of the
court, it can handle criminal cases. In some states, these courts with
unlimited pecuniary jurisdiction are called Courts of Civil Judge (Senior
Division) while in other states they are described as Courts of Subordinate
Judge. In addition there are courts known as Small Causes Courts.
- These are set up either under the Provisional Small Causes Act at the
district level or under the Presidency Town Small Causes Court Act in