Classes of Courts of Law in India
Administration of justice is the most important function of the state. For this purpose our constitution has set up a various classes of courts. The Supreme Court is the apex body, followed by 21 High Courts which have been created by the constitution of India, and their jurisdiction and powers are well defined in the constitution itself. Apart from the Supreme Court and High Courts, the following criminal courts have been described under section 6 of Criminal Procedure Code, 1973:-
1. Court of Session
2. Judicial Magistrate of first class and, in any metropolitan area metropolitan magistrates
3 Judicial Magistrates of Second Class
4 Executive Magistrates
The ‘Indian courts’ is a bouquet of Web Sites of the Supreme Court and all 21 High Courts and their Benches in India. It provides a single point access to information related to the Supreme Court and any High Court in India. The Web Sites of the Supreme court and High Courts provide Litigant centric dynamic information like Judgments, Causelists, Case-status, etc. as well as static Information such as History, Jurisdiction, Rules, Past and present judges, etc.
Indian courts, Official site, Retrieved on 27th December, 2017
Classification of court
1. Supreme Court :
Supreme Court of India, Official site, Retrieved on 27th December, 2017
The Supreme Court has original, appellate and advisory jurisdiction. It treated as highest and also supreme court in India. The original jurisdiction covers any dispute between the Government of India and one or more States or between two or more States. Dispute may invole question of law or question of fact on which legal right depends. In addition, Article 32 of the Constitution gives pwers for original jurisdiction for enforcing Fundamental rights.
Supreme court has following powers to :
- issue directions to subordinate courts
- issue writs, including writs in the nature of habeas corpus, mandamus, prohibition, quo warranto and certiorari
- direct transfer of civil and also criminal case from one subordinate court to another.
- withdraw pending cases from high court and dispose of all such cases itself.
- review and revise the judgments of subordinate courts.
The appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court invoked by a certificate granted by the High Court concerned under Article 132(1), 133(1) or 134 of the Constitution in respect of any judgement, decree or final order of a High Court in both civil and criminal cases, involving substantial questions of law as to the interpretation of the Constitution.
Appeals against judgment of High Court lies with Supreme Court if the High Court concerned certifies :
- that the case involves a substantial question of law of general importance, and
- also question needs decision of the Supreme Court.
In criminal cases, an appeal lies to the Supreme Court if the High Court:
- on appeal, reversed an order of acquittal of an accused person and sentenced him to death or to imprisonment for life or for a period of not less than 10 years, or
- has withdrawn case from subordinate court to its authority and such case convicted the accused and sentenced him to death or to imprisonment for life or for a period of not less than 10 years, or
- certified that the case is a fit one for appeal to the Supreme Court.
- Parliament authorizes the Supreme Court powers to hear appeals from any judgement, final order or sentence in a criminal proceeding of a High Court.
The Supreme Court has also a very wide appellate jurisdiction over all Courts and Tribunals in India. It can grant special leave to appeal under Article 136 of the Constitution from any judgment, decree, determination, sentence or order in any cause or matter passed or made by any Court or Tribunal in the territory of India.
2. High Court
High Courts are second highest and important court in India. It has original and appellate jurisdiction. High courts formed under Article 141 of the Constitution of India. The Supreme Court of India governs order and judgments of High court. The Supreme Court of India is the highest level of courts and also responsible for guiding the High Courts.The jurisdiction of these courts extend to the state, group of states or Union Territory.
The High Court of Bombay, which is the chartered High Court and one of the oldest High Courts in the Country. It has Appellate Jurisdiction over the State of Maharashtra, Goa, Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli. In addition to the Principal Seat at Bombay, it has benches at Aurangabad, Nagpur, Panaji(Goa).
High Court of Bombay, Official site, Retrieved on 27th December, 2017
High court has following powers to :
- govern the jurisdiction of lower courts.
- issue directions, orders or writs.
- control subordinate courts.
- withdraw pending cases from subordinate court and dispose of all such cases itself.
- review and revise the judgments of subordinate courts.
High Courts entertain the cases related to civil or criminal. It can try cases of lower courts, if proved incapable of exercising their power as per authorization extended by law.
3. Session court
It exercises jurisdiction on criminal matters under The Code of Criminal Procedure. The session courts in India formed by the state governments or the union territories. Courts constituted after considering several factors like the number of cases, distribution of population, etc. The High Court may also appoint Additional Sessions Judges and Assistant Sessions Judges. Session courts referred as District Courts. Each State have a session court in each district.
4. Judicial Magistrate First Class
These Courts are on the second lowest level of the Criminal Court structure in India. These Courts established by the State Government in consultation with the High Court of the respective State. Courts established at such places in the district and also in such number provided in notification. As per section 29 of Criminal Procedure Code these Courts may pass a sentence of imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years, or a fine not exceeding five thousand rupees, or both.
5. Courts of Metropolitan Magistrates
In every metropolitan area, there should be such number of courts, as State government with consultation with High court may specify by notification in official Gazette. Presiding officer appoint by High court. The jurisdiction and also powers of every Metropolitan Magistrate shall extend throughout the metropolitan area. As per section 28 of Criminal Procedure Code a Metropolitan Magistrate may also pass a sentence of imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year or a fine not exceeding five thousand rupees. A Metropolitan Magistrate who is the first class Magistrate is under the control of sessions Judge and is also subordinate to the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate.
6. Judicial Magistrate of the Second Class
These Courts may be established by the State Government in consultation with the High Court of the respective State, at such places in the district and in any number by issuing a notification. As per section 29 (3) of Criminal Procedure Code, these Courts shall also reward imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year, or fine not exceeding one thousand rupees, or both.
7. Executive Magistrate
In every district and also metropolitan area, the State Government appoints, as many persons as it thinks fit to be Executive Magistrates and shall also appoint one of them as the District Magistrate.