* The Indian judicial system is a single unified system. It is the most important organ of the government because it safegaurds the rights of citizens.
* It is the third branch of the government. Its work is to apply the law of the country, settles disputes and punish the guility.
It is also responsible for upholding the rights of citizens and seeing that no one, including the governmet, violets them.
* The Constitution of India clearly lays down that the dispute between the centre and the states or between states or between states will be resolved by the judiciary.
* The judiciary is also responsible to ensure that the rights of citizens are respected and protected and the powers of the government do not cross the limits prescribed.
* India has a single, unified judicial system for the entire country.The Supreme Court is at the top of the judicial system.
There are High Courts at the state level and further below are subordinate courts.
* The Supreme Court is at the apex of the Indian Judiciary. It was established by the Constitution.
* It has a Chief Justice and 25 other judges. The number of judges can be changed by the Parliament.
* The Chief Justice of India and other judges are appointed by the President.
The President consults other judges of the Supreme Court and the High Courts while making these appoinments.
In case of the appoinments of other judges, the chief justice is always consulted.
(a) Qualifications :
For appointment as a judge of the Supreme Court one must be a citizen of India and must have been a judge of a
High Court for 5 years or must have served as an advocate in a High Court for at least 10 years or has been a distinguished jurist in the opinion of the President.
(b) Oath and Term :
* The judges of the Supreme Court take an oath or affirmation before entering upon office, conducted by President or some person appointed by him.
* Once appointed, a judge holds office till the age of 65.
(c) Removal :
* The judges of the Supreme Court can be removed only by a special procedure.
A judge can be removed by the President of India only when an impeachment is passed by both the houses of Parliament in the same session,
asking for his or her removal on the grounds of proven mis-behaviour and incapacity.
(d) Emoluments :
* The Chief Justice of India gets a monthly salary of Rs.100,000. Other judges get Rs.90,000. They also receive allowances and other benefits.
(e) Jurisdiction :
The jurisdiction of the Supreme Court may be categorised as original, appellate and advisory jurisdictions.
(f) Court of Record :
* The Supreme Court is a Court of record. All the decisions and proceedings of the Supreme Court are kept as records and are quoted as precedents in courts.
* The Court can punish for its own contempt, if anyone does not abide by its decisions.
* Ordinally every state has a High Court. But even two or more states may have one High Court.
For example, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura have one High Court.
The Union Territory of Chandigarh comes under the jurisdiction of Punjab and Haryana High Court.
* The High Court consists of a Chief Justice and some other judges appointed by the President of India,
as determined by Parliament. All the High Courts do not have the same strength.
(a) Qualifications :
* A citizen of India and
* Must have held a judicial Office for at least ten years or have been an advocate of a High
Court for at least ten years or is a distinguished jurist in the opinion of the President.
(b) Appoinment :
* In the appoinment of the Chief Justice of the High Court the President consults the Chief Justice of India and the Governor of the concerned state.
* Other judges are also appointed according to the same procedure, except that the Chief Justice of the concerned High Court is also consulted.
(c) Oath and Term :
* The judges of the High Court take an Oath or affirmation before entering upon office, conducted by Governer or some person appointed by him.
* The Judges hold office until they attain the age of 62 years.
(d) Removal :
* They can be removed through the same procedure as followed in the case of a judge of the Supreme Court.
* Judge of the High Court addresses his resignation to the President.
(e) Emoluments :
* The Chief Justice of a High Court is paid a monthly salary of Rs. 90,000 and other Judges receive Rs.80,000 besides other benefits.
(f) Jurisdiction :
The High Courts have three types of juridictions. These are original, appellate and administrative.
(i) Original Jurisdiction :
* Under the original jurisdiction it has power to issue directions, orders including writs to any person,
authority and any government within its jurisdiction against the violation of the fundamental rights of citizens.
* Petitions challenging the election of a menber of Parliament or a State Legislature or a local body can be filed in the High Court of the concerned state.
* It can also try civil and criminal cases.
(ii) Appellate Jurisdiction :
The Appellate jurisdiction of High Court includes the power to hear appeals about civil and criminal cases against decisions of lower courts.
(iii) Administrative Jurisdictions :
Under its administrative jurisdiction, it has authoruty to revise the working of all subordinate courts.
(iv) Court of Record :
* The High Court also is a court of Record and empowered to punish for contempt of court.
* The power to extend or restrict the jurisdiction of the High Court rests with the Parliament.
* The organisation and functionas of lthe subordinate courts throughtout the country are some, except with minor local variations.
* All subordinates courts function under the supervision of the concerned high court. In every district there are civil and criminal courts.
* The Court of the District Judge is the highest court in a district.
The Judge is called the district Judge while dealing with civil cases and sessions Judge while dealing with criminal cases.
* Besides these courts, there are courts of sub-judges, munsiff courts and court of small causes. There are also court of second and third class magistrates.
* The judges of the District Courts are appointed by the Governor of the concerned state in consultation with the High Court.
* A person who has been a pleader or an advocate for seven years or an officer in the judicial service union or the state is eligible for appointment.
* The District Courts hear the appeals against the decision of the sub- judges. It hears cases relating to the disputes of property, marriage and divorce.
The civil courts exercise jurisdiction over such matters as guardianship of minors and lunatics.