High Courts in India

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In each state there is a High Court, which exercises powers within the territorial jurisdiction of the state concerned.  A High Court consists of a Chief Justice and such other judges as the President may, from time to time, determine. Since the number of the judges of the State High courts has not been fixed by the constitution, it varies from court to court.

Appointments of the judges of the High Court shall be made by the President by warrant under his hand and seal. The President consults the Chief Justice of India and the Governor of the state and the Chief Justice of the High Court concerned in making the appointment.  In case, of the appointment of the Chief Justice of the High Court, the President will consult the Chief Justice of India and the Governor of the state concerned.

State or UT High Court Principal Seat/(Bench having jurisdiction of the State)
Andaman & Nicobar Islands Calcutta High Court Kolkata (Bench at Port Blair)
Arunachal Pradesh Guwahati High Court Guwahati (Bench at Itanagar)
Andhra Pradesh High Court of Judicature at Hyderabad Hyderabad
Assam Guwahati High Court Guwahati
Bihar Patna High Court Patna
Chhattisgarh Chhattisgarh High Court Bilaspur
Chandigarh Punjab and Haryana High Court Chandigarh
Dadra and Nagar Haveli Bombay High Court Mumbai
Daman and Diu Bombay High Court Mumbai
National Capital Territory of Delhi Delhi High Court New Delhi
Goa Bombay High Court Mumbai (Bench at Panaji)
Gujarat Gujarat High Court Ahmedabad
Haryana Punjab and Haryana High Court Chandigarh
Himachal Pradesh Himachal Pradesh High Court Shimla
Jammu and Kashmir Jammu and Kashmir High Court Srinagar/Jammu
Jharkhand Jharkhand High Court Ranchi
Karnataka Karnataka High Court Bengaluru (Bench at Dharwad andGulbarga)
Kerala Kerala High Court Kochi
Lakshadweep Kerala High Court Kochi
Madhya Pradesh Madhya Pradesh High Court Jabalpur (Bench at Gwalior andIndore)
Maharashtra Bombay High Court Mumbai (Bench at Aurangabad andNagpur)
Manipur Manipur High Court Imphal
Meghalaya Meghalaya High Court Shillong
Mizoram Gauhati High Court Guwahati (Bench at Aizawl)
Nagaland Gauhati High Court Guwahati (Bench at Kohima)
Odisha Orissa High Court Cuttack
Puducherry Madras High Court Chennai
Punjab Punjab and Haryana High Court Chandigarh
Rajasthan Rajasthan High Court Jodhpur (Bench at Jaipur)
Sikkim Sikkim High Court Gangtok
Tamil Nadu Madras High Court Chennai (Bench at Madurai)
Telangana High Court of Judicature at Hyderabad Hyderabad
Tripura Tripura High Court Agartala
Uttarakhand Uttarakhand High Court Nainital
Uttar Pradesh Allahabad High Court Allahabad (Bench at Lucknow)
West Bengal Calcutta High Court Kolkata

QUALIFICATIONS AND CONDITIONS OF SERVICE

A person shall not be qualified for appointment as a judge of High court unless he is a citizen of India and has either held for at least ten years a judicial office in the territory of India or has for at least ten years been an advocate of a High court in any state.

The salary allowance and other amenities enjoyed by the judges of High Courts cannot be modified to their disadvantage during their tenure of office. However, the President is authorised to reduce their salaries during the proclamation of financial emergency.

As the salaries and other expenses of the judges and the maintenance of state High Courts are charged to the Consolidated Fund of the state, they are to subject to the vote of the state legislature. A judge shall hold office till he attains the age of sixty two years. However, he may resign his office by writing to the President.  He can be removed from his office by the President, in the manner provided for the removal of a judge of the Supreme Court.

A judge can be removed from his office before the expiry of his term on grounds of proved misbehaviour or incapacity. However, such an action can be taken by the President only if both the House of Parliament pass a resolution by a two thirds majority of the members present in each House which should also be the majority of the total membership of the House.

JURISDICTION OF HIGH COURT

The High Court of a state enjoys the following powers:

Original: The original criminal jurisdiction of the High Court has been completely taken away by the criminal procedure Code, 1973. The original civil jurisdiction has been retained by the courts in respect of actions of higher value.

Appellate: The appellate jurisdiction of the High Court is both civil and criminal. Appeals from the decisions of the District Judges and from those of Subordinate Judge in case of a higher value lie direct to the High Court. On questions of fact as well as law when any court subordinate to the High Court decides an appeal from the decision of an inferior court, a second appeal lies to the High Court from the decisions of the lower appellate court but only on question of law and procedure. The criminal appellate jurisdiction of the High Court extends to appeals from the decisions of a Sessions Judge or an Additional Sessions Judge, where the sentence of imprisonment exceeds seven years and from the decisions of an Assistant Session Judge.

Power of Superintendence: According to Article 227, every High Court has the power of superintendence over all courts and tribunals, except those dealing with the armed forces functioning with its territorial jurisdiction. Interpreting the scope of this power, the Supreme Court said that all types of tribunals including the election tribunals operating within a state are subject to the superintendence of the High Courts and further, that the  “superintendence is both  judicial and administrative.

Control over Subordinate Court: As the head of the judiciary in the state, the High Court has got an administrative control over the subordinate judiciary in the state in respect of certain matters, besides its appellate and supervisory jurisdiction over them.  Article 228 empowers the High Court to transfer constitutional cases from lower courts.  Thus, if the Court is satisfied that a case pending in one of its subordinate courts involves a substantial question of law as to the interpretation of the constitution, the determination of which is necessary for the disposal of the case, it shall then withdraw the case and may either dispose of the case itself or determine the constitutional question and then send the case back to the court where from it was withdrawn.

The Writ Jurisdiction of High Court: Every High Court shall have power throughout the territories in relation to which it exercises jurisdiction to issue to any person or authority including the Government within those territories, orders or writs including writs in the nature of habeas corpus, mandamus, prohibition, quo-warranto and certiorari or any of them for enforcement of the fundamental rights guaranteed by the constitution, and for any other purposes (Article 226). The power may also be exercised by any High Court exercising jurisdiction in relation to the territories within which the cause of action, wholly or in part, arises for the exercise of such power, notwithstanding that the seat of such government or authority or the residence of such person is not within those territories.

Power of Appointment: According to Article 229, the Chief Justice of the High Court, is empowered to appoint officers and servants of the Court.  The Governor may in this respect require the Court to consult the Public Service Commission of the state.  He also consults the High Court in the appointment, posting, and promotion of district judges and along with the state Public Service Commission in appointing person to the judicial service of the state.  The Chief Justice is also authorised to regulate the conditions of service of the staff subject to any law made by the state legislature in this respect.  The power of the Chief Justice to appoint any member of the staff of the High Court also includes his power to dismiss any such member form the service of the court.  The powers of posting and promotions and grant of leave to persons belonging to the judicial service is also vested in the High Court.  The constitution also provides for charging all the administrative expenses of the High Court on the Consolidated Funds of the State.

SUBORDINATE COURTS

 The judiciary of a state consists of a high court and a hierarchy of subordinate courts, also known as lower courts. The subordinate courts are so called because of their subordinate to the state high court. They function below and under the high court at district and lower levels. Articles 233 to 237 in Part VI of the Constitution make the following provisions to regulate the organisation of subordinate courts and to ensure their independence from the executive.

Appointment of District Judges: The appointment, positing and promotion of district judges in a state are made by the governor of the state in consultation with the high court. A person to be appointed as district judge should have the following qualifications: (a) He should not already be in the service of the Central or the state government. (b) He should have been an advocate or a pleader for seven years. (c) He should be recommended by the high court for appointment. The expression ‘district judge’ includes judge of a city civil court, additional district judge, joint district judge, assistant district judge, chief judge of a small cause court, chief presidency magistrate, additional chief presidency magistrate, sessions judge, additional sessions judge and assistant sessions judge.

Appointment of other Judges: Appointment of person (other than district judges) to the judicial service of a state are made by the governor of the state after consultation with the State Public Service Commission and the high court. The expression ‘judicial service’ means a service consisting exclusively of persons intended to fill the post of district judge and other civil judicial posts inferior to the post of district judge.

Control over Subordinate Courts

The control over district courts and other subordinate courts includes the posting, promotion and leave of person belonging to the judicial service of a state and holding any post inferior to the post of district judge is vested in the court. This control is vested in the high court to secure the independence of the subordinate judiciary. The Constitution also empowers the governor to apply the above provisions regarding subordinate courts to any class or classes of magistrate in the state.

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