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According to the "Rule of law," everyone is subject to the same laws regardless of their wealth, gender, caste, or sexual orientation. The judiciary upholds the rule of law and the supremacy of the law. The judiciary interprets the law, but it cannot create the law. Using the law, the judiciary settles conflicts and ensures justice.

Hierarchy of Courts:

In India, there are numerous kinds of courts, and each has unique authority based on the jurisdiction and tier granted to it. They operate in accordance with the predetermined judicial hierarchy.

Apex Court

In our nation, the Supreme Court serves as the highest and ultimate court of appeal, and the Constitution establishes the groundwork for an integrated judiciary. According to Article 124(1) of the Indian Constitution, the Chief Justice of India will preside over the Supreme Court of India. The Chief Justice of India and seven other judges make up the Supreme Court of India's initial membership. When necessary, the Parliament may legally increase or decrease the number of Supreme Court justices. There are now 31 judges on the Supreme Court, including the Chief Justice of India. Our Constitution contains a clause that allows judges to be appointed on an as-needed basis. The Indian Constitution's Article 127(1) addresses the appointment of ad hoc judges. Ad hoc is a Latin phrase that translates to "for this." It means with a certain objective. Ad hoc judges were appointed when a quorum of judges was not present to continue or hold Court proceedings. After consulting with the Chief Justice of the relevant High Court, the Chief Justice of India may name a judge from a High court as an ad hoc judge of the Supreme Court.

The Chief Justice of India, as well as any now serving Supreme Court judges, may be consulted by the President of India prior to appointing a Supreme Court judge. The President must consult these judges of the Supreme Court and the High Courts before appointing the Chief Justice of India.

  • A candidate for the Supreme Court must be an Indian citizen and have served as a judge of a High Court for at least five years, or of two or more High Courts consecutively, or
  • should have had prior experience representing clients in two or more consecutive high courts during the past 10 years.
  • should, in the President's judgement, be a distinguished jurist.

The Supreme Court of India is the highest court of appeals, and in addition to its original, appellate, and advisory jurisdictions, it is also endowed with a number of other powers.

High Court

The Indian Constitution stipulates in Article 214 that each State shall have a High Court. There is one Chief Justice and additional judges who make up the High Court. The Chief Justice of the High Court is chosen by the President after consultation with the Chief Justice of India, while the President also consults with the Governor of the state, the Chief Justice of the High Court, and the Chief Justice of India when choosing additional justices. The President may invite any judge to assume the Chief Justice's responsibilities in the High Court if that position becomes vacant for any reason.

The Chief Justice of the High Court may be chosen from the following candidates:

  • If the individual is an Indian national, and
  • if he had been an Indian citizen and held judicial office,
  • 10 years or more as an advocate in the High Court, or in two or more subsequent High Courts, and
  • The age ought to be under 62.

A judge has the option to retire from his position before turning 62 years old by submitting a letter of resignation to the President. On the basis of demonstrated misbehaviour or incapacity, he may also be removed if the Parliament adopts a resolution that is supported by the majority of the entire membership of the House in which the motion to remove has been approved. The resolution must also be presented to the President and receive the support of at least two-thirds of the members of the House who are present and voting. When the President names him as a Supreme Court judge, he may also resign from his position on the Court.

Civil Courts 

In contrast to criminal trials where the offence is done against the State, civil courts deal with cases or offences that are committed against a private individual. Torts and contract violations are examples of civil wrongs. The territorial and financial jurisdiction of the courts serve as the foundation for the hierarchy of civil courts in India. Cases that have been committed on its territory and fall within the court's financial parameters can be handled by civil courts. The Supreme Court is the highest court of appeal for hearing civil cases. These cases cannot be brought directly before the Supreme Court; instead, appeals against High Court orders may be brought, however one may immediately approach the Supreme Court in cases of infringement of basic rights. The District Court's order may be appealed to the High Court, and matters with a value greater than Rs. 20 lakhs may be brought immediately before the State's High Court. The District Court handles matters with a value of between Rs. 3 lakh and Rs. 20 lakhs.

The Civil Judge in the junior division presided over the original cases and heard cases up to Rs. 3 lakhs. In the hierarchy of Civil Courts, Minor Causes Courts are the lowest Court of Appeal and handle matters having a value of less than Rs. 3 lakhs. The Civil Process Code governs the Civil Courts. The party whose legal rights have been violated may receive damages or restitution from the Civil Courts. The parties in a civil action are the Plaintiff and the Defendant.

Court of Appeals and an additional District Court

In India, the State Government established District Courts in each district after taking the district's population and caseload into account. A district judge presides over India's district courts, which are responsible for delivering justice at the local level. The Supreme Court of the State that includes that district has administrative and judicial supervision over these courts. The highest court in each district is the District and Sessions Judge. Judges of the District Court are appointed by the Governor following consultation with the Chief Justice of the High Court of that State, and at least seven years of experience as an attorney are required. The District Court is a district's top civil court. In every district, there are two different sorts of courts: civil and criminal. Subject matter jurisdiction, geographical jurisdiction, pecuniary jurisdiction, and appellate jurisdiction are all powers that civil courts can wield.

Subordinate Judge Class I

According to Subordinate Judge Class I Section 11 of the CrPC, the State Government may, after discussing with the High Court of the relevant State, create the Court of Judicial Magistrate of the first class in the district and any number. A Judicial Magistrate is described as reporting to the Chief Judicial Magistrate and being under the supervision of the Sessions Judge in Section 15 of the CrPC.

According to Section 29 of the Criminal Procedure Code, the Judicial Magistrate of First Class may impose a fine of no more than ten thousand rupees or a sentence of no more than three years in jail.

Class II Subordinate Judge

By consultation with the High Court of the relevant State, the State Government is given the authority to create Courts of Judicial Magistrate of the Second Class in any district and in any number under Section 11 of the CrPC. According to Section 29(3) of the Criminal Procedure Code, the Judicial Magistrate of Second Class may impose a fine of up to 5,000 rupees or a sentence of up to one year in prison, or both.

A Judicial Magistrate may preside over trials for offences that can be tried by either "Any Magistrate" or "Judicial Magistrate of the Second Class," as stated in Schedule I and Schedule II of the Criminal Procedure Code.

Executive Magistrate

The State Government was given the authority to appoint Executive Magistrates in each district and in each metropolitan area under Section 20 of the CrPC. It has the right to designate any Executive Magistrate as the District Magistrate and any Executive Magistrate as the Additional District Magistrate, and both of these magistrates possess the same authority as the District Magistrate under the CrPC.

Any officer temporarily taking over the district's executive administration in the event that the position of District Magistrate becomes vacant will have the same authority as the District Magistrate under CrPC. The Executive Magistrate may be given control of a subdivision by the State Government. Sub-divisional Magistrate is the title given to the Executive Magistrate who has been given responsibility for a sub-division.


With a focus on the legal system of the nation, the hierarchy of the courts and justice system in India had been properly explored. It is clear that the Indian Constitution, along with other regulations and laws that are occasionally implemented to support the nation's judicial system, plays a significant part in this aspect.

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