Decode Indian legal system, types of courts, appointment of judges

Classes with News18

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In this week’s class with News18 we will understand about the Indian legal system. The Indian administration is governed by three pillars – legislative power, governing body and judicial power.

Under Indian jurisprudence, there are various courts that interpret and apply the laws as mentioned in the constitution. The Indian judiciary is divided into several levels to decentralize and address cases at a grassroots level. It includes the Supreme Court, which is India’s highest body, high court, civil courts, village courts, criminal courts and tribunals.

What is the role of the judiciary?

According to the Class 10 NCERT book, the Indian judiciary is an independent body that resolves disputes that arise in a society among individuals, groups, between governments or between individuals and governments and so on.

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“All such disputes must be settled by an independent body in accordance with the principle of the rule of law. This idea of ​​the rule of law implies that all individuals – rich and poor, men or women, forwards or backwards – are subject to the same law. “.

Types of courts in India

The judicial power structure in India is pyramidal with the Supreme Court at the top, High Courts among them, and district and subordinate courts at the lowest level. The lower courts function under the direct supervision of the higher courts.

Supreme Court: The highest court of the country, the SC was established on January 28, 1950. It is the highest court of appeal and has judged both original cases and appeals of high court. It consists of the Chief Justice of India and other judges. CJI’s position is currently held by NV Ramana. He is appointed as the 48th CJI. Articles 124-147 of the Constitution of India establish the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court. It can transfer judges from high courts. It can move any case of HC to itself or from one HC to another.

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High courts: High courts are the highest judicial body at state level. Article 214, which establishes the jurisdiction of HCs, sets out appeals from lower courts, issues of appeal for the restoration of fundamental rights, and may deal with matters within the jurisdiction of the State. Currently there are 25 HCs in India. Judges of the Supreme Court are appointed by the President of India after consultation with the CJI of India, and of the HC, and the Governor of the State.

District Courts: This type of court handles cases at the district level. Founded by the state governments, these are bound by HC judgments. Each district generally has two types of courts – civil and criminal.

Civil litigation can range from property disputes to breaches of contract to divorce cases. They have the jurisdiction to try all matters of a civil nature.

Criminal courts deal with every crime committed by the citizens or entity. Its powers are listed under the Criminal Code (CrPC). After a criminal case is registered with the local police that it goes to the court that decides on the case.

Lok Adalats: These are subordinate courts at the village level that provide a system for alternative dispute resolution in the villages that fall under their jurisdiction.

Tribunals have the administration of specific cases such as tax cases, land cases, consumer cases and so on.

How are judges appointed?

Over the years, a convention was developed in which the Supreme Court justice senior judge was appointed as the Chief Justice of India. However, this convention was broken twice. In 1973, AN Ray was appointed CJI, replacing three senior judges. Again, Justice MH Beg was appointed to replace Justice HR Khanna (1975).

The Chief Justice then advises names of persons appointed as judges. That happens in consultation with four senior-most judges of the Court. Thus, the Supreme Court has established the principle of collegiality in making recommendations for appointments. These recommended names must be approved by the President.

Test your learning

“The appointment of judges has never been free of political controversy. It is part of the political process. It makes a difference who serves on the Supreme Court and High Court – a difference in how the constitution is interpreted. The political philosophy of judges and their views on active and assertive judicial power or controlled and dedicated judicial power influence the fate of the enacted legislation.Council of Ministers, Governors and Chief Ministers and Chief Justice of India – all influence the process of judicial appointment, “says NCERT textbook for social sciences.

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