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High Courts of India – Powers of High Courts


A High Court is the highest court of justice in the state.  A High Court consists of the chief Justice and some other judges.  The Chief Justice of a High Court is appointed by the President in consultation with the Chief Justice of India and the Governor of the State concerned.  The other Judges are appointed by the President of India in consultation with the Chief Justice of India, the Chief Justice of the High court and the Governor of the State concerned.  The Judges can serve upto the age of 62 years, unless they resign or are removed by the President of India on a representation by both the Houses of Parliament in the prescribed constitutional manner.  It is the same as the case of a judge of Supreme Court.

Qualifications To  be a judge of a High Court a person must
  • 1. Be a citizen of India 
  • 2. Have been a judge of a civil and session court in India for at least ten years 
  • 3. An advocate in a High court for atleast ten years

The Chief Justice draws a salary of Rs.30,000/-per month and other judges draw a salary of Rs.26,000/per month.  They also get pension and other retirement benefits. The pay and allowances of High Court Judges are changed on the Consolidated Fund of the State.

Powers of High Courts
The High court is mainly a Court of Appeal.  It can hear appeals in both civil and criminal cases.  A person can appeal to the High Court to protect his Fundamental Rights. The High Court controls and supervises the working of the lower courts. The High courts is empowered to issue to any person or the Government within its jurisdiction, orders or writs, including writs which are in the nature of have as corpus, mandamus, prohibition, quo-warranto and certiorari.  The High Courts have powers of superintendence over all subordinate courts and tribunals within their jurisdiction. The Advocate General is appointed by the Governor.

Transfer of Chief Justice
The President after consultation with the Chief Justice of India, transfers a Chief Justice from one High Court to another High Court.

Appointment of Officers and Staff
Officers and servants of the High court are to be appointed by the Chief Justice. The expenses of High court will be charged on the Consolidated Fund of the state.

Subordinate Courts
Subject to minor local variations, the structure and functions of the subordinate courts are more or less uniform throughout the country.  Each State is divided into a number of districts, each under the jurisdiction of the principal civil court provided over by a district judge.  Subordinate to him is a hierarchy of different grades of civil judicial authorities. The court of the District Judge is the highest Civil Court in a district.  When a Judge decides a civil cases, he is called the District Judge and when he deals with criminal cases he is called the Sessions Judge, appointed by the Governor in consultation with the Chief Justice of the state.  Besides the district court there are Courts of Sub-Judges, Munisif Courts and Courts of Small Causes.  For criminal cases, District Magistrate and Sub Magistrates in the districs and taluk centers respectively.  In cities they are called Metropolitan Magistrates.

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