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THE HIGH COURTS IN THE STATES
Q. 1. Which is the highest judicial Court in a State?
Ans. The High Court. Article 214 of the Constitution says that "There shall be a High Court for each State."
Q. 2. What is the number of Judges in a High Court?
Ans. The Constitution is silent about this and it has not laid down any fixed number. Article 216 says that every High Court shall consist of a Chief Justice and such other Judges as the President may, from time to time, deem it necessary to appoint"
Q. 3. Who appoints the Judges of the High Courts?
Ans. The Chief Justice and other Judges of the High Court are appointed by the President of India. Article 217 says that "Every Judge of a High Court shall be appointed by the President by Warrant under his hand and seal after consultation with the Chief Justice of India, the Governor of State, and in the case of appointment of a Judge other than the Chief Justice, the Chief Justice of the High Court."
Q. 4. Can a Judge be removed from his Office?
Ans. Yes. A Judge may be removed from his office by on order of the resident in the same manner as a judge of the Supreme Court ie after an address by each House of Parliament supported by a majority of the total membership of that House and by a majority of not less thon two-thirds of the members of that House present and voting has been presented to the President in the same session for such removal on the ground of proved misbehaviour or incapacity.
Q. 5. What is the age of retirement of the Judges of the High Courts?
Ans. Sixty-two years. (As per Article 217)
Q. 6. Can a Judge of a High Court resign ?
Ans. Yes. A Judge may, by writing under his hand addressed to the President, resign his office.
Q. 7. What are the qualifications for a Judge of a High Court ?
Ans. Following are the qualifications for a Judge of a High Court:
(i) The person should be a citizen of India.
(ii) He should have for at least ten years held a judicial office in the territory of India; or He should have for at least ten years, been an advocate of a High Court or of two or more such courts in succession;
He should be a distinguished Jurist in the eyes of the President.
Q. 8. Who administers the Oath to the Judge of a High Court?
Ans. The Governors of the respective States.
Q. 9. Can a Judge of a High Court plead or act in any court after retirement?
Ans. After retirement, a Judge of a High Court can plead or act only in the Supreme Court and the other High Courts i.e., except the High Court where he had served as a judge.
Q. 10. What is the salary of a Judge of a High Court ?
Ans. The Chief Justice of a High Court gets a salary of Rs. 30,000 per month. The other Judges get a salary of Rs. 27,000 per month. In addition, they get other allowances. They are also provided with free furnished houses. I
Q. 11, Can the terms of Office, conditions of service or salary, etc, be changed during the tenure of the Judges ?
Ans. No. Only during the financial emergency, the President is authorized o reduce their salaries.
Q. 12. Can a Judge be transferred from one High Court to another ?
Ans. Yes. The President may, after consultation with the Chief Justice of India transfer a Judge from one High Court to any other High Court under Article 222 of the Constitution.
Q. 13. What is the form of the Oath of Office which a Judge has to take?
Ans. The following is the oath of office as provided in the Third Schedule of the Constitution:
"1, A.B" having been appointed, Chief Justice (or a Judge)of the high Court at (or of)-do swear in the name of God / solemnly affirm that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of India as by law established, that I will uphold the sovereignty and integrity of India, that I will duly and faithfully and best of my ability, knowledge and judgement perform the duties of my office without fear or favour, affection or ill-will and that I will uphold the Constitution and the laws."
Q. 14. What are the powers and the functions of the High Courts?
Ans. The following are the powers and the functions of the High under the Indian Constitution:
(i) Court of Record
Article 215 lays down that every High Court shall be a court of record and shall have all the powers of such a court including the power to punish for contempt of itself.
(ii) Power to issue certain Writs
Article 226 says that notwithstanding anything in Article 32, every High Court shall have power, throughout the territories, in relation to which it exercises jurisdiction, to issue to any person or authority, orders or writs, including writs in the nature of habeas corpus, mandamus, prohibition, quo warranto certiorari or any of them, for the enforcement of any of the rights conferred by Part III and for any other purposes.
(iii)Power of superintendence over all courts by the High Court
Article 227 of the Constitution gives the following powers of superintendence over all courts to the High Court:
(1) Every High Court shall have superintendence over all courts and tribunals throughout the territories in relation to which it exercises jurisdiction.
(2) Without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing provision, the High Court may:
(a) Call for returns from such courts;
(b) Make and issue general rules and prescribe forms for regulating the practice and proceedings of such courts; and
(c) Prescribe forms in which books, entries and accounts shall be kept by the officers of any such courts.
(3) The High Courts may also settle tables of fees to be allowed to the sheriff and all clerks and officers of such courts and to attorneys, advocates and pleaders practising therein.
(4) Nothing in this Article shall be deemed to confer on a High Court powers of superintendence over any court of tribunal constituted by or under any law relating to the Armed Forces.
(iv) Transfer of certain cases to High Court
Article 228 lays down that if the High Court is satisfied that a case pending in the court subordinate to it involves a substantial question of law as to the interpretation of this Constitution, the determination of which is necessary for the disposal of the case, it shall withdraw the case and may :¬
(a) either dispose of the case itself, or
(b) determine the said question of law and return the case to the court from which the case has been so withdrawn.
(v) Appellate Jurisdiction
(a) In civil cases, an appeal can be made to the High Court of the State against the decisions of the district courts.
(b)In the criminal cases also an appeal can be made to the High Court against the judgements of sessions courts. .
(c) In reality the High Court is the highest court of appeal in the State and an appeal can be made to the High Court on any type of question against the judgement of the lower courts.
(vi) Fitness Certificates for Appeal to Supreme Court
The High Court has also the power to issue a certificate of fitness for appeal to the Supreme Court in certain cases where it is satisfied that a substantial point of law is involved.
(vii) Control over Administrative Tribunals
The High Court has also the power to listen appeals against the Administrative Tribunals in its territorial jurisdiction.
(viii)Control over Subordinate Courts
Article 235 lays down that the control over district courts and courts subordinate thereto including the posting and promotion of and grant of leave to persons belonging to the Judicial Service of a State and holding any inferior to the post of district judge shall be vested in the High Court.
Officers and servants and the expenses of High Courts
Article 229 of the Constitution says:
(a) Appointments of officers and servants of a High Court are made by Chief Justice of the High Court.
(b) Subject to the provisions of any law made by the Legislature of the state the conditions of service of officers and servants of a High Court be such as may be prescribed by rules made by the Chief Justice of the High Court.
(c) The administrative expenses of the High Court including all salaries, allowances, etc. are charged upon the Consolidated Fund of the state
Q. 15. Can there be a common High Court for two or more States?
Ans. Yes. The Parliament may by law establish a common High Court for two or more States and/or Union territories.
Q. 16. Name the seats of the High Courts established before Independence.
Ans. Allahabad (U.P.) in 1866, Bombay (Maharashtra, Dadra and" Haveli, Goa, Daman & Diu) in 1862, Calcutta (West Bengal, Andam Nicobar Islands) in 1862, Karnataka in 1884, Madras (Tamil Nadu & Pondicherry) in 1862 and Patna (Bihar) 1916.
Q. 17. (a) Name the High Courts having jurisdiction over two or States.
(b) Which High Court in the county has its jurisdiction over the largest number of States/Union Territories ?
Ans. (a) 1. Madras
3. Punjab & Haryana
(b). Guwahati (Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Tripura, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh).
Q. 18. Write a brief note on the organisation of Subordinate Courts in the State .
Ans. In every district there is a District and Sessions Judge. Under the District and the Sessions Court there are several civil, criminal and revenue courts:
(i) Civil Courts
In a District the District Court is the highest court of appeal. The District Judge exercises both administrative and judicial powers. He supervises the working of civil courts in the district and distributes work among them. He also enjoys both original and appellate jurisdiction. Appeals against the judgement of the District Courts can be taken to the High Court of the State. The District Courts have also jurisdiction over other matters like marriage, divorce and guardianship of minors and lunatics. Under the District Court are the Courts of Senior Sub-Judges and the Small Causes Courts. The Small Causes Courts can decide cases involving sums below Rs. 500. The Courts of Sub-Judges can try cases of sums not exceeding Rs. 5000. The Courts of Senior Sub-Judges can deal with cases involving any amount. The District Court hears appeals from all these courts.
(ii) Criminal Courts
The Court of the Sessions is the highest Criminal Court in a district. This Court tries very serious criminal cases involving murder and other serious offences duly committed to it by a First Class Magistrate. The Sessions Court can award any punishment. But a death sentence passed by a Sessions Court is subject to the confirmation of the High Court of the State.
Under the Sessions Court are the Courts of First Class Magistrates, Second Class Magistrates and Third Class Magistrates.
A Third Class Magistrate can try only minor criminal cases involving punishment by imprisonment upto one month and fine upto Rs. 50.
The Second Class Magistrate can award punishment for imprisonment for a maximum period of six months and fines upto Rs. 200.
The First Class Magistrate is above the Second and Third Class Magistrates and hears appeals from them. He can award a sentence of imprisonment up to two years and fines up to Rs. 1000.
(iii) Revenue Courts
The revenue courts differ from State to State. The Court of a Tehsildar is the lowest court. The District Magistrate hears appeals against his decisions. Similarly, the Commissioner hears the appeals against the decision of the District Magistrate or the Deputy Commissioner. At the apex is the Court of the Board of Revenue. This Court hears appeals against the decisions of all the lower subordinate revenue courts.
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