Skip to content
Related Articles
Get the best out of our app
Open App

Related Articles

Structure of Courts In India

Improve Article
Save Article
Like Article
Improve Article
Save Article
Like Article

An organ of government that deals with the administration of justice according to law is called the judiciary. It includes courts, judges, etc. The work done by the judiciary involves dispute resolution, judicial review, upholding the law, and enforcement of fundamental rights. 

It resolves disputes among citizens, between citizens and government, and between two governments central or state. It is the final interpreter of the constitution and can override the Parliament. Indian judiciary is single, integrated as well as independent as established by the Indian constitution.

Independent judiciary

Independent Judiciary is the idea that the legal executive should be autonomous from different parts of the government. That means, courts must not be dependent upon ill-advised impact from different parts of government or from private or sectarian interests. Independence of the judiciary is very essential for the effective discharge of its functions and duties. We have an independent judiciary to avoid interference from other organs of government in its function of delivering justice and function without fear or favor. This ensures that the justice served is impartial.

Independent judiciary in India

Indian Constitution has ensured the independence of the judiciary through the following provisions:

  • Mode of appointment- Legislature is not involved in the appointment of judges. This is done to ensure that judicial appointments are not biased based on political or practical considerations.
  • Security of tenure- Judges can be removed by President or governor as per the manner prescribed in the constitution.
  • Fixed service conditions: Conditions of service remain the same during their tenure.
  • It is prohibited by the constitution to discuss in Parliament or State legislature the conduct of judges with respect to the discharge of duties.
  • The retired Supreme court judges are banned from further service in any court or authority to remove biases of judgment while in service.
  • Any person can be punished by the court for their contempt.
  • Parliament can only increase its jurisdiction but cannot curtail it.
  • Separation of Judiciary from Executive is provided by Constitution.
  • Judiciary is not dependent financially on legislature or executive.

Structure of Indian Judiciary

Indian judiciary is integrated and has 3 levels. The Supreme Court stands at the top as head of all courts which is followed by state High courts, District courts, other subordinate courts etc. Both central and state laws are enforced by a single system of courts. 

Supreme Court

It is a federal court, the highest court of appeal, the guarantor of fundamental rights, and a guardian of the constitution. There is only one Supreme Court. Its decisions are binding on all other courts. The jurisdiction and powers of the Supreme court include the following:

  1. Original jurisdiction: Can hear cases in the first instance.
  2. Writ jurisdiction: Guarantor of fundamental rights by issuing writs.
  3. Appellate jurisdiction: Can hear appeals against judgments of lower courts
  4. Advisory jurisdiction: Can provide an opinion to President on any matter.
  5. A court of record: Records all judgments and proceedings and can punish for contempt of court
  6. Power of judicial review: Can review its own judgment or judgment of lower courts.
  7. Interpreter of constitution: It is the final interpreter of the constitution.

High Court

Each state has a high court and other subordinate courts. It functions and operates below the Supreme Court. There are at present 25 high courts for different states in India. There can be a common high court for 2 states or UTs. High courts of each principality has a chief justice and other judges. It has same powers and jurisdictions as of a Supreme court on its subordinate courts.

District court/other subordinate courts

They are subordinate to the State high courts. The district judges are appointed by the Governor. The structure of district and other subordinate courts is different for different states. District judge is the highest judicial authority for the state. Other courts include family courts, gram nyayalayas etc.

Three tiers of civil and criminal courts are present below the high court

  • Civil courts: Deal with civil wrongs done by individuals against each other’s and entities. They include property disputes, contract breaches, divorce cases etc., Civil courts are governed by Code of Civil Procedure (CPC).
  • Criminal courts: Deal with crimes committed by individuals against society as per the Criminal law. Criminal courts derive their power from Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC). In case of Criminal law complaint is to be first registered with police.
  • Lok Adalat: Pending cases in a court or cases at pre litigation stage are settled in Lok Adalat’s amicably. It is also called as “People’s court”. In order to reduce the burden of the huge backlog cases and for speedy trial Lok Adalat’s have been constituted. They provide alternate resolution for expeditious and inexpensive justice. A Lok Adalat usually consist of a judicial officer, a lawyer and a social worker. The award of a Lok Adalat has the status of a decree of civil court and is non-appealable.

Sample Questions

Question 1: What is need of independent judiciary in a democracy?


In a democracy equality is major concept and it relies on it. When it comes to judiciary providing justice in an unbiased manner is essential to maintain the concept of equality. Independent Judiciary is the idea that the legal executive should be autonomous from different parts of the government. without a independent judiciary, Justice will be altered. The influence of political or executive can fall upon the justice .

Question 2: What is the basic structure and hierarchy of Indian judiciary?


India has an Independent judiciary and has three levels. central level state level and district level. They are as follows

  1. Supreme Court
  2. High court
  3. District and subordinate courts

The hierarchy is in the same order. supreme court is the highest court of appeal, That is followed by high courts which are further followed by district or subordinate courts. Based on the nature of the crime or issue the case is first introduced into the civil or criminals courts of the district or subordinate courts. People can go to the next court if they are not satisfied by the judgment given by the district or subordinate courts.

Question 3: What are the civil courts and criminal courts? Mention few examples for civil and criminal cases.


There are two types of cases namely civil and criminal. The civil cases are mainly disputes between people . for exam Divorce, custody of a child, dispute in lands, disputes related to money or property etc., The criminal cases are the once in which one party or a person commits a crime. These includes theft, murder rape, harming others physically, kidnapping etc., As the name mentions all the civil cases are put forth in the civil court whereas the criminal case are put forth in the criminal courts.

Question 4: What are the uses of Lok Adalat?


Every case cannot be solved by the courts i time. so to help this problem Lok Adalat were introduced where inexpensive justice is provided with a speedy trial.  They consists of one lawyer and a social worker. This reduces the burden of huge pending cases on courts .  Lok Adalat has the status of a decree of civil court and is non-appealable.

My Personal Notes arrow_drop_up
Last Updated : 23 May, 2022
Like Article
Save Article
Similar Reads
Related Tutorials