Judiciary of India


Judiciary of India is an independent legal system in the country that bases itself on the English common law. The birth of the judicial system of India took place in the British era itself. This is one of the chief reasons for the resemblance of the Indian Judiciary with that of the Anglo-Saxon states. At the head of the entire system of Judiciary of India, sits the Supreme Court, which comprises the chief justice and 25 other judges who are elected by the President himself. The selection of these 25 judges depends on the advice of the Prime Minister. The chief justice, along with the other judges, can continue service until they attain 65 years of age.

Some of the major duties of the Supreme Court include handling disputes between the central government and the state government or between various state administrations. It also handles the appeals that are sent to it from the lower courts. The hierarchy of Indian courts states that the Supreme Court is followed by the High Courts of the nation. High courts are positioned at the head of the judicial administration of the state. Furthermore, each one of the states is distributed into various judicial districts that are under the jurisdiction of the sessions judge. The sessions judge is, in fact, the highest authority at the district level of Judiciary of India.

The sessions judge is followed by the courts of civil jurisdiction, which are placed at level below the sessions judge. The members of courts of civil jurisdiction are referred to as the munsifs, civil judges and the sub-judges. Criminal Judiciary in India is composed of judicial magistrates of the first and the second class, who are in turn headed by the chief judicial magistrate.

According to the 1973 Code of Criminal Procedure, there should be separate groups of magistrates selected for performing the judicial and the executive functions, inside the system of the criminal court. The 1973 Code of Criminal Procedure came into effect since the 1st of April, 1974. In each of the states, the judicial magistrates are controlled by the High court.

The single civil court system has a large variation of personal laws. Some such laws include the Islamic law or the Shariah. The civil courts ahve been provided with the power to govern various matters that are termed as non-criminal. These issues include the laws regarding inheritance, family and divorce. The Supreme Court has, in fact stressed time and again, on the independence of the judicial system in India and has tried to affirm the secular commitment of the nation. Some of the compulsory legal powers stated by the International Court of Justice are accepted by the Judiciary of India.

Last Updated on 1st Oct 2012