High courts are established under Indian high court act, 1861. High courts are established at Calcutta, Bombay and Madras.
There are 24 High Courts at the State level. Article 141 of the Constitution of India mandates that they are bound by the judgments and orders of the Supreme Court of India by precedence. These courts have jurisdiction over a state, a union territory or a group of states and union territories. The High Courts are the principal civil courts of original jurisdiction in the state along with District Courts which are subordinate to the High courts.
Appointment of Judges: The judges of a high court are appointed by the President. The chief justice is appointed by the President after consultation with the Chief Justice of India and the governor of the state concerned. In case of a common high court for two or more states, the governors of all the states concerned are consulted by the President.
Qualifications of Judges: A person to be appointed as a judge of a High Court should have the following qualifications:
· He should be a citizen of India.
He should have held a
judicial office in the territory of India for ten years; or
He should have been an advocate of a high court (or high courts in succession) for ten years.
The Constitution has not prescribed a minimum age for appointment as a judge of a high court.
· He can serve till attains the age of 62 Years.
· Any dispute regarding the age of judge of HC is decided by President in consultation with CJ of India.
§ HC judge can resign by writing to President; or
§ By same removal process as in case of SC judges
Salary of High Court Judges
§ Chief Justice of India → 90,000
§ Others → 80,000
§ From consolidated fund of State
Oath → before Governor (Unlike before President as in case of Supreme Court)
§ Matters relating to marriage, divorce, company laws and contempt of court
§ Disputes relating to the election of members of Parliament and state legislatures.
§ Regarding revenue matter or an act ordered or done in revenue collection.
§ Enforcement of fundamental rights of citizens.
§ Cases ordered to be transferred from a subordinate court involving the interpretation of the Constitution to its own file.
§ All High Courts entertain appeals in civil & criminal cases from their subordinate courts.
§ They have, however, no jurisdiction over tribunals established by the law relating to armed forces of the country
§ Jurisdiction to issue writs under High Court is larger than the Supreme Court.
§ Supreme Court can issue them only where a Fundamental Rights has been infringed whereas a High Court can issue them, not only in such cases but also where an ordinary legal right has been infringed
§ High Court supervise & controls the working of courts subordinate to them
§ Frame rules & regulations for transactions of their business
§ For ex. Transfers, Postings, Promotions etc.
§ Not applicable in case of tribunals dealing with armed forces
§ “HC acts as court of records & has power to punish its own contempt”
§ Right to entertain PIL cases lies with Supreme Court and High Court only.
§ A tool of judiciary to enforce legal & constitutional obligations towards executives & legislatures in interest of public at large
§ Basic aim of PIL is to render justice & help in promotion of well-being of public interest (not of individual’s interest → In individual’s case , writ petition for FR)
§ Usually, relief provided by court is in form of directions or order of state including compensation to affected parties
A PIL may also be introduced in a court of law by the court itself (suo motu), rather than the aggrieved party or another third party. It is a result of judicial activism, not mentioned in constitution or any law enacted by Parliament.
The Jurisdiction of Supreme Court is very wide. Judicial review means the power of Supreme Court and high court to declare a law as unconstitutional and void if it violates one or more provisions of the constitution. This power is available to courts both against executive and legislative actions.
While declaring a law as unconstitutional and void, the judiciary doesn’t give any alternative suggestions or solutions. Judicial review is not explicitly mentioned in the constitution, But is traceable under Art 13,32,226. It is implied in the concept of supremacy of constitution, division of powers, separation of powers, rule of law, fundamental rights. It is the limited nature of government that gives the power of judicial review to courts.
Judicial review is needed for the following reasons:
· To uphold the principle of the supremacy of the Constitution.
· To maintain federal equilibrium (balance between Centre and states).
· To protect the fundamental rights of the citizens.
1. It has helped the courts to prevent any undue encroachment upon their powers by executive and legislature.
2. Courts have also succeeded in protecting the fundamental rights enjoyed by the individuals through Judicial Review.
3. Court has succeeded in protecting supremacy of constitution, federalism, balance among three organs of state, rule of law, etc through judicial review.
Supreme Court has declared that it is part of basic structure of the constitution. In so far as the fundamental rights are concerned it has been explicitly mentioned in Art 13 of the constitution. The concept of Public Interest litigation also emanates from the power of judicial review and writ jurisdiction of the Supreme Court and High Courts.
1. Shankari Prasad case v. Union of India, 1951
2. Sajjan Singh v. State of Rajasthan, 1965.
3. Golak Nath vs. The State of Punjab, 1967.
4. Kesavananda Bharati v. The State of Kerala, 1973.
5. Indira Gandhi v. Raj Narain, 1975.
6. Minerva Mills Ltd. v. Union of India, 1980.
7. Chandra Kumar v. Union of India, 1997