iv) Judicial System

The Supreme Court is the highest court in the country. The High Court stands at the head of the state's judicial administration. Each state is divided into judicial districts presided over by a district and sessions judge, who is the highest judicial authority in a district. Below him, there are courts of civil jurisdiction, known in different states as munsifs, sub-judges, civil judges and the like. Similarly, criminal judiciary comprises chief judicial magistrate and judicial magistrates of first and second class.

Supreme Court:  The Supreme Court of India consists of a Chief Justice and not more than 25 other Judges appointed by the President. The parliament has the power to increase or decrease the number of judges. Judges hold office till 65 years of age. The Supreme Court has original, appellate and advisory jurisdiction. Its exclusive original jurisdiction extends to all disputes between the Union and one or more states or between two or more states. The Constitution gives an extensive original jurisdiction to the Supreme Court to enforce Fundamental Rights. Appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court can be invoked by a certificate of the High Court concerned or by special leave granted by the Supreme Court in respect of any judgment, decree or final order of a High Court in cases both civil and criminal, involving substantial questions of law as to the interpretation of the constitution. The President may consult the Supreme Court on any question of fact or law of public importance.

High Courts: There are 18 High Courts in the country, three having jurisdiction over more than one state. Mumbai (Bombay) High Court has the jurisdiction over Maharashtra, Goa, Dadra, Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu. Guwahati High Court, which was earlier known as Assam High Court, has the jurisdiction over Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Tripura, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh. Punjab and Haryana High Court has the jurisdiction over Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh. Among the Union Territories, Delhi alone has had a High Court of its own. The other six Union Territories come under jurisdiction of different state High Courts.

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. Each High Court has supervisory powers over all courts within its jurisdiction. High Court judges retire at the age of 62.

The Union and State Legislatures can alter both the jurisdiction as well as the laws administered by a High Court. Certain High Courts, like those at Mumbai, Calcutta and Chennai, have original and appellate jurisdictions. Under the original jurisdiction suits, where the subject matter is valued at Rs.25, 000 or more can be filed directly in the High Court. Most High Courts have only appellate jurisdiction.

Lok Adalat: Lok Adalats are voluntary agencies for resolution of disputes through conciliatory method.

i) The Government
ii) The Constitution
ii) The Union v. States
iv) The Judicial System
iv) The Legal System

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