The High Courts occupy an important position in the judicial system of India. These are parts of an integrated and federated judicial system below the Supreme Court of India.
Each High Court is a creation of the Constitution and as such itfunctions in accordance with the Constitution.
The Constitution provides for a High Court for each state. However, the Parliament can by law establish a common High Court for two or more states and a Union Territory. At present Punjab Haryana and Chandigarh have a common High Court.
Apart from it, there is a common High Court for 7 North-eastern States—Assam, Nagaland, Manipur, Tripura, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram. And also,Tamil Nadu & Pondicherry have a common High Court. With a total 21 High Courts are working in India.
High Courts operates next only to the Supreme Court of India.Their work mostly comprisesof appeals from Lowers Courts and writ petitions in terms of Article 226 of the Constitution of India.
Part VI, Chapter V, Article 214 of the Constitution institutes High Courts as Constitutional
Appointment of Judges of HighCourts in India
High Courts are headed by Chief Justices. They are appointed by the President of India with mutual consultations from Chief Justice of Supreme Court and Governor of State.
The Judges to High Courts are appointed by President, State Governor and High Court Chief Justice.
Eligibility Criteria to be a High Court Judge
- Should be a citizen of India
- should have beena Judge for 10 years of Subordinate court under the Judicial Service of the State or an Advocate for 10 years in a High Courts in India (Article 217)
Tenure of High CourtJudges in India
The retirement of the Judges of the High Courts was fixed at 60 but according to the 15th amendment of the Constitution, it was raised to 62 in 1963.
Termination Policy of High Court Judges
- A judge may leave his office by addressing the letter of resignation to the President.
- A judge may be removed by the President if the Parliament passes a motion against him by an absolute majority and 2/3rd majority of the members present and voting, both the Houses sitting separately.
Salary and Fringe Benefits:
The Chief Justice gets a salary of ₹90,000 p.m. while the other judges are paid a monthly salary of ₹80,000.
The salaries are not put to vote in the State Legislatures. This provision ensures that the judges remain insulated from any kind of political pressure or influence. The Judges however are barred from pleading or acting in a court except at the Supreme Court or a High Court other than the one in which he held office.
Powers and Functions
The original jurisdiction of the High Court is restricted.
(a) Every High Court under Article 226 is empowered to issue writs, orders, directions including writs in the nature of Habeas Corpus, Mandamus, Prohibition, Quo-warranto and Certiorari or any of them to any person or authority with in its territory for the enforcement of the Fundamental Rights and for any other purpose.
(b) The original jurisdiction of High Court extends to matters of admiralty, matrimonial, contempt of court and cases ordered to be transferred to High Court by lower court.
(c) The High Courts of Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai have original jurisdiction on hearing straightway cases involving the Christians and Parsies.
(d) The High Courts of Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai exercise original civil jurisdiction when the amount involved is more than two thousand rupees.
The appellate jurisdiction of the High Courts extends so:
(a) The High Court can hear appeals in civil cases if the amount involved in the case is at least Rs. 5000.
(b) The High Court in criminal cases hears the appeal in which the accused has been sentenced to four years imprisonment by the Sessions Judge. v
(c) The death sentence awarded by Sessions Judge is subject to approval by the High Court.
(d) The High Court hear the cases involving interpretation of the Constitution or Law.
(e) The High Court hears the cases on income tax, sales tax etc.
Power of Judicial Review:
The States High Courts like the Supreme Court has the power of Judicial Review. A High Court has the power to strike down any law of the State or any order of the executive if it violates any provision of the constitution or curtails or takes any of the Fundamental Rights of the people.
Administrative and Supervisory Power:
The State High Court performs many administrative functions within its Territorial Jurisdiction. It exercises the power of superintendence and control over all courts and tribunals throughout the territory except the military tribunals.
List of High Courts in India along with their establishment year, jurisdiction,seat, bench and act under which they were established.
|Court Name||Year of Establishment||Act Established||Jurisdiction||Seat||Bench|
|Allahabad High Court||1866||Indian High Courts Act 1861||Uttar Pradesh||Allahabad||Lucknow|
|Chennai High Court||1862||Indian High Courts Act 1861||
|Chhattisgarh High Court||2000||Madhya Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2000||Chhattisgarh||Bilaspur|
|Delhi High Court||1966||Delhi High Court Act, 1966||NCT of Delhi||New Delhi|
|Gauhati High Court||1948||Government of India Act, 1935||
|Gujarat High Court||1960||Bombay Reorgansisation Act, 1960||Gujarat||Ahmedabad|
|Himachal Pradesh High Court||1971||State of Himachal Pradesh Act, 1970||
|Jammu and Kashmir High Court||1928||Letters Patent issued by then Maharaja of Kashmir||
Jammu and |
|Jharkhand High Court||2000||Bihar Reorganisation Act, 2000||Jharkhand||Ranchi|
|Karnataka High Court||1884||Mysore High Court Act, 1884||Karnataka||Bangalore||
|Kerala High Court||1956||States Reorganisation Act, 1956||
|Kolkata High Court||1862||Indian High Courts Act 1861||
Andaman and Nicobar Islands, |
|Madhya Pradesh High Court||1936||Government of India Act, 1935||Madhya Pradesh||Jabalpur||Gwalior, Indore|
|Manipur High Court||2013||North-Eastern Areas (Reorganisation) and Other Related Laws (Amendment) Act, 2012||Manipur||Imphal|
|Meghalaya High Court||2013||North-Eastern Areas (Reorganisation) and Other Related Laws (Amendment) Act, 2012||Meghalaya||Shillong|
|Mumbai High Court||1862||Indian High Courts Act 1861||
Goa, Dadra and Nagar Haveli,|
|Odisha High Court||1948||Orissa High Court Ordinance, 1948||Odisha||Cuttack|
|Punjab and Haryana High Court||1947||Punjab High Court Ordinance, 1947||
|Rajasthan High Court||1949||Rajasthan High Court Ordinance, 1949||Rajasthan||Jodhpur||Jaipur|
|Sikkim High Court||1975||The 36th Amendment to the Indian Constitution||Sikkim||Gangtok|
|Tripura High Court||2013||North-Eastern Areas (Reorganisation) and Other Related Laws (Amendment) Act, 2012||Tripura||Agartala|
|Uttarakhand High Court||2000||Uttar Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2000||Uttarakhand||Nainital|
Some Important facts about High Courts
- The Calcutta High Court is the oldest High Court in the country. It was established on 2 July 1862.
- The Madras High Court in Chennai, Bombay High Court in Mumbai, Calcutta High Court in Kolkata and Allahabad High Court in Allahabad are the oldest four High Courts in India.
- Three new High Courts were constituted in North-East area— Meghalaya, Manipur and Tripura in 2013.
- First Female Judge of High Court was Anna Chandy.
- First Female Chief Justice of High Court is Leila Seth (Himachal Pradesh HC)
India’s first e-Court was opened at High Court of Judicature at Hyderabad in 2016.