(Indian Polity) THE JUDICIARY - Subordinate Courts, Lower/Revenue Courts & Judicial Review in India


Subordinate Courts in Districtshttp://www.iasplanner.com/civilservices/images/indian-polity.png

Subordinate for Lower Courts

In each district of India there are various types of Subordinate or lower Courts. The Structure and functions of Subordinate Courts are more or less uniform throughout the Country. Designations of courts Connote their functions. They are civil courts, Criminal Courts and revenue Courts.

These Courts hear civil cases, criminal cases and revenue cases, respectively.  These Courts deal with disputes of Civil or Criminal nature as per the Powers Conferred on them. These Courts have been derived principally from two important Codes prescribing Procedures, 1973 and further strengthened by local statutes.

A uniform designation has been brought about in the Subordinate judiciary’s Judicial Officers all over the Country Viz. District or Additional District Judge, Civil Judge (Senior Divisions) and Civil Judge (Junior Division) on the Civil side and on criminal side, sessions judge, Additional Sessions Judge, Chief Judicial Magistrate and Judicial made in existing posts by indicating their equivalent with any of these Categories by all State Government/UT Administrations.

Under Article 235 of the Constitution of India, The administrative Control Over the members of Subordinate Judicial Service Vests with the Concerned High Court.  Further  in exercise of Powers conferred Under pro vision to Article 309 read the with Article 233 and 234 of the Constitution, the State Government Shall frame rules and regulations in Consultation with the  high Court Exercising Jurisdiction in relation.

Revenue Courts

Revenue Courts deal with Cases of land revenue in the State. The highest revenue Court in the district is the Board of Revenue. Under it are the Courts of Commissioners, Collectors, Tehsildar and Assistant Tehsildars, The Board of Revenue hears the final appeals against all the lower revenue Courts under it .

Judicial Review

The Power of judiciary to review and determine the Validity of a law or an order may be described as the Power of Judicial review. It is the Power exerted by the Courts of a Country to examine the actions of the legislatures, executive and administrative arms of government and to ensure that such actions Conform to the Provisions of the nation’s Constitution. Judicial review has two important functions, like, of legitimizing government action and the Protection of Constitution against any undue encroachment by the Government. It also includes the power of the Supreme Court to review its own judgement order. The doctrine of judicial review is a unique innovation of American Supreme Court. It was propounded in the leading Case of Marbury vs. Madison in 1803 by Chief Justice Marshall. The Concept of Judicial  review, as it obtained in America, refers to the Power of the Court to hold unconstitutional any legislative enactment or executive order that it deems to be inconsistent with the basic laws of the land i.e., the Constitution.

Rationale behind the Concept of Judicial Review in India

The Power of Judicial review flows from the power of Court to interpret the Constitution. It is required for following purposes: The Constitution of India has adopted a federal Structure and in federal Structure the Constitution is Supreme. Being the final interpreter and arbiter of the Constitution, Supreme Court is bound to review any law or order violating the Supremacy of the Constitution. In a way judicial review is required to maintain the Supremacy of the Constitution. Secondly, being the guardian of the Fundamental Rights, Supreme Court has to protect them from any invasion by legislative and executive actions. Thirdly, the federal Structure entails the division of powers between Centre and States. The Supreme Court, being the federal and the highest Court, is entrusted with the power of reviewing the legislative enactments both of Parliament and the State Legislatures, so that the balance of power between federal units is maintained.

Constitutional Provisions for Judicial Review

There is no express provision in our Constitution empowering the Courts for Judicial review. But the Constitution has imposed definite limitations upon each of the Organs, the transgression of which would make the law Void. The Court is entrusted with the task of deciding whether any of the Constitutional limitations has been transgressed or not.

  • The legitimacy of any legislation Can be Challenged in the Court of law on the grounds that,
  • The legislature is not Competent enough to pass a law on that Particular Subject matter; or
  • The law is repugnant to the provisions of the Constitutions; or
  • The law infringers one of the fundamental rights.
  • To such State. The members of the State Judicial Services are governed by these rules and regulations.

Types of Cases

Civil Cases pertain to disputes between two or more persons regarding property, breach of agreement or Contract, divorce or landlord-tenant disputes. Civil Courts settle these disputes. They do not award any punishment as violation of law is not involved in Civil Cases. Criminal Cases relate to violation of laws. These Cases are filled in the lower Court by the Police, on behalf of the State, against the accused. In Such Cases the accused, if found guilty, is awarded punishment like fine, imprisonment or even death Sentence.


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