January 18, 2024

As the nation’s highest appellate courts, India’s high courts are endowed with supreme jurisdiction over appeals in all states and union territories. High Courts have original jurisdiction, consider appeals, and have appellate jurisdiction (especially in cases involving constitutional issues). In addition to overseeing subordinate courts and issuing writs, they are essential in interpreting legislation and defending fundamental constitutional ideas.

India now has 25 High Courts, including common High Courts in certain states. They play a significant role in India’s legal system.

power and functions of high court

  • In India, a state’s High Court is the highest court. The Indian Constitution’s Articles 214 to 231 discuss the structure and authority of the High Courts. The creation of a single High Court serving two or more states may likewise be authorized by the Parliament.
  • For example: the Union Territory of Chandigarh, Punjab, and Haryana all have the same High Court. Additionally, the states in the northeast share a single High Court. Moreover, Puducherry and Tamil Nadu share a High Court.

what are the functions of high court?

For clarity, various functions played by a high court are explained in relation to authority, jurisdiction, etc.

The Function of “Original Jurisdiction”:

  • Original jurisdiction over criminal and civil cases originating in these cities’ rests with the High Courts of Calcutta, Bombay, and Madras.
  • These High Courts have the unique privilege of hearing civil cases involving property valued at more than 20,000 rupees.
  • In relation to Fundamental Rights, the High Courts possess the authority to grant writs for the purpose of upholding fundamental rights.
  • Regarding other cases such as wills, divorces, contempt of court, and admiralty issues fall under the original jurisdiction of all High Courts.
  • Election petitions may be considered by the High Courts.

The Function of “Appellate Jurisdiction”:

  • In civil proceedings, people have the right to appeal a district court’s ruling to the High Court.
  • An appeal may also be taken straight from the sub-ordinate court in cases where the disagreement concerns a factual or legal issue, or if the amount in question exceeds 5000 rupees.
  • Regarding criminal cases: Under the following circumstances, it covers cases adjudicated by Sessions and Additional Sessions Judges:
  • if the session judge issued an order ordering a minimum of seven years in imprisonment.
  • if the session’s judge has imposed the death penalty.
  • The High Court’s jurisdiction is also extended to any cases governed by federal or state statutes.
  • The High Court certifies that there is a serious question of law in constitutional cases as well.

What are the powers of high court in india?

Power of Issuing Writs:

  • The enforcement of basic rights and other purposes may require the High Court to grant writs of habeas corpus, mandamus, prohibition certiorari, and quo warranto.
  • The writs may only be issued by the Supreme Court in order to uphold basic rights; they cannot be used for any other reason.
  • Even in an emergency, the High Court’s authority to grant writs in the form of habeas corpus cannot be limited.

Power of Superiority:

  • The original Constitution gave the High Courts the authority to determine whether State and Federal laws were lawful.
  • However, the 42nd Amendment to the Constitution limited the High Courts’ authority to decide whether State laws were legitimate and removed its ability to decide if federal laws were legitimate.
  • Nonetheless, these authorities have been returned to the High Courts by the 43rd Constitutional (Amendment) Act, 1978.

Competence and Powers to Take up Cases:

  • The High Court may take up a case and make a decision if it is pending before a subordinate court and it is convinced that there is a significant constitutional or legal issue at stake.

Power and Authority over Sub-ordinate Courts

  • The State’s lower courts are subject to the authority of the High Court.
  • The Governor shall consult it before choosing, assigning, and elevating district judges.
  • The District Court and other lower courts’ personnel appointments, promotions, and other decisions are heavily influenced by the High Court.

Power of Judicial Review:

  • The High Court has the authority to review and rule on the validity of legislative enactments as well as state and federal executive directives.
  • The Indian Constitution contains provisions in Articles 226 and 227 that grant the High Court the authority to conduct an accurate judicial review.

Power of Court of Records:

  • The High Court serves as the court of record, just like the Indian Supreme Court.
  • This implies that the judges of the lower courts have the authority to decide matters by consulting the records of decisions rendered by the judges of the High Court.
  • Furthermore, in any case of contempt, the High Court has the authority to penalize the offending individual or organization.

Following the Indian Supreme Court, High Courts are regarded as superior courts in India. high court powers and functions are granted to it by different statutes. High courts each have their own original and appellate side rules that specifically outline the processes they will follow.

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