Hierarchy of Courts in India


The Indian Court is the house of justice a place where all the citizens of India seek justice, and it helps citizens to gain rights, it also interprets the law, and settles legal disputes. The Constitution of India established the Indian Court process for citizens by regulating the functioning of the law. The court process is well organized by looking into the accounts of the needs of its people.

The court’s jurisdiction has various branches that cover respective subjects, and a system like this requires a large number of professionals. In general, any legal dispute in India escalates from a lower-level court to a higher-level court, any citizen if disappointed with the judgment given in any lower-level court can appeal to a higher court in India. The Indian judicial system is based on records of judicial precedents that were passed from the British legacy of colonialism. The Indian court system consists of the Supreme Court of India, High Courts, and Subordinate Courts at the district, municipal, and village levels.

The Supreme Court

Supreme Court also known as the Apex court, has been placed at the peak of the Indian judiciary.  It was established on 26th January 1950 and is located in New Delhi. It is the highest authority to appeal to protect the right and liberties of the citizens of India. Hence, it is known as the Guardian of our Constitution. It resolves any dispute arising between the Centre and State. During such matters, Supreme Court looks into the judgment passed by the High court or other courts/ tribunals. Every decision of the Supreme Court is binding on all Indian courts. They are bound to follow the decision of the Supreme Court as the rule of law. As Supreme Court is the final arbiter of the law it assures the citizen to give equal justice under the law. It is the most senior constitutional court that grants the final decision in all legal disputes, except for interstate river disputes, it also has the power of judicial review. Currently, the Supreme Court consists of 1 (One) Chief Justice of India along with 33 (Thirty-Three) other judges appointed by the President of India and the official language of medium is English. The Supreme Court’s jurisdiction and composition is defined in Articles 124 to 147 of the Indian Constitution. The Supreme Court’s primary position is that of an Appellate Court.

The High Court

High Courts have jurisdiction for regulating the state but some of the High Courts have jurisdiction over more than one state or union territory. It is the second-ranked court in the Judiciary of India. Generally, High Court is subordinate to Supreme Court. High Court deals with the cases which appeal from the subordinate court and also has the power to govern the jurisdiction of lower courts. Every decision of the High Court is binding on all the lower courts of the State. There is a total of 25 (Twenty-Five) High courts in India. The High Court is the highest court of appellate jurisdiction at the state level, only when the lower courts in the state are unable to try the cases can the High Courts have civil or criminal jurisdiction.

In the system of Indian courts, High Court refers to an appellate court that handles the first step of appeal from a trial court; it helps to resolves the matter before appealing to the Supreme Court or other highest judicial body. The judges of high courts have the absolute power to issue writs in case of enforcement of fundamental rights. Most of the cases in India are held before a Single judge. However, in some circumstances, a Divisional Court comprising two or more judges is assigned.

The District Court

For each District, a court is assigned.  But some of the District courts have jurisdiction over more than one district taking into account the number of cases, and population distribution in the district. This court operates at the district level, it exercises its power as administer of justice at the district level. However, the judgment passed by District courts is appealable in the following High Court. District Courts are divided into two parts civil courts and criminal or session courts. It deals with both civil and criminal cases that arise in the District.

Civil Court

A Civil Court is a legal institution that hears various sorts of civil matters. It deals with disputes related to money, debts, property, housing, etc. It deals with private conflicts, that arise between people or private organizations on institutions, judge in a civil court can order the guilty to pay penalties, etc.

Criminal Court

District Court is referred to as the session when it employs its power over criminal issues under the Code of Criminal Procedure. The session judge presides over criminal trials in session court. They speak of violating the laws. The police, operating on behalf of the state, file cases including murder, theft, rape, and other offenses against the accused at the session court. Sessions court sentences people to pay fines, serve time in prison, or even the death penalty in these cases.

Lower Courts

Chief Metropolitan Magistrate’s Courts

CMM Court is also known as the Police Court which was established in the year 1810, on looking into the Code of Criminal Procedure Code, 1973. It is the amended version of the Criminal Procedure Code that empowers the government to appoint, in a metropolitan area, a CMM Court and other magistrates. The presiding officers of such courts are appointed by the High Courts all over India.

The City Civil Court

The City Civil Court is similar to the other civil courts which are governed by the Code of Civil Procedure 1908. It deals with matters which involve sums up to Rs 1 crore. Anything exceeding that shall be heard by the High Court. This Court is subordinate to the District Court which in turn is subordinate to the High Court.

The Motor Accident Claims Tribunal

The Motor Accident Claims Tribunal (MACT) is created by the Motor Vehicles Act, of 1988. It was established to give victims of motor vehicle accidents a faster course of action. It deals with claims relating to the loss of life, property, and injury cases faced during the accidents. The claims are to be directly filed in the concerned Tribunal. MACT is presided over by judicial officers from Delhi Higher Judicial Service.

The Small Causes Court

The Small Causes Court deals with cases relating to tax, property disputes related to rents, or any property seized, similar to civil cases. In such cases, you don’t need a lawyer to represent you in the first place. The procedure of this Court is governed by the provisions of the Presidency small causes courts Act, 1882, and established under the provisions of the Presidency small causes Act, 1882.

Co-Operative Courts

Co-operative Courts deal with the disputes that arise between society and its members regarding the constitution, election committees, general meetings, and management of the society. It is a separate wing of the state judiciary and it constitutes under the provision of The   Co-operative Societies Act, 1912. Co-operative societies all over India have to be registered under this act as a legal entity.

The Family Court.

Family Court has been established in 1984, all over India to enact for the establishment of Family Courts with an aim to promote conciliation and speedy settlement to deal  with the problems that arise between the family breakdown of a marriage, divorce, restitution of conjugal rights, claims for alimony, and maintenance and custody of children

The Industrial Labour Courts

Industrial labour court deals with the disputes that arise between management and labour, unfair dismissal of workmen, Trade disputes, and awarding compensation to the employees on accident in the respect of  Industrial and Labour Courts to grant cognizance to the collective agreements which have been jointly deposited by the trade union of employers and trade union of employees.


The different Courts of India deals with matters at different level where Supreme Court deals with cases at the National level, the High Court deals with cases at the State level and District or Subordinate court deals with the cases at District and Subordinate level. This Judiciary is the government’s backbone to provide justice and to safeguard the fundamental rights of every citizen. It helps us to determine what laws and how the laws apply in a particular case. The principal role of the judiciary is to protect the rule of the law and ensure the supremacy of the law.









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