Indian judiciary & Hierarchy of courts in India
By swatee Shukla
The judiciary is a distinct and independent arm of the government entrusted with judicial authority and mandated to administer and deliver justice to the people of India. It plays a fundamental role in the promotion of law and order, human rights, social justice, morality, and good governance. The independence of the judiciary is guaranteed by the constitution in a number of its provisions among others, the appointment, removal, salary, and other conditions of service of judicial officers. The core of the independence of the judiciary is the absence of any interference from the executive or the legislature in judicial decisions. The key function of the judiciary is the adjudication of civil and criminal cases. In addition, it interprets the constitution and gives effect to its provisions, as well as provides the expertise in interpreting the laws. Further, the Judiciary performs other related duties in the promotion of human rights, social justice, and morality. The judiciary of India is an independent body and is separated from executive and legislative bodies of the Indian government. . The judiciary of India takes care of the maintenance of law and order along with solving problems related to civil and criminal offences. The judiciary system that is followed in India is based on the British legal system that was prevalent in the country during the pre-independence era. Very few amendments have been made in the judicial system of the country.
The judicial system of India is stratified into various levels. At the apex is the Supreme Court, which is followed by high courts at the state level, district court at the district level, and Lok Adalat at the village and panchayat level.
Supreme court- work is the interpretation of statutes and protection of the fundamental right. The words of the supreme court are rules themselves.
High court – each state have one high court, benches of high court may exist.
court of judicial magistrate second class(JMSC)- Power of JMSC – maximum imprisonment of 1 year and maximum compensation of 5 thousand.
Court of judicial magistrate first class(JMFC)- Powers maximum 3 years of imprisonment and maximum 10 thousand monetary compensation.
Court of chief judicial magistrate (CJM)-the power of CJM maximum imprisonment of seven years and there is no limit for monetary compensation.
Court of sessions – provisions for the court of session have been provided in section 9 of CrPC, 1973. The Court of the session is an appellate court. There are three types of judges in the court of sessions. The court of sessions is established by the state government. There can be more than one session court in a particular district. The respective state government may divide the district into various session divisions and may establish a court in every such session division.
Assistant session judge can pass imprisonment up to 10 years and fine. There is no restriction on the amount of fine. The amount of this fine may be unlimited but may not be excessive. The amount of fine is to be decided, keeping in mind the economic condition of the accused.
Additional session judge- the same power as assistant session judge, has the power to give any punishment provided by law. They can pass any sentence. CrPC Section 366 provides that when the court of sessions passes a sentence of death, the proceedings shall be submitted to the high court, and the sentence shall not be executed unless it is confirmed by the high court.