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High Court- Composition, Appointment, Removal and Jurisdiction

 High Court- Composition, Appointment, Removal and Jurisdiction


Introduction

  • The High Court of a State is the highest court of the State and all ther courts of the State work under it.

  • There are 25 High Courts in India.

  • The Calcutta High Court, established in 1862, is the oldest High Court in India. The Bombay and Madras High Courts were also established in the same year.

  • The newest High Courts are the Telangana Court and Andhra Pradesh High Court, both established in the year 2019.

Composition

  • Art. 216- Every High Court shall consist of a Chief Justice and such other Judges as the President may from time to time deem it necessary to appoint.


Appointment of the Judges (Art. 217)

  • The Chief Justice of a High Court is appointed by the President with the consultation of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and the Governor of the State. 

  • The other judges are appointed by the will of President, Governor and the Chief Justice of High Court.

Qualifications [Art.217(2)]

  • A person shall not be qualified for appointment as a Judge of a High Court unless he is a citizen of India and— 

(a) has for at least ten years held a judicial office in the territory of India; or 

(b) has for at least ten years been an advocate of a High Court or of two or more such Courts in succession

  • Tenure: Originally the age of the retirement of the judges of the High Courts was fixed at 60 but it was raised to 62 in 1963 according to the 15th amendment of the Constitution.

  • Resignation: A Judge may, by writing under his hand addressed to the President, resign his office.

  • Removal: A Judge may be removed from his office by the President in the manner provided in clause (4) of article 124 for the removal of a Judge of the Supreme Court.



Jurisdiction of the High Court

  • A Court of Record- Art. 215

  • General Jurisdiction- Jurisdiction of existing High Courts (Art. 225) shall remain the same.

  • Power to transfer case- Art. 228

   If the High Court is satisfied that a case pending in a court subordinate to it involves a substantial question of law as to the interpretation of the Constitution, the determination of which is necessary for the disposal of the case, it shall withdraw the case and may either dispose of the case itself; or determine the said question of law and return the case to the court from which the case has been so withdrawn together with a copy of its judgment on such question, and the said court shall on receipt thereof proceed to dispose of the case in conformity with such judgment.

  • Control over subordinate courts- Art. 235

   State of West Bengal v. Nripendra Nath Bagchee (AIR 1966 SC 447)

The Government had no jurisdiction to take disciplinary action against a District Judge. It is the High Court alone which is competent to exercise disciplinary power against a Judge of the inferior court.   

  • Power to issue certain writs (Art. 226)

   Every High Court has the power to issue writs of habeus corpus, mandamus, prohibition, quo-warranto and certiorari for the enforcement of Fundamental Rights or for other purposes.

  • Judicial Review:

   L. Chandra Kumar v. Union of India (AIR 1997 SC 1125)

    The power of judicial review of legislative action vested in the High Courts under Art. 226 of the Constitution is a basic feature of the Constitution. 


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