Sub-ordinate courts

These courts function below the High court at district and state level

Constitutional provisions

Articles 233 to 237 in Part VI of the constitution make the following provisions to regulate the organization of subordinate courts and to ensure their independence from the executive

  1. Appointment of District judges: The appointments are made by the governor in consultation with the high court
  2. Qualification of District judges:
  • He should not already be in the service of the central or the state government
  • He should have been an advocate or a pleader for seven years
  • He should be recommended by the High Court for appointment
  1. Appointment of other judges: They are made by the governor after consultation with the state public service commission and the high court
  2. Control over subordinate courts: It is vested with the concerned state high court


Structure and jurisdiction

  • The organization, jurisdiction and nomenclature of the subordinate judiciary is laid down by the states
  • There are three-tiers of civil and criminal courts below the high court.
  • Criminal courts:
    • Sessions judge’s court (district level)
    • Chief Judicial magistrate court
    • Judicial magistrate court
  • Civil court:
    • District judge
    • Subordinate Judge’s court
    • Munsiff’s court

The district judge is the highest judicial authority in the district. He possesses original and appellate jurisdiction in both civil as well as criminal matters. When he deals with civil cases, he is known as the district judge and when he hears the criminal cases, he is called as the sessions judge

The session’s judge could impose life imprisonment as well as capital punishment on a convicted felon. However, such a sentence should be confirmed by the High Court