India is the longest and the biggest written constitution in the world. The Constitution is the supreme law of the land. It is the grundnorm of India. The Constitution not only provides the rights and the duties but it also provides the framework for lawmaking.
The lawmaking process is not a short term process. The Constitution of India endows with the Separation of Powers. Separation of Powers is one of the methods of governance in the State. Herein the powers and functions are divided into branches so that there would not be any autocracy.
In India, the Powers are separated among three organs which are independent and interdependent on each other. The three organs are:
In India Legislative and Executive are quite dependent on each since both of them consists of Union Members whereas. The Judiciary is fairly independent to that of the other organs. The main role of the judiciary is to impart justice as well as to maintain the law and order. The judiciary is also involved in the lawmaking procedure.
Hierarchy of Judiciary of India
Judiciary is the third most important organ in India. Judiciary ensures to maintain the law of the land and provide justice. The Indian Judiciary is based on the British model of Judiciary. It is an independent organ. Judiciary in India acts as a watchdog for the Indian Constitution. It protects the fundamental rights of the people.
In there are institutions where the legal matters are adjudicated. They are known as Courts. In simple, a Court is an institution or a person where all the legal matters are heard and adjudged. It is an institution where justice is assured.
In there is a multiple court system. There is a hierarchy to it. Following are the Courts in India:
- THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA:
It is the Apex Court of the Indian State. It is above all the Courts in India. It is the Court where the appeal is taken. The Court takes the appeal from the High Courts of India. The Supreme Court of India is the guardian of the Indian Constitution. It safeguards the fundamental rights of the citizens and ensures that someone’s right is not hindered. The Supreme Court of India is also the Federal Court. It has the original jurisdiction in the cases where there is the substantial question on the law of the land. In the Supreme Court of India, one can file a writ petition under Article 32 of the Indian Constitution. The judgment passed by the Supreme Court will be final unless in case of the death penalty a mercy petition can be filed to the President of India. The Supreme Court consists of the Chief Justice of India along with a maximum of 31 judges in the Court.
- THE HIGH COURT OF INDIA:
It is the subordinate to the Supreme Court of India. There are 24 High Courts all over India. It is the Appellate Court which takes the appeals of the District Courts. It is bound by the orders of the Supreme Court. Their jurisdiction lies in the State where it is located. One can also file a writ petition in High Court under Article 226 of the Constitution of India. Unlike the Supreme Court the writ petition can be filed during the time of emergency in the High Court. The first High Court of India was established in Calcutta in the year 1862. The biggest High Court in India is the Allahabad High Court situated in Prayagraj in the State of Uttar Pradesh. The Chief Justice of the High Court is the highest authority. The oldest courts in India are the Bombay High Court, the Calcutta High Court, the Allahabad High Court and the Madras High Court are the oldest high courts in India.
- THE DISTRICT COURT AND THE OTHER LOWER COURTS:
The District Courts are those Courts which are subordinate to the High Court as well as the Supreme Court of India. Unlike the High Court and the Supreme Court of India, one cannot file any writ petition in these Courts. They are above the village courts and the panchayats. Their jurisdiction is restricted to the district in which they are located. The District Court has matters primarily in civil. But it is presided by the Sessions Court if the matter is criminal. The District Court has a judge who is appointed by the State Governor of each State. There are 672 District Courts in India. The State of Uttar Pradesh has the highest number of District Courts that is 75 followed by Madhya Pradesh which is 50.
After the district the court, the Constitution of India provides the legal facility at the village level as well. In villages the legal and the judicial matters are taken and then adjudged by the ‘Gram Nyayalaya.’ The Gram Nyayalaya gets its power under ‘Gram Nyayalaya Act, 2008’ which came into force on 2nd October 2009. The village court can deal with the both civil, criminal and the disputes which are specified under the Schedule I and the Schedule II of the Act. The ‘Nyayadhikari’ is the presiding officer who adjudicates the matters in the village courts. Like other courts they are also bound by the Principle of Natural Justice.
The Chief Justice and the Judges of the Supreme Court of India:
In India the Supreme Court consists of the Chief Justice of India along with the judges of the Supreme Court. There can be a maximum of 31 judges in the Supreme Court of India. The Chief Justice of India is appointed by the President of India. The other Judges are appointed by the President along with the Chief Justice of India. In the Supreme Court the judges can also be elected directly from the bar. The judges get retire at the age of 65. Presently the Chief Justice of India is Ranjan Gogoi who was appointed by the President Mr. Ram Nath Kovind.
The Chief Justice and the Judges of the High Court:
In case of the High Court it is similar to that of the Supreme Court. It consists of the Chief Justice of the High Court along with the judges of the High Court. The Chief Justice of the High Court is appointed by the President on the recommendation Chief Justice along with the State Governor. Whereas in case of the judge other than the chief justice then it should consist it shall consists of Chief Justice of the High Court as well. The judges of the high court are retired at the age of 62.
The Judges of the District Courts:
In case of a District Court the judge is appointed by the State Governor along with the Chief Justice of the High Court of that State. A District Judge is also the Sessions Judge if he is dealing with the criminal matters. The District Judge is also called ‘Metropolitan Sessions Judge’ if he/she is the judge of the metropolitan
The Judges of Village Courts:
The village courts in India are known as the ‘Gram Nyayalaya.’ They were established to lower the burden of the other courts. The other was to dispose of the matters at the village level. The person who adjudicates the matter is the ‘Nyayadhikari’ or the presiding officer. They are appointed by the state governor on the recommendation of the Chief Justice of the High Court of that State.
Vacancies in the Courts: A Threat to Judiciary in India
India is one of the biggest countries in the world. Therefore, it has one of the biggest judiciaries in the whole world. The question arises against that do we have the required number of judges to deal with the matters of the Court. The answer to this question is no. There are a huge number of vacancies in India. As per the recent survey done it was found that there are more than 5,000 seats are vacant in the Courts. The Justice has asked the Government and the administration to take the responsibility of filling the seats of the courts. The highest percentage of vacancies was found in the state of Meghalaya followed by the State of Bihar and then State of Uttar Pradesh. The judicial process is not only affected by the delays but also by the vacancies of judges in the Courts. As per the recent survey was done by the Supreme Court, there are about 57,785 matters which are pending in the Supreme Court itself. Therefore, one can see that there are more matters which will be pending in the High Courts and the other Subordinate Courts. In another survey, it was found there about 27 million cases pending in the courts and 4,500 benches are empty.
The recent survey of some of the subordinate courts in the States is as follows:
Other chart shows the overall vacancies in the courts of India:
- The Supreme Court of India
- The High Courts
- The District and the Subordinate Courts:
above surveys show that there is an
urgent requirement of judges to fill in
the vacancies to dispose of the cases at
large. In there is only an average of 17 judges per million population whereas
in countries like France and the U.S. it is 124 and 108
respectively. States like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and West Bengal etc. have 21, 13 and
8 judges per million population respectively.
It was found in one of the surveys that there are about 2.5 crores cases pending in the court and 4,500 benches are vacant.
In recent times, Chief Justice of India addressed the issue regarding the vacancy of the judges in the Courts. The CJI stated that the State Government was responsible for such delay. The CJI stated that the election of judges is done by the State Governor; therefore, the State should fill the vacant seats of the judges. According to one of the judges, it will take about it will take 320 years to dispose of the matters present in the Court. The Delhi Government stated that they didn’t have sufficient funds for the same. The law ministry has asked the judiciary to speed up the process of recruitment in the lower courts so that the pending matters could be adjudged. It can be noticed that both judiciary and the executive are shifting the burden of recruitment on each other.
It is important that there should be enlargement of judges so that justice could be imparted. Not only that there would be a speedy judicial process, on the other hand, but it would also help in building a strong judiciary.
Everyone knows that “Justice Delayed is Justice Denied” therefore it is required that the number of judges recommended being appointed in the Court so that the justice could be imparted.