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Hierarchy & Powers Of The Courts

Hierarchy & Powers Of The Courts

INTRODUCTION of Hierarchy & Powers Of The Courts 

Indian Judiciary is one of the most efficient Judicial systems in the world. The Judiciary derives its powers from the Constitution of India. The existence of Courts is required to check the misuse of the powers conferred by the Legislature or the Executive. The Indian Judiciary is the guardian of the Constitution of India, along with being a custodian of the Fundamental Rights of the citizens. The Judiciary is well established with quite a lengthy and complex hierarchy of courts or quite lengthy and complex Hierarchy & Powers Of The Courts.

The judicial system has been established in such a way that it caters to the need of each and every person in the country. The Judicial system in India is in the form of a pyramid, with the Supreme Court being at the top of the hierarchy. The hierarchy has been created in a manner that it is possible for a person even from a remote area to approach the courts to get their disputes resolved. The system is well equipped to deal with issues of the Union as well as State laws.

Let us see the Hierarchy & Powers Of The Courts


The Supreme Court of India, being the apex court of India, was established under Article 124 of Part V and Chapter IV of the Constitution of India.


The high courts are at the second level of the hierarchy. They are governed by Article 141 of the Constitution of India and are bound by the judgment of the Apex Court.


Metropolitan Courts

Sessions Court

Chief Metropolitan Magistrate

First Class Metropolitan Magistrate

District Courts

Sessions Court

First Class Judicial Magistrate

Second Class Judicial Magistrate

Executive Magistrate.

Hierarchy & Powers Of The Courts

                                                                       Hierarchy & Powers Of The Courts

The Sessions Judge

Section 9 of the CrPc talks about the establishment of the Sessions Court. The State Government establishes the Sessions Court which has to be presided by a Judge appointed by the High Court. The High Court appoints Additional as well as Assistant Sessions Judges. The Court of Sessions ordinarily sits at such places or places as ordered by the High Court. But in any particular case, if the Court of Session is of the opinion that it will have to cater to the convenience of the parties and witnesses, it shall preside its sittings at any other place, after the consent of the prosecution and the accused. According to section 10 of the CrPC, the assistant session judges are answerable to the session judge.

The Additional / Assistant Sessions Judge

These are appointed by the High Court of a particular state. They are responsible for cases relating to murders, theft, dacoity, pick-pocketing, and other such cases in case of absence of the Sessions Judge.

The Judicial Magistrate In every district, which is not a metropolitan area, there shall be as many Judicial Magistrates of first-class and of second class. The presiding officers shall be appointed by the High Courts. Every Judicial Magistrate shall be subordinate to the Sessions Judge.

Chief Judicial Magistrate

Except for the Metropolitan area, the Judicial Magistrate of the first class shall be appointed as the Chief Judicial Magistrate. Only the Judicial Magistrate of First Class may be designated as Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate.

Metropolitan Magistrates

They are established in the Metropolitan areas. The High Courts have the power to appoint the presiding officers. The Metropolitan Magistrate shall be appointed as the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate. The Metropolitan Magistrate shall work under the instructions of the Sessions Judge .

Executive Magistrate

According to section 20 in every district and in every metropolitan area, an Executive Magistrate shall be appointed by the State Government and one of them becomes District Magistrate.

Supreme Court

Federal Court- Article 131 gives the power of original jurisdiction to the Supreme Court, to resolve the dispute arising between the Centre and the States or between two States .

Interpretation of the Constitution- Only the Apex Court has the power to settle a question based on any issue related to the Constitution.

Power Of Judicial Review ( Article 137 ) – All the laws enacted are subjected to scrutiny by the Judiciary.

Court of Appeal – The apex court is the highest court for appeal in India. It has the power to hear appeals from all the cases lying in the various High Courts and subordinate courts of our country.

High Courts

Original Jurisdiction – In some issues, the case can be directly filed in the High Courts. This is known as the original jurisdiction of the High Court. E.g., In matters related to fundamental rights, Marriage, and Divorce cases.

Appellate Jurisdiction- The High Court is the Appellate Court for the cases coming up from the trial court.

Supervisory Jurisdiction- This refers to the power of general superintendence of the High Court over the matters of all the subordinate courts.

Power of Sentences

High Courts & Sessions judge –

Sentences which the High Courts and Sessions Judges ( Section 28 ) can pass the following sentences. Any sentence authorized by law can be passed by the High Court. A sessions or additional sessions judge has the authority to pass any sentence authorized by law. But, while passing the death sentence prior permission from High Court is required. An Assistant Sessions Judge has the authority to pass any sentence which has been authorized by law. Such a judge cannot pass a death sentence, life imprisonment, or imprisonment for more than 10 years .

Magistrates Sentences passed by the Magistrates ( Section 29 ) –

The Court of Chief Judicial Magistrate is authorized to pass any sentence approved by law except for death sentence, life imprisonment, or imprisonment for more than seven years. The first class Magistrate is eligible to pass a sentence of imprisonment for a term of not more than three years, or a fine not exceeding ten thousand rupees or both.

The Second Class Magistrate may pass a sentence of imprisonment for a term, not more than one year, or fine, or both. The fine imposed cannot exceed five thousand rupees.

The Chief Metropolitan Magistrate has the powers of that of a Chief Judicial Magistrate as well as that of a Metropolitan Magistrate, in addition to the powers of the First Class Magistrate .

CONCLUSION in Hierarchy & Powers of Courts

The Hierarchy  & powers of Courts has been developed in such a manner that it becomes easy for everyone who is living in this country to knock on the doors of the courts whenever a dispute arises. It provides a platform for the citizens for appealing to higher courts, in case they feel that justice has been denied to them by the lower courts. India is a country with a huge population in it. Therefore, it needs this existing system of Judiciary to prosper and makes its process easier, so that people can approach it easily so that Justice is given to all citizens of this country.

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