High Court

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Article 214 to 231 in part VI of constitution deals with the organization, procedure, jurisdiction, power of the high court. The high court is the top judicial body of state. The high court operates under the Supreme Court and above the subordinate courts.
British Times
  • In 1862 institution of high court were set up in Calcutta, Bombay, Madras.
  • In British times each provinces has its separate high court.
  • In 1866 a fourth high court was set up in Allahabad.
  • After the independence, high court existing in provinces become the high court of that states.
Some typical points about High Court
  • According to Indian constitution each state has its own high court but the amendment act of 1956 authorizes the parliament to have high court for more than one state or union territory.
  • At present there are 24 high courts in India.
  • Delhi is the only union territory who has its separate high court from 1966.
  • The other union territory fall under the jurisdiction of different high courts.
Parliament’s Power in relation to High Court
  • The parliament can extend the jurisdiction of high court to any union territory or exclude it.
  • The power to establish common high court for two or more states or for two or more states and a union territory was given to Parliament by 7th Amendment Act, 1956.
President’s Power in relation to High Court
  • President has the power to appoint additional judges for a temporary period (not more than 2 years) for some added load of work in the High Court.
  • If any of the permanent judge of high court is absent then President can appoint the acting judge ( other than the chief justices ) to perform his duties or he is appointed as chief justices for temporary period (as the case may be).
  • Acting judge can hold office till the permanent judge can resume his office. But the acting judge cannot hold offices beyond the age of 62 years.
 Constitution of High Court
  • Every high court consist of a chief justices and other judges (president appoint according to the necessity).
  • Constitution does not specify the number of judges but this power vest in the hands of president. He determines the number of judges from time to time and according to necessity.
Appointment of Judges
  • All the judges of high court are appointed by president.
  • The Chief Justice of the High Court is appointed by President after the consultation of Chief Justice of India (it involves consultation with Chief justice of India & other two senior most judges) and the Governor of concerned state.
  • Other judges are appointed with the consultation of Chief Justice of the concerned High Court.
  • If the high court belongs to two or more state then for the appointment of judges, the Governor of all the states concerned are consulted by the President.
  1. Supreme court ruled in second judges case 1993 that no appointment of a judge of high court can be made unless it is in conformity with opinion of chief justice of India.
  2. In the third judge case 1998, Supreme Court said that for the appointment of high court judges, the chief justice of India should consult a collegiums of two senior judges of supreme court. So the only opinion of chief justice of India alone is not sufficient.
  • Should be citizen of India.
  • Have held a judicial offices for ten years in Indian territory
  • He should have been an advocate of high court for ten years.
  • Not being over 62 years.
  • He can hold offices up to the age of 62 years
  • Can resin from offices by giving written application to the president.
  • If he becomes the judge of supreme court or if he is transferred from one high court to another then it means that he has vacated his office.
  • He can be removed from office by president on the recommendation of the parliament which has passed such a move by special majority (i.e. by majority of the total house & be passed by at least two-third of the total members present and voting).
  • Salary is charged on Consolidated Fund of State.
  • But the pension of the High Court judge is given from the Consolidated Fund of India.
  • In 2009 salaries of chief justice was increased from Rs. 30,000 to 90,000 per month and of judges from 26,000 to 80,000 per month.
  • They have allowances like free accommodation and other facilities like medical, car, telephone…etc
  • The pension to the chief justices and other judges is 50% of their last salary.
  • Parliament has the power to decide the salaries, pension, leaves and allowances from time to time.
  • Parliament cannot change their allowances after their appointment, except during the financial emergency.
  • The high court judge is removed as in manner provided for the removal of a judge of supreme court ( by consulting the house of parliament with special majority under article 218 )
  • Salaries and allowances of the judges of high court shall be charged from consolidated fund of state under article 202 (3) d.
  • No one can change the salaries, pension, and allowances after the appointment of judge under the article 221.
  • High court judge is removed only the order of the president ( if he receives order from parliament and that order must be supported by a special majority )
  • He can be removed from his office on the grounds of proved misbehavior or incapacity .
  • The high court judge is removed in the same manner as that of judge of supreme court.
  • The impeachment process for the removal of the judge of high court:
  1. Removal motion should be signed by 100 members of Lok Sabha and 50 member of Rajya Sabha and submit to the speaker or chairman as the case may be.
  2. He can accept the motion or refuse it.
  3. If speaker or chairman accept this motion then they have to appoint the three member committee to investigate this matter.
  4. Committee should consist of chief justices or the judge of supreme court, chief justices of high court and a distinguished jurist.
  5. If the committee finds the judge guilty then house can carry on the procedure.
  6. If both the houses pass the motion with special majority and addresses the president for the removal of the judge, the judge stands removed.
  7. At last president passes an order for the removal of judge. Up till now no judge of high court has been removed based on the above procedure.
Transfer of Judges
  • President can transfer any judge of high court to any other high court.
  • But he must first consult Chief Justice of India.
  • In 1977, SC ruled that the transfer of any High Court judge should be exercised only if there is some underlying public interest & it should not be exercised as a way of punishment.
  • Judicial review is available in such cases but only the judge being transferred can apply for judicial review.
  • In third judges case (1998), SC ruled that while President is consulting the Chief Justice of India it is not only the Chief Justice of India but President should consult a collegium consisting of Chief Justice of India, four seniormost judges of the supreme court & the chief justice of the two high courts (one being the HC where the judge is being transferred & the other being the one in which the judge is working presently)
Difference between the writs issued by High Court and the writs issued by Supreme Court
  • Supreme Court can issue writs only in case of enforcement of fundamental rights. High court can issue writs in case of enforcement of fundamental rights as well as enforcement of any ordinary law. This writ jurisdiction of Supreme Court is narrower than High court.
  • SC can issue writs against a person or government throughout the territory of India whereas High Court can issue writs against a person or government located only in the territorial jurisdiction of the High Court. High court can issue writs outside it’s territorial jurisdiction only if the cause of action arises within its territorial jurisdiction.
  • Supreme Court issues a writ by use of Article 32 whereas High court issues a writ by using Article 226.
  • A remedy under Article 32 is in itself a Fundamental Right & hence Supreme Court can’t refuse to exercise its writ jurisdiction. A remedy under article 226 (used by High Court) is discretionary & hence High Court can accept or reject to exercise it.
High Courts in India
Sr. No. Court Name Established Jurisdiction Seat Benches
1. Allahabad High Court 1866 Uttar Pradesh Allahabad Lucknow
2. Andhra Pradesh High Court 1954 Andhra Pradesh Hyderabad  
3. Bombay High Court 1862 Maharashtra, Goa, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu Mumbai Nagpur, Panaji, Aurangabad
4. Calcutta High Court 1862 West Bengal, Andaman and Nicobar Islands Kolkata  Port Blair (circuit bench)
5. Chhattisgarh High Court 2000 Chhattisgarh Bilaspur  
6. Delhi High Court 1966 National Capital Territory of Delhi  New Delhi  
7. Guwahati High Court 1948 Arunachal Pradesh,Assam, Nagaland ,Mizoram Guwahati Kohima,Aizwal,Itanagar
8. Gujarat High Court 1960 Gujarat Ahmedabad  
9. Himachal Pradesh High Court 1971 Himachal Pradesh Shimla  
10. Jammu and Kashmir High Court 1943 Jammu & Kashmir Srinagar & Jammu  
11. Jharkhand High Court  2000 Jharkhand Ranchi  
12. Karnataka High Court 1884 Karnataka Bengaluru  
13. Kerala High Court 1956 Kerala, Lakshadweep  Ernakulam  
14. Madhya Pradesh High Court 1936 Madhya Pradesh Jabalpur  Gwalior, Indore
15. Madras High Court 1862 Tamil Nadu, Puducherry Chennai Madurai
16. Manipur High Court 2013 Manipur Imphal  
17. Meghalaya High Court 2013 Meghalaya Shillong  
18. Orissa High Court 1948 Odisha Cuttack  
19. Patna High Court 1916 Bihar Patna  
20. Punjab and Haryana High Court 1947 Punjab, Haryana,Chandigarh Chandigarh  
21. Rajasthan High Court 1949 Rajasthan Jodhpur Jaipur
22. Sikkim High Court  1975 Sikkim Gangtok  
23. Tripura High Court 2013 Tripura Agartala  
24. Uttarakhand High Court 2000 Uttarakhand Nainital  
Practice Questions