Each State has its High Court except that
(a) Assam, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland have their common High Court of Assam at Guwahati;
(b) Haryana has a common High Court with Punjab at Chandigarh; and
(c) Goa is under Bombay High Court.
The High Court of a State consists of a Chief Justice and such other judges as the President may appoint from time to time (Article 216).
The strength of the various High Courts is not the same.
Appointment of Judges
The Chief Justice of the High Court is appointed by the President in consultation with the Chief Justice of India and the Governor of the State concerned.
In the appointment of other judges the Chief Justice of the High Court is also consulted by the President (Article 217).
Additional judges may also be appointed for a period not exceeding two years to dispose of pending works (Article 224).
To be eligible for appointment as a judge of a High Court a person must (i) be a citizen of India; (ii) have held a judicial office for at least ten years; or (iii) have been an advocate of a High Court for at least 10 years (Article 217).
The judges of the High Court hold office until they attain the age of 62 years.
They may resign earlier by writing to the President. A judge of the High Court may be removed by the President on the grounds of proved misbehaviour or incapacity.
The mode of removal of a judge of a High Court is the same as that of a judge of the Supreme Court.
The office of a judge may be vacated also on his being appointed a judge of the Supreme Court or on being transferred to any other High Court by the President (Article 217).
The Chief Justice of a High Court gets Rs 9,000 per month while a judge gets the monthly salary of Rs 8,000, besides pension, allowances, etc. as Parliament may determine.
Facts To Be Remembered
- The Committee of Indian Parliament which has the largest membership is the Estimates Committee.
- The Comptroller and Auditor-General is associated with Public Accounts Committee.
- The Executive of the State is headed by the Governor.
- The Governor of a State is responsible for his acts to the President.
- The normal term of a Governor’s office is 5 years.
- The Governor of a State exercises his discretionary powers on his own.
- The Governor can reserve certain types of Bills passed by State Legislature for the approval of the President.
- The minimum/maximum strength of Legislative Assembly is 60/500.
- The minimum age for the membership of the Council of State is 30 years.
- One month is the maximum period up to which the Legislative Council of a State can delay the consideration of a Bill that has been already passed once by the Legislative Assembly of the State.
- The Speaker of the Legislative Assembly can be removed from office before his normal term by the Legislative Assembly by passing a resolution by majority of its total membership.
- The Lt. Governor of a Union Territory can issue an ordinance only after obtaining instruction from the President.
- The Lt. Governor of Daman & Diu is concurrently the administrator of Dadra and Nagar Haveli.
- For the Union Territories that do not have legislative assemblies, laws are passed by the Parliament.
Independence Of Judges
The independence of the Judges of the High Courts is sought to be maintained by the following provisions:
(i) By making the process of removing a judge of the High Court difficult.
(ii) By providing that the expenditure in respect of the salaries and allowances of the judges shall be charged on the Consolidated Fund of the State, and by specifying that the salaries etc. shall not be varied by Parliament to their disadvantage after their appointment (except under Financial Emergency).
(iii) By laying down that after retirement a permanent judge of the High Court shall not plead or act in a court in India, except the Supreme Court or a High Court other than the one in which he has held office.
The High Court exercises supervision over all courts and tribunals within its jurisdiction (exceptions being those set up by law and relating to the armed forces).
Facts To Be Remembered
- The Supreme Court originally consisted of a Chief Justice of India and not more than 7 other judges. “Contempt of Court” places a restriction on the right to freedom.
- A sitting judge of a High Court duly qualified for appointments as a Supreme Court Judge can be appointed as an ad hoc judge of the Supreme Court.
- A case regarding interpretation of the Constitution comes within appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.
- The phrase ‘procedure established by the law’ means the judges in India cannot question the fairness or validity of a law, provided it is within the limits of the Constitution.
- The President of India decides about the number of Judges in a High Court.
- The authority to restrict or extend the jurisdiction of the State High Courts rests with the Governor.
- The High Court in each State consists of a Chief Justice and such other Judges as may be decided by the President.
- The seat of the Rajasthan High Court is at Jodhpur.
- If the law passed by the State was approved by the President before enactment of law on the same subject by the Parliament the State law have precedence over Central law on the Concurrent subject.
- The original scheme of Panchayati Raj, introduced in 1959, operates at (in descending order of tiers) Zilla Parishad, Panchayat Samiti, Village Panchayat.
- The strength of the UPSC is determined by the President from time to time.
- The members of the State PSC retire at the age of 62 years.
Functions of High Court
The High Court can take steps to ensure that the lower courts discharge their duties within the bounds of their authority.
It can withdraw a case pending before a subordinate court and may itself dispose of the case, or determine the question of law involved in the case and return the case, together with its judgement on the issue, to the said court for disposal in conformity with its judgement.
The High Court can also transfer cases from one lower court to another lower court for disposal (Articles 227 and 228).
Under Article 226, the High Court can issue writs for the enforcement of Fundamental Rights.
Besides, it can issue writs even in case where an ordinary legal right has been infringed, provided a writ is a proper remedy in such cases.
In this sense the writ jurisdiction of the High Court is larger than that of the Supreme Court whose writ jurisdiction extends to enforcement of Fundamental Rights alone.
Every High Court is a court of record and has all the powers of such a court, including the power to punish for its contempt (Article 215).
It is the highest court of appeal in the State in both civil and criminal cases.
It also hears cases relating to matrimonial matters and the admiralty.
The High Court is consulted by the Governor in appointment, posting and promotion of district judges.
It is consulted alongwith the State Public Service Commission, by the Governor, in appointing persons to the judicial service of the State.
Points to be Remembered
- Art. 217 (1) (a) : Accord ing to this Article of the Constitution, the entire letter of resignation of a High Court Judge must be in his own handwriting.
- Pro tem Speaker: A Pro tem speaker is one who is appointed by President/Governor to perform the duties of the speaker temporarily until a newly elected legislature elects its own speaker.
- Executive Power: This expression is very wide. Briefly, it connotes the residue of governmental functions that remain after the legislative and judicial functions are taken away.
- Functions of the Advocate – General of a State: Besides giving legal advice and presenting state's cases in courts, he can participate in legislative proceedings and address both Houses of Legislature. However, he has no voting right.
- Bona Vacantia: When there is no apparent or rightful claimant to a property, such a property accrues to Government, This phenomenon is known as "Bona Vacantia."
- Supreme Court Sitting outside Delhi: It can sit in such other places, as the Chief Justice of India may, with the approval of the President, from time to time appoint (Art 130).
- Art. 137: Art. 137 confers on the Supreme Court the power to review its own judgement on the ground of error apparent on the face of record.
- First Chief Justice of India: Harilal J. Kania (150-51) was the first Chief Justice of india.
- Chief Justice as President: Justice Mohammed Hidayatullah acted as the Head of the State for five weeks in July-August, 1969.
Points to be Remembered
- Special Motion: It is a device to bring to the House and the Government a matter of urgent public importance that cries of immediate action.
- Zero Hour: Zero Hour is the period allotted for transacting miscellaneous business such as adjournment motions, call attention notices and specific question on Ministers' statements.
- Administrator of a Union Territory: The Administrator of a Union Territory appointed under Art. 239 is not a constitutional functionary like a State Governor. He is a delegate of the President.
- Contempt of Court: Anything which tends to bring the administration of justice into disrespect or interfere with the administration of justice constitutes contempt of court.
- Contingency Fund of India: The Fund constituted in 1950, by an Act of Parliament, has been placed at the President's disposal, who can make advances to meet unforeseen expenditure. It has no constitutional backing.
- National Development Council: The NCC, an extra —Constitutional and extra-legal body (1952), is anadjunct to the Planning Commission to associate theStates in the formation of Plans.
In pursuance of the provisions of Article 323A in part XIVA of the Constitution, the Administrative Tribunals Act, 1985 was enacted by Parliament.
Under this Act, the Central Administrative Tribunal was set up in November, 1985 to provide speedy and inexpensive justice to Central Government employees in respect of their service matters.
The Tribunals are to adjudicate disputes and complaints relating to recruitment and conditions of service of persons appointed to public services and post in connection with affairs of the Union Government.
In has all the jurisdiction, power and authority of a Court in the specified matters.