Ch – 5 Judiciary

  • Judiciary plays an important role in functioning of India’s democracy.
  • The work of judiciary can be divided into three main categories:
  • Dispute Resolution:
  • It resolves disputes between two state governments, between central and state governments, between citizens and governments, between citizens.
  • Judicial Review:
  • Judiciary is the final interpreter of constitution.
  • If the laws passed by the Parliament violate constitutional structure, then judiciary can strike down that law.
  • Upholding the Law and Enforcing Fundamental Rights:
  • If a citizen feels that his/her Fundamental Right is being violated then he/she can approach the judiciary.
  • Independent Judiciary:
  • Independent judiciary means that the legislature and executive can’t interfere in the working of judiciary.
  • The judiciary is not under the control of government.
  • The appointment of judges is done with minimum interference from government.
  • This independence helps judiciary to play a central role ensuring there is no misuse of power by legislative and executive.
  • Structure of Courts in India:
  • There are three different levels of courts in India.
  • Supreme court is the apex court.
  • The Supreme Court was established on 26 January, 1950.
  • Like its predecessor, the Federal Court of India ( 1937-1949), it was earlier located in the Chamber of Princes in the Parliament of India.
  • It later moved to its current location, Mathura Road in New Delhi in 1958.
  • It is presided by Chief Justice of Indian.
  • The decisions of Supreme Court are binding on all other courts in India.
  • High Courts are the courts at second level of this structure.
  • High Courts are the highest court of that state.
  • Mostly all states have their own High Courts but some states share common High Court.
  • They were first established in the three Presidencies i.e. Calcutta, Bombay and Madras in 1862.
  • There are several courts at the lower level.
  • The court that most people interact with, is the Subordinate Court or District Court.
  • The Subordinate Court is more commonly known as Trial Court or Court of the District Judge, Additional Sessions Court, Chief Judicial Magistrate, Metropolitan Magistrate, Civil Judge.
  • Appellate system means that a person can appeal to a higher court if they believe that the judgement passed by the lower court is not just.
  • Different Branches of Legal System:
  • Criminal Law:
  • It deals with conduct or acts that the law defines as offences.
  • Eg: Dowry harassment, Murder.
  • It begins with filing of FIR.
  • If found guilty by police, the person can be sent to jail or fined.
  • Civil Law:
  • It deals with the harm or injury to the rights of an individual.
  • Eg: Land disputes, Divorce cases.
  • It begins with filing a petition before the relevant court by the affected party.
  • If found guilty, the court can ask the opposite party to pay specific compensation or relief.
  • In the early 1980s, the Supreme Court devised a mechanism of Public Interest Litigation or PIL to increase access to justice.
  • It allows any individual or organisation to file a PIL in the Supreme Court or the High Court on behalf of those whose rights have been violated.
  • Even a letter or telegram addressed to the Supreme Court or the High Court can be treated as PIL.
  • Mid-day meal scheme is the result of a PIL filed by People’s Union of Civil Liberties ( PUCL ).

Published by Priya Prakash

In the midst of winter, i found there was within me an invincible summer ~ Albert Camus

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