Chapter 33: HIGH COURT

     High Court:

     High court occupies top position in the judicial administration of the state. Parliament can have common high court for two or more states or states and UT's. [Ex: Bombay HC over Daman Diu and dadra nagar haveli, Calcutta HC over A&N islands, Kerala HC over Lakshadweep islands and madras HC over Puducherry].

     Only Delhi is a union territory that has a HC. HC has a chief justice and other judges as the president may deem necessary to appoint. Constitution doesn’t determine strength of HC but leaves it to the President.


     Appointment of Judges:

     The President appoints chief justice of high court after consulting CJI and governor of the state or states [in case of common high court]. For other judges of that court chief justice of that high court is also consulted.


     Qualification for judges of HC:

1. Citizen of India

2. A) should have held a judicial office in India for 10  years


2 B) should have been an advocate of HC for 10 years in succession.



He can be a judge of the high court till he reaches 62 years of age. He can be removed by president on recommendation of parliament. He can resign by writing to the president.


Removal of judges [Act of Parliament]:

Grounds for removal are proven misbehaviour or incapacity.

A motion support removal must be supported by 100 LS / 50 RS members. The presiding officer may or may not admit it. If admitted an inquiry committee of Chief justice of India or a Supreme Court judge; A Chief justice of high court and distinguished jurist checks if judge is guilty; if the committee finds the judge guilty then parliament can pass a motion by special majority in both houses. An address supported by this motion must be presented to the president on the same day. Then by a presidential order the judge can be removed.

President can transfer the judge of a HC after consultation with chief justice of India.

Acting Chief Justice:

The president can appoint a HC judge as acting chief justice in case the vacancy of office of chief justice OR C.J is temporarily absent or unable to perform his duties.


Additional or Acting judges:

President can appoint additional judges for a period of two years if additional work load is seen or to clear arrears. The appointees should be duly qualified. For acting judges the president can appoint duly qualified people till the judge is temporarily absent or unable to perform his duty.

Retired judges: The chief justice may with previous consent of president and the person concerned

Appoint a retired judge [of the same HC or other HC] as judge of the HC. Though such a person enjoys all privileges and powers he isn’t considered as a judge of the HC.

Independence of HC:

1.      President appoints judges only after consultation with other judges. Executive interference is minimum.

2.      Security of tenure and protection against arbitrary removal

3.      Expense charged on consolidated fund

4.      Ban on practise after retirement

5.      Jurisdiction as specified can’t be changed for HC and SC by any legislature. But jurisdiction with respect to other matters can be changed by both.

6.      Power to punish for contempt

7.      Conduct of judges can’t be discussed

Jurisdiction of High Court:

Original jurisdiction

1.      Four HC's of Bombay, madras, Calcutta and Delhi have original jurisdiction over civil cases of higher value.

2.      Revenue matters

3.      Elections disputes related of parliament and state legislatures.

4.      Enforcing fundamental rights

5.      Cases involving interpretation of constitution.

Writ jurisdiction:

The HC can issue writs to any person, organisation or authority for enforcement of fundamental rights as well as for any other purpose. Hence it is wider than the writ jurisdiction of SC.

Appellate jurisdiction:

It is a court of appeal for civil, criminal cases of subordinate courts. The appellate jurisdiction extends to even tribunal orders.

Supervisory jurisdiction:

High courts have wide supervisory jurisdiction over all courts and tribunals in its territorial jurisdiction. Also it has judicial as well as administrative superintendence. It can take suo moto cognisance.

It is a court of record; it has power of judicial review.


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