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Subordinate Courts, Meaning, Types, Function and Structure

Subordinate Court

In India, a Subordinate Courts is one of the several courts that are beneath the High Court in rank and serve as the latter’s assistant. The High Court has direct supervision over the Subordinate Courts. The Subordinate Judiciary in India is made up of all the other courts, save the High Court, and is listed as Subordinate Courts. The Subordinate Courts is an important part of Indian Polity which an important subject in UPSC Syllabus. Students can also go for UPSC Mock Test to get more accuracy in their preparations.

Subordinate Court Meaning

A Subordinate Court is a state-specific lower court that exercises jurisdiction over cases under the authority of the State High Court, as is clear from the title itself. Each state may have a different legal system. In India, there are a variety of subordinate courts that deal with different kinds of matters. A District Judge or a District and Sessions Judge decide cases in these courts.

Depending on the cases and the population in each district, a Subordinate Court could also decide matters involving more than one state. A District Court’s final judgments are additionally reviewed by the High Court’s appellate authority. The laws relating to the Subordinate Courts are mentioned in Articles 233-237 of the Sixth Amendment to the Indian Constitution.

Subordinate Courts Types

According on the types of cases they examine, Subordinate Courts are often divided into three classes, including:

Civil Subordinate Court

The Civil Court was given this name based on the kind of cases it handles. It is simple to state that a civil court considers issues involving family conflicts and disagreements, including landlord-tenant conflicts. A District Judge or a District Sessions Judge rule over a Civil Court, and in smaller family courts, they may occasionally be assisted by a Sub-Judge.

Such family problems must be resolved through civil courts. A Civil Court often does not criticise the concerned parties. The Civil Courts, which deliver judgments in accordance with the Civil Procedure Code, deal with non-criminal problems such those involving property, succession, ownership, etc.

Criminal Subordinate Court

A Criminal Court deals with criminal cases, as implied by the name. These situations entail disobedience and breaking the law, hence punishment is necessary. Typically, criminal cases involve theft, violence, murder, etc. The police typically file these lawsuits in court on behalf of the state.

A Sessions Judge or a Sessions & District Judge preside over Criminal Court. Under the Sessions Judge, a Metropolitan Judge can also be seen occasionally. If found guilty, the defendant faces harsh punishment. The Indian Penal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code are used to decide matters in the Criminal Court.

Revenue Subordinate Court

The Revenue Court is the third variety of Subordinate Courts. These courts undoubtedly handle cases involving land revenue in any state. The Board of Revenue is every district’s highest court of revenue. The final appeals are only heard by the Board of Revenue, which is the highest authority. The Tehsildars, Collectors, Tehsil Commissioners, and Naib or Assistant Tehsil Commissioners are additional authorized individuals in the Board of Revenue.

Subordinate Courts Appointment of District Judges

The Governor of the State and the High Court decide who will be appointed as a District or Sessions Judge for a Subordinate Court. There are a few prerequisites for becoming a district judge, including:

  • One must have resided in the state for at least 7 years without working.
  • The High Court will need to propose the candidate.
  • For seven years, he or she should have been a supporter or a pleaser.

Subordinate Courts Articles 233 to 237

The provisions pertaining to the Indian Subordinate Courts are outlined in Part 6 of the Indian Constitution. Articles 233 through 237 of the constitution make mention of these clauses. Let’s examine each article that relates to the subordinate judicial system.

Article of the Constitution Details
Article 233 Pertaining to the selection of district judges
Article 234 Concern over the appointment of anyone besides the District Judges
Article 235 The supervision of the Subordinate Court is brought up
Article 236 Discusses the interpretation
Article 237 Pertaining to how the rules apply to magistrates

Subordinate Court Functions

Since these problems do not legally violate any laws, the court does not give any sort of punishment in civil cases involving family disputes, landlord-tenant issues, etc. All cases involving major offences, such as murder, bodily assault, dacoity, etc., are heard by a criminal court. In these situations, severe sanctions and punishments are issued since they include legal infractions. The Revenue Courts deal with cases involving land revenues and take appropriate action.

Subordinate Courts Organization and Structure

In order to maintain the hierarchy, the Subordinate Judiciary in India adheres to a specified framework. Each Subordinate Court has distinct powers and responsibilities, as well as a different method of operation. The relevant state determines the Subordinate Court’s authority, makeup, and terminology. The Supreme Court is the highest court, and there are three levels of civil and criminal courts under it.

The District Judge has the most power in both civil and criminal matters. A judge is referred to as a Sessions Judge while dealing with criminal issues, and as a District Judge when handling civil cases. A Sessions Judge has the power to sentence a defendant to death or life in prison.

Subordinate Courts UPSC

An essential component of the Indian judicial system is the subordinate courts. They aid in delivering justice quickly to the nation’s enormous population. As a result, the Constitution’s authors gave Subordinate Courts a significant role. From the standpoint of the IAS examination, the subject of the Subordinate Court is crucial. Students can read all the details related to UPSC by visiting the official website of StudyIQ UPSC Online Coaching.

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Subordinate Courts FAQs

What are called subordinate courts?

The state judiciary consists of a high court and a hierarchy of subordinate courts, also known as lower courts. The subordinate courts are so-called because of their subordination to the state high court.

What are the three types of subordinate courts?

In each district of India there are various types of subordinate or lower courts. They are civil courts, criminal courts and revenue courts.

What is subordinate court?

Subordinate Courts are the secondary courts to the high courts.

What is the role of subordinate court?

These Courts hear civil cases, criminal cases and revenue cases, respectively. Civil cases pertain to disputes between two or more persons regarding property, breach of agreement or contract, divorce or landlord-tenant disputes.

Is Supreme Court a subordinate court?

At the apex of the entire judicial system, exists the Supreme Court of India below which are the High Courts in each State or group of States. Below the High Courts lies a hierarchy of Subordinate Courts.

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