High Courts in India

High Courts in India are the second most superior courts in the country.

They have jurisdiction over States and Union Territories. In India High Courts are established as constitutional courts. Article 214 of the Constitution of India deals with the establishment of the High Courts.

Before the Constitution came into existence there were four High Courts established by the British Government which were Calcutta High Court, Bombay High Court, Madras High Court and Allahabad High Court. Later on with the commencement of the Constitution different High Courts were established for every State. The list of High Courts in India mentions 24 High Courts situated in different States which are–Allahabad, Bombay, Calcutta, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Gauhati, Gujarat, Himachal, Hyderabad, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Madras, Manipur, Meghalaya, Odisha, Patna, Punjab and Haryana, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tripura and Uttarakhand.

Chief Justice and Judges of High Courts

Article 216 of the Constitution of India provides for the constitution of High Courts which comprises of a Chief Justice and other Judges of High Courts appointed by the President in consultation with the Chief Justice of India and Governor of the State. The Constitution does not limit the number of Judges for the High Courts, which is why the number of the Judges in different High Courts is different. In order to be appointed as the High Court Judge one must be an Indian citizen, hold judicial office for at least 10 years or be an advocate of the High Court for 10 years and not to be above 62 year of age. According to Article 222 of the Constitution of India Judges from one High Court can be transferred to another by the President in consultation with the Chief Justice of India.

Jurisdiction of High Courts

In every State High Court is the highest judicial authority with various powers and jurisdictions. They are considered as courts of record, which has the power to punish for its contempt itself. They have original jurisdiction to hear and decide cases. Revenue matters are also considered under original jurisdiction.

These judicial bodies in India also exercise appellate jurisdiction where they review the decisions of subordinate courts of civil and criminal matters. Like the Supreme Court, Article 226 of the Constitution of India enables the High Courts in India to issue writs (Habeas Corpus, Mandamas, Prohibition, Quo-warranto and Certiorari) for the enforcement of the fundamental and legal rights. Article 227 of the Constitution of India provides for supervisory jurisdiction of High Courts over all courts and tribunal apart from the courts dealing with armed forces.

They also have the power to transfer cases from subordinate courts which involve substantial question of law with respect to interpretation of Constitution. Members of State Judicial Services are appointed in consultation with their respective High Courts. They have the discretion to frame rules for their judicial functions. According to Article 230 of the Constitution of India, jurisdiction of a High Court can be extended or excluded by the Parliament.

We have provided an easily searchable directory of High Courts in India with links to their website.