Introduction To The Indian Judicial System And Court Hierarchy

Indian Judicial System
Criminal Matters » Introduction To The Indian Judicial System And Court Hierarchy

Table of Contents

The Indian Judicial System took shape when the British were in the country. Later, upon independence, the Constitution was formed to properly define the powers of the courts. The same also outlined what the hierarchy would be like in India. Here, hierarchy refers to the structure of the courts from the apex court to the grass-root level panchayats.

Let us understand what the entire judicial system in India is like.

Indian Judicial System

The Indian Judicial System is a part of the three pillars of the Indian Government. The other two pillars are Legislature and Executive. India has an independent judiciary that operates on common law. The other departments and organs of the Government cannot interfere in the working of the judiciary. The system operates on the system that was introduced by the British.

The judiciary has appointed members who are experts in the law. They help interpret the law and settle legal cases. The system is considered to be the watchdog of the constitution and ensures the country and the people are not breaking any laws. There is a hierarchy system of the judicial system and the courts. The complete hierarchy of courts in India has been elaborated on below.

Hierarchy of Courts

As mentioned above, the Indian judicial system has a hierarchy system. The court hierarchy in India was established for faster dispensing of justice and to ensure there are no delays. There are four types of courts. A description of each type is as below.

Supreme Courts

Supreme court is the apex court and the highest level of the judicial system. It mainly functions as an appellate court where that accepts appeals from the high courts. The court’s composition and its jurisdiction are stated in articles 124 to 147 of the Constitution. The Supreme court has been in operation since 28th January 1950. To date, the court has judged over 24,000 cases. The structure of the Supreme Court comprises a Chief Justice and 30 other judges. As per article number 145 of the Constitution, all proceedings of the court are done in the English language.

Decisions made by the Supreme court are binding on all other courts in the country. The Supreme Court can also transfer judges of the high court and also cases between courts or to themselves.

High Court:

The second type of court, after Supreme Court, are High Court. Within the constitution, article 141, states all about high courts. High courts generally are in charge of states or a group of states or union territory. Therefore, there are a total of 27 high courts in India. The oldest high court in India is the one in Calcutta while the Allahabad one is the largest. All legal cases, criminal or civil, in the state, are handled by the high court. Like the supreme court handles appeals forwarded by the high court, the high court manages appeals by the lower or district courts. They will also issue writs to restore fundamental human rights and also manage the lower courts.

High court judges are appointed by the President of India together with the Chief Justice of India, Chief Justice of High Court and also the Governor of the state and union territory. Depending on the number of cases a particular high court handled in the previous year will dictate how many high court judges will be appointed.

District Court:

District courts, as per the name, are the courts placed in each district. All cases in the region would be handled by the judges in district court. The goal of establishing each district court is to assist and lessen the workload of the state courts. These courts have several district judges, additional district judges and also additional assistant district judges. Appeals made by the lower or subordinate courts come to the district court. Serious criminal cases are also heard by the district court judges.

Currently, India has a total of 351 district courts out of which 342 are based in states and 9 are union territories. All of the district courts specifically handle cases criminal and civil in nature. The size and structure of each district are different from each other and depend on the population of the district and the number of cases each district manages.

Village Courts or Lok Adalats:

The final type of courts in the Indian judicial system are subordinate courts. They are also known as village courts or lok adalats. Subordinate courts are covered under chapter VI of part VI of the constitution. These state-level courts come under the jurisdiction of the high courts. Judges in the subordinate courts are appointed by the state Governor in consultation with the relevant high court.

Panchayats are a village-level legal system that helps tackle local civil or criminal issues. Panchayats are usually meant to serve as an alternative to approaching courts. Besides these, there are also tribunals or special benches of experienced judges to handle specific cases.

Sub Branches of Courts

As mentioned above, under district courts, there are two major types of courts, Civil and Criminal Civil Courts. Let us understand what each type of court is in the Indian judiciary system.

Criminal Court:

Criminal courts are meant for cases involving crimes. Crimes such as murder, arson, robbery or assault fall under this category. Here, a case is filed to charge a person with a particular crime. Judges in criminal courts usually charge a person with jail time if found guilty. Criminal cases are dealt with in high courts, session courts and any other courts as mentioned in the first schedule of the code of criminal procedure.

Civil Court:

Civil courts deal with all other cases that are not criminal in nature. Judges at civil courts will usually charge fines if an individual is found guilty of any wrongdoing. Examples of civil cases are when a person is sued by another or a business. Family cases like divorce or custody cases also fall under civil courts. Civil courts also have their own hierarchy: district court, sub-judge court, additional sub-judge court and the munsif court.

The Indian judicial system is influenced by the constitution. Not only are its duties but its limitations are also mentioned in the Indian constitution. India’s judiciary system has taken shape over years and today handles lakhs of cases every day. At Lex Solutions, there is a team of experienced professionals who will help people navigate the complicated judiciary system. For any type of legal case, head to Lex Solutions for a satisfactory experience.

According to estimates, 65% of people living in urban areas around the world are tenants. This is also true in India due to the sky-high prices of real estate in the major cities and the large population of migrant workers who live there. Nevertheless, living as a renter can be a peaceful arrangement, but occasionally there are situations where one can run into rental problems and other connected issues, such as receiving an unauthorized eviction notice or the erratic behaviour of the landlord.

Are you, however, a renter who is experiencing such problems or simply curious about what to do if you ever find yourself in a similar situation? In that case, allow us to help you through this blog, which will briefly discuss about the several protections against landowner harassment.

What does illegal eviction of tenants mean?

An illegal eviction, also known as an unlawful termination of tenancy, typically happens when a landowner forbids a tenant from entering a rental property or removes the tenant’s belongings from the property through the use of force, intimidation, or other methods (such as cutting off utilities or changing the locks). However, if the landowners evict you without taking the proper legal action, they are breaking the law.

How Do You Respond When Your Landlord Forcibly Evicts You?

Almost every state has rental control legislation pertaining to tenant protection, and each state has established specific circumstances for which the landlord may lawfully evict the renter. Additionally, a tenant has a legal right under the law to appear in court and defend himself against unlawful eviction, and some of those accessible remedies for tenants are discussed below:

Grounds for eviction

Non-payment of rent, breach of the lease, property damage, and illegal activity are the most typical grounds for evicting a renter. The tenant must therefore review the provisions of the State Rent Control Act to ascertain the grounds for eviction specified in the Act. In addition, if the tenant is being evicted for any reason other than those specified in the Act—which is considered wrongful eviction—they must seek the help of an eviction lawyer and the enforcement agencies to halt this.

Suit for injunction

A renter might be unable to leave a property when asked to do so for a number of reasons, such as having a medical emergency or having his elderly parents live with him. When this happens, the tenant has the option to file a case in the appropriate court to obtain an injunction that will prevent them from being evicted for any other grounds (other than those listed in the State’s Rent Act). Along with the assistance of housing rental lawyers, the renter should take this action, if they are violently evicted without providing them with adequate notice.

Rent Controller

In the event that the tenant receives a notice of eviction on pretences, they should go see the rent controller of the relevant jurisdiction and explain why they believe the notice of eviction is invalid. Additionally, following the tenant eviction laws, the court will summon the tenant, who will then be forced to submit his or her case and the arguments supporting the necessary evidence.

Notice of rent payment

If the landowner claims that he has not received the required rent and lists this as the reason for serving the notice of eviction, the tenant may legitimately ask him or her to send the information to his bank account so that he can conduct the transaction and deposit the outstanding rent. Moreover, after agreeing to it, the landowner must give the tenant the information within 10 days of the date they received the notice.

Also Read: Lex Solutions – Your One-Stop Destination For All Things Legal

Steps that you must follow to legally evict a tenant in India

Because eviction laws differ from state to state, the following are typical recommendations for evicting a renter. Nevertheless, you can contact the tenants lawyer of Lex Solutions if you need any assistance.

Serve the Tenant With a Termination Notice

The tenancy must be terminated before a landlord can evict a tenant for cause, and the landowner shall provide the tenant with the required notice before taking legal action to do so. Three different kinds of termination notices are generally available:

  • Pay Rent or Quit: The tenant is required to pay the rent within a predetermined period (often three to five days) or leave the rented property.
  • Cure or Quit: A breach of the rental agreement or lease must be remedied by the tenant within a set amount of time.
  • Unconditional Quit: Without a chance to correct the offense or pay the rent, the tenant must leave the property.

But to evict a tenant without good reason, the landlord must give the renter a 30- or 60-day notice to leave the premises.

File an Eviction Lawsuit

If the renter does not correct the issue or quit the property within the allotted time, the landowner must initiate an unlawful detainer case in small claims court. Following this, landlords have the right to evict tenants by serving a legal notice to tenants to vacate their premises.

Wait for the Tenant’s Answer

Within the time frame given on the summons, the tenant may “answer” the complaint. The renter may, however, use the response to refute the charges or present a defence. And, for instance, a tenant might claim that the eviction was carried out in retaliation or that the unpaid rent was used to pay for repairs the landlord refused to undertake.

Receive a Judgment for Possession

A default judgment is granted to the landowner if the tenant ignores the eviction notice India. Moreover, the landowner is entitled to take ownership of the property if the renter replies with an answer but the court rules in his or her favor.

Remove the Tenant

Despite having the right to reclaim the property, the landlord is unable to evict a renter without the help of a law enforcement official. Nevertheless, the tenant will be informed of the legal eviction and the number of days they have to leave once such an official receives the judgment and the cost. Moreover, the law enforcement authority may physically evict the tenant if they don’t leave the property in the allotted period.

Also Read: Introduction To The Indian Judicial System And Court Hierarchy

Summing Up

Now that you are aware of the characteristics of evictions and how to deal with them in a nation like India, you must use them as needed. Additionally, as a landowner, you must evict a problematic renter per the law. And, to ensure that you are acting legally, consult a local landlord-tenant law attorney in your area. For such assistance, a legal firm in Chandigarh, lexsolution can offer you a one-stop solution.


  • Can a tenant seek an injunction against the landlord?

According to the state rental rules present in India, a tenant does not have the right to issue an injunction against the landlord. Moreover, injunction procedures are always discretionary, and a court of law cannot grant a perpetual injunction in favour of the plaintiff against the right owner if the plaintiff is only a trespasser.

  • Can police evict a tenant in India?

Even if the renters behave disrespectfully, the police cannot assist in reclaiming the property. However, the only court with the authority to order the eviction of a tenant is the court of the rent controller under whose jurisdiction the property is located. 

  • When a tenant can get the benefit of protection against eviction?

If the tenant can show that the landlord gave his written approval to the subtenant, he is entitled to protection from eviction. Additionally, it disallows any other consent, including implied or oral permission.