Courts implement the laws in such a way as to provide justice to the victim. The hierarchy of Courts is necessary to deal with the numerous numbers of legal issues which arise in the vast country like India. If there will be no hierarchy, then it will become very difficult to manage the cases. The Supreme Court of India deals with the cases at the National level, the High Court deals with cases at the State level and Subordinate courts (Civil and Criminal) deals with the cases at the District and Subordinate level.

The two major types of Court are:

  1. Civil Court
  2. Criminal Court

A civil Court handles the cases which are not criminal. In these types of cases, the prosecution is not the Government. Rather, the plaintiff, a person, a group business, institution, or a government body, brings a claim of harm against the defendant, another person or group. Civil wrongs include tort, breach of contract, etc. In India, the hierarchy of Civil Courts is based on the territorial and pecuniary jurisdiction of the Courts. Civil Courts can deal with the cases which have been committed within its territory and also which is within the pecuniary limits of the court.

District Court and Additional District Court

The District Courts are being set up in every District by considering the number of cases and population in that district. It is the highest Court in each district. The District Courts of India are presided by a district judge and these courts administer justice at a district level. These courts are under administrative and judicial control of the High Court of the State to which that district belongs. The District Court is the highest Civil Court in a district.

Civil Courts exercise the power of subject matter jurisdiction, territorial Jurisdiction, pecuniary jurisdiction, and appellate jurisdiction.

Court of Civil Judge (Senior Division)

The Court of Civil Judge of Senior Division comes at the middle of the hierarchy on the civil side. Civil Judge or Senior Division has the authority to try civil cases of any value. There are many additional courts of Additional Civil Judge (senior division). These additional courts have the same jurisdiction as exercised by the principal court of Civil Judge or Senior Division. A Senior Division or Civil Judge exercises pecuniary jurisdiction without any limit.

Court of Civil Judge (Junior Division)

The Court of Civil Judge of Junior Division is at the lowest level in deciding civil cases. It has the power to impose any sentence in accordance with the law and it can provide capital punishment also. Civil Judge of Junior Division can extend its jurisdiction in all the original suits and proceedings.

Court of small causes for Metropolitan Cities

Under the Presidency Small Cause Courts Act, 1882, the Courts of small causes for metropolitan cities were established in India. This Act empowered the State Government that it can establish a Court of Small Causes anywhere within its territory. These courts have the authority to decide small value civil cases only.

Munsiff Court or Court of sub judge III class

Munsiff Court is the lowest court of appeal for civil cases in the district. It has the authority to try the offence under certain pecuniary limits. Munsiff Magistrate/ Judicial Collector have control over these courts.

The territorial jurisdiction of the District Munsiff Court was prescribed by the State Government. The judge and presiding officer of the District are Munsiff Magistrate who keeps a charge on all the tax inspectors.

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