The Judiciary plays a vital role in the Indian federal set up. It means India has two sets of governments, the central or the union government and the state governments. The Constitution, clearly demarcates the powers of the both the sets of governments into different lists of subjects. These lists are called the Union List, the State List and the Concurrent List.
Inspite of clearly marked areas of functioning there is always a possibility of dispute between the centre and the state or between the state governments. Here comes the judiciary which plays an impartial role in such situations. As per the Constitution of India, the judiciary has full power to resolve the dispute between the centre and the states or between states. Moreover, the judiciary is also responsible to ensure that the rights of citizens are respected and protected and the powers of the government do not cross the limits prescribe.
India has a single, unified judicial system for the entire country. The Supreme Court is the apex court in our judiciary then comes High Courts at the state level and subordinate courts to district level.
The Supreme Court has a Chief Justic and 25 other judges. The number of judges can be changed by the Parliament. The President appoints the Chief Justice of India and other judges. The President consults other judges of the Supreme Court and High courts while making these appointments. In case of the appointment of other judges, the Chief Justice is always consulted. Once appointed, a judge holds office till the age of 65.
The Juricdiction of the Supreme Court may be categorised like this-(a) Writ Jurisdiction for the purpose to guarantee fundamental rights to the citizens and persons within India, (b) Original Jurisdiction to deal governmental related disputes between two governments, (c) Appellate Jurisdiction to issue final orders in any kind of disputes such as civil, criminal, etc. (d) Extraordinary Jurisdiction to decide the purview of any ordinary law and (e) Advisory Jurisdiction to advise the President. Right to constitutional remedies empowers the Court to act as the guardian of the constitution. The Supreme Court is Court of Record.
Every state has a high court-which consists of a Chief justice and some other judges appointed by the President of India. In the appointment of the Chief Justice of the High Court, the President consults the Chief Justice of India and the Governor of the concerned state.
The judges hold office until they attain the age of 62 years. The High courts have three types of Jurisdictions. These are original, appellate and administrative. The high Court is also a Court of Record and has the power to punish for contempt of court.
Then comes the Subordinate Courts which function under the supervision of the concerned high court besides these courts, there are courts of small causes. There are also courts of second class and third class magisrates.