The High Court is at the apex of the judicial administration of the state. Art 214 of the Constitution provides that there shall be a High Court for each state of the Indian union. But the Indian Parliament is empowered to establish a common High Court for two or more states and to extend the jurisdiction of a High Court to a union territory. Similarly, Parliament can also reduce the area of jurisdiction of a High Court.
The High Court consists of a Chief Justice and some other Judges. The number of judges is to be determined by the President of Indian from time to time. The Chief Justice of a High Court is appointed by the President in consultation with the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and the Governor of the state concerned. The procedure for appointing other judges is the same except that the Chief Justice of the High Court concerned is also consulted. They hold office until they attain the age of 62 years and are removed from office in the same manner as a judge of the Supreme Court.
A person shall be qualified for appointment as a judge of the High Court if (a) he is a citizen of India, (b) has for at least ten yeas held a judicial office in the territory of India, or (c) has for at least ten years been an advocate of a High Court, or of two or more such courts in succession.
Every judge of the High Court before entering upon his office shall make and subscribe before the Governor of the state, an oath of affirmation in the form prescribed by the Constitution.
Removal of judges
A judge of the High Court shall hold office until he attains the age of 62 years. A judge may resign from his office by writing under his hand to the president of India. He can also be removed by the President of India on the ground of proved misbehavior or inefficiency if a resolution to that effect is passed by both the Houses of Parliament by a two-thirds majority of the total members present and voting, supported by a majority of the total membership of each house.
The Chief Justice and the judges draws attractive salaries, apart from various other allowances. The service conditions of the judges cannot be altered to their disadvantages during the course of their service except in the case of Financial Emergency. Like the judges of Supreme Court the judges of the High Court have been given complete security of service. A High Court Judge may be transferred from one High Court to another by the President after consultation with the Chief Justice of India.
The High Court has Original jurisdiction in such matters as writs and Appellate jurisdiction over all subordinate courts in their jurisdiction. Every High court has the power to issue to any person or authority including any government within its jurisdiction, direction, or orders including writs which are in the nature of habeas corpus, mandamus prohibition, qua-warranto and certiorari or any of them for enforcement of fundamental rights conferred by part III of the constitution and for any other purpose.
Election petitions challenging the elections of Members of Parliament or member of State Legislative Assembly or other local bodies can be filed in the concerned High Court.
The High Courts have Appellate jurisdiction in both civil and criminal cases against the decisions of lower courts. They can decide revenue cases also.
Appeal can be filed against the decision of a session judge if the accused has been sentenced to imprisonment for 7 years or more. Capital punishment given by sessions judge is not executed unless it is confirmed by the High Court.
Under Revisory jurisdiction, the High Court is empowered to call for the records of any court to satisfy itself about the correctness of the legality of the orders passed. This power may be exercised on the petition of the interested party or it can suo moto call for the records and pass necessary orders.
The High Court may withdraw a case from a lower Court if it is satisfied that the case involves a substantial question of law as to the interpretation of the Constitution, the determination of which is necessary for the disposal of the case. The High Court can after delivering judgement send back the case to the court of hearing which proceeds on the lines of the judgement of the High Court.
All Courts excepting tribunals dealing with the Armed forces, are under the supervision of the High Court. This power is enjoyed under Art 227 of the Constitution. Thus administration of the state’s judiciary is the essential function of the High Court. It is consulted while appointments are made to the lower courts. It forms rules and regulations regarding the working of the subordinate courts in the state. It also determines the number of cases to be dealt with by each of the lower courts during a period of time.
Every High Court is a court of record. Subordinate Courts are bound to follow the decisions of the High Courts. It’s proceedings and decisions are referred to in all future cases. It*has the power to punish for contempt of court.