Short Answer Questions
What is meant by Subordinate Courts?
The Court of the District Judge and other Courts lower in ranking to it are called Subordinate Courts.
What is meant by the term 'Civil Cases'?
Civil cases are the cases related to land, property, breach of contract and money transactions, etc. Civil cases also include matters such as arbitration, guardianship, marriages, divorce and cases involving a Will.
Which is the highest Civil Court in a District?
The Court of the District Judge is the highest Civil Court of the district.
Who appoints a District Judge? How?
The District Judge and the Additional District Judge are appointed by the Governor in consultation with the High Court.
Mention one administrative function of a District Judge.
The District Judge in his administrative capacity exercises administrative control over all the Civil Courts in his district.
Which is the highest Court dealing with Criminal cases at the District level?
The highest criminal court of the district is the Court of Sessions Judge.
What is the distinction between the Court of the District Judge and the Sessions Judge?
Mention the types of cases being heard by the Court of the District Judge and the Sessions Judge.
What is the distinction between Civil and Criminal Courts?
The Civil Courts hear the cases related to land, property, breach of contract, money transactions, etc. The Criminal Courts, on the other hand, deal with offences such as theft, violence, robbery, physical attacks, murder and dacoities.
Mention any two advantages of the resolution of disputes through Lok Adalats.
Two advantages of the resolution of disputes through Lok Adalats are-
- The Lok Adalats work in the spirit of compromise.
- Lok Adalats deliver speedy and inexpensive justice.
The organisation of Subordinate Courts varies from State to State, but the essential features are the same. Describe the organisation of Civil Courts in a District under the following headings:
(a) The Court of the District Judge
(b) Appointment and Qualifications of a District Judge
(a) The Court of the District Judge is the highest Civil Court of the district.
- In some of the districts Additional District Judges have been appointed to assist the District Judges.
- There are several civil courts working under the District Judge, such as Court of Subordinate Civil Judge (First Class), the Court of Sub-Judge (also known as a Munsif) and Courts of Small Causes.
- The District Judge, the Additional District Judge and the Subordinate Civil Judge (First Class) may deal with suits without any limit as to their value.
- The jurisdiction of the other civil courts depends entirely on the value of the suit.
- The Courts of Small Causes have jurisdiction in cases where the value of the subject matter is small.
- From the decree or order of the Small Cause Court, appeal lies to the Court of Sub-Judge or Munsif.
- Appeals from orders of the Sub-Judge lie to the Court of the Civil Judge (First Class).
- The appeals from the judgements of the District Courts and the Additional District Courts lie to the High Court.
(b) Appointment — The District Judge and the Additional District Judge are appointed by the Governor in consultation with the High Court.
Qualification — A person to be eligible for appointment as a District Judge or an Additional District Judge should be an advocate or a pleader of seven years' standing or an officer in Judicial Service of the Union or of the State.
Present day Criminal Courts in every district usually have a three-tier structure. In this context describe:
(a) Organisation of the Sessions Court
(b) Organisation of the Court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate
(a) The highest criminal court of the district is the Court of Sessions Judge.
- Usually it is presided over by the District Judge, who is therefore called the District and Sessions Judge.
- It is in the Sessions Court that more serious offences such as robbery, dacoities and murder are tried.
- The Sessions or Additional Sessions Judge alone can award death sentences or life imprisonment.
- Whether there is an appeal by the convict or not, a sentence of death must be confirmed by the High Court before it is carried out.
- The Sessions Judge hears appeals against the judgement of the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate or Chief Judicial Magistrate.
- All persons convicted by Sessions Courts are permitted to appeal to the High Court.
(b) The Chief Metropolitan or Chief Judicial Magistrate, the First Class Judicial Magistrate and the Second Class Judicial Magistrate work under the Sessions Judge.
- The Chief Metropolitan or Chief Judicial Magistrate is not competent to pass a sentence of death or of imprisonment for life.
- He can pass a sentence of imprisonment only up to seven years.
- A First Class judicial Magistrate is empowered to pass a sentence of imprisonment upto 3 years.
- A Second Class Magistrate can pass a sentence of imprisonment upto 2 years.
The Lok Adalats have earned the commendation of many legal luminaries. In this context answer the following questions:
(a) What is meant by a Lok Adalat?
(b) What are the advantages of settlement of disputes through Lok Adalats?
Mention any four reasons why the system of Lok Adalats became so popular.
(a) Lok Adalat means "People's Court".
- Lok Adalats encourage the settlement of disputes through compromise or settlements between the parties.
- From time to time these courts have been held in Gujarat, Delhi and various other States.
- A few judges of the Supreme Court, social workers and young students of law have contributed in a big way to the institution of Lok Adalats.
- Public-spirited men and women persuaded the parties to a dispute to withdraw their cases from judicial courts and transfer the same to the Lok Adalats.
(b) There are many advantages of the settlement of disputes through Lok Adalats.
- The Lok Adalats work in the spirit of compromise — No one nourishes feelings of anger or unhappiness. Both the parties feel that they have been treated fairly. Lok Adalats could play an important role in the settlement of family feuds, disputes between the neighbours and minor cases of assault and injury.
- Lok Adalats deliver speedy and inexpensive justice — One can move Lok Adalat by an application on a plain paper or format available with Legal Services Authorities. Weaker sections of society cannot afford the costs involved in the Court procedures. Lok Adalats, therefore, tend to promote Social Justice.
- Awards passed by Lok Adalats are final and binding on the parties — Ordinarily no appeal lies before any court against its award.
- The Lok Adalats shall reduce the workload of subordinate courts — That could consequently reduce delay in justice.