UPSC : Subordinate Courts
- Subordinate Courts are also known as lower courts. They are subordinate to the concern state high court.
- Articles 233 to 237 in Part VI of the Constitution deal with the Subordinate Courts.
- The appointment of district judges in a state are made by the governor of the state in consultation with the high court.
- Should have been an advocate or a pleader for seven years.
- Should be recommended by the high court for appointment.
- The district judge is the highest judicial authority in the district. He possesses original and appellate jurisdiction in both civil as well as criminal matters. In other words, the district judge is also the sessions judge.
- Below the District and Sessions Court stands the Court of Subordinate Judge on the civil side and the Court of Chief Judicial Magistrate on the criminal side.
- At the lowest level, on the civil side, is the Court of Munsiff and on the criminal side, is the Court of Judicial Magistrate.
National legal services authority
- Article 39A of the Constitution of India provides for free legal aid to the poor and weaker sections of the society and ensures justice for all.
- Articles 14 and 22(1) of the Constitution also make it obligatory for the State to ensure equality before law and a legal system.
- The Legal Services Authorities Act was enacted in 1987.
- In every State, a State Legal Services Authority and in every High
Court, a High Court Legal Services Committee have been constituted.
- The District Legal Services Authorities, Taluk Legal Services Committees have been constituted in the Districts and the Taluks to give effect to the policies and directions of the NALSA and to provide free legal services to the people and conduct Lok Adalats in the State.
Main functions -
- To provide free and competent legal services to the eligible persons.
- To organize Lok Adalats for amicable settlement of disputes.
- To organize legal awareness camps in the rural areas.
Who are all eligible for getting free legal services?
- Women and children
- Members of SC/ST
- Industrial workmen
- Victims of mass disaster, violence, flood, drought, earthquake industrial disaster
- Disabled persons
- Persons in custody
- Persons whose annual income does not exceed ₹1 lakh (in the Supreme Court Legal Services Committee the limit ₹1,25,000/-)
- Victims of trafficking in human beings or beggar.
- The word ‘Lok Adalat’ means ‘People’s Court’. This system is based on Gandhian principles.
- The Lok Adalat enquires the pending cases in a court or which are at pre-litigation stage (not yet brought before a court) are compromised or settled in an amicable manner.
- It is one of the components of ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution) system.
- The first Lok Adalat camp after independence was organised in Gujarat in 1982.
- The Lok Adalat has been given statutory status under the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987.
- The Lok Adalat is equal to Civil Court.
- No appeal against the award of the Lok Adalat.
- The Family Courts Act, 1984 to settle the disputes relating to marriage and family affairs.
- The Gram Nyayalayas Act, 2008.
- To provide for the establishment of the Gram Nyayalayas for the purposes of providing access to justice to the citizens at their doorsteps.
- Article 39A of the Constitution directs the State to secure that the operation of the legal system promotes justice, on a basis of equal opportunity and shall provide free legal aid.
- The State Government in consultation with the High Court appoints the judicial officials (Nyayadhikaris).
- The Gram Nyayalaya shall be a mobile court and shall exercise the powers of both Criminal and Civil Courts.
- It follows the principles of natural justice