KNC501/KNC601 Constitution of India, Law and Engineering
Chapter 8: The Legal System
Indian Judiciary – Civil Courts
Civil courts deal with civil cases. Civil law is referred to in almost all cases other than criminal cases. Criminal law applies when a crime such as a robbery, murder, arson, etc.
- Civil law is applied in disputes when one person sues another person or entity. Examples of civil cases include divorce, eviction, consumer problems, debt or bankruptcy, etc.
- Judges in civil courts and criminal courts have different powers. While a judge in a criminal court can punish the convicted person by sending him/her to jail, a judge in a civil court can make the guilty pay fines, etc.
- District Judges sitting in District Courts and Magistrates of Second Class and Civil Judge (Junior Division) are at the bottom of the judicial hierarchy in India.
- The court of the district judges is the highest civil court in a district.
- It has both administrative and judicial powers.
- The court of the District Judge is in the district HQ.
- It can try criminal and civil cases and hence, the judge is called District and Sessions Judge.
- Under the district courts, there are courts of the Sub-Judge, Additional Sub-Judge, and Munsif Courts.
- Most civil cases are filed in the Munsif’s court.
Four types of jurisdiction of Civil Courts
- Subject Matter Jurisdiction: It can try cases of a particular type and relate to a particular subject.
- Territorial Jurisdiction: It can try cases within its geographical limit, and not beyond the territory.
- Pecuniary Jurisdiction: Cases related to money matters, suits of monetary value.
- Appellate Jurisdiction: This is the authority of a court to hear appeals or review a case that has already been decided by a lower court. The Supreme Court and the High Courts have appellate jurisdiction to hear cases that were decided by a lower court.