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Introduction to Subordinate Court

The structure and functioning of Subordinate Courts is more or less uniform throughout the country. These courts deal with all disputes of civil or criminal nature, as per the powers conferred on them.

Civil Court

Every district has a Civil Court and the District Judge is its Chief Justice. The President appoints the Chief Justice after consultation with the judges of the High Court.

Civil courts settle disputes related to civil matters such as property, land, monetary transactions, marriage, divorce, etc.

Criminal Court

The highest criminal court at the district level is the Session Court. The District Judge performs the functions of a judge of this court too.

The court takes up crimes such as murder, robbery, dacoity, etc. It has the power to issue death sentence and also life imprisonment sentence.

People’s Court (Lok Adalath)

Lok Adalat is a forum where the disputes/cases pending in the court of law or at pre-litigation stage are settled/compromised amicably. Some Judges of the Supreme Court, Social Workers, young law granduates are the founding members of these courts. The functioning of the Lok Adalat has draon appreciation from people, mainly due to three features:

  1. It lays stress on compromise.
  2. It is fast and cheap.
  3. It reduces the Judicial burden on other courts.

These courts are established by either the District Law Authority or the Taluk Law Authority. There are two mediators in it, one in government service and the other, a social volunteer.

Nyaya Panchayats

The Nyaya Panchayats are the judicial bodies in village, which provide speedy and inexpensive justice on all petty civil suits and minor offences within their domain of operations.

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