Civil Courts

There are two type of law courts in every district, one is the Civil Court and the other is the Criminal Court. This article aims to provide information on the Civil Court for candidates preparing for the IAS exam.

In every state, besides the High Court there are number of judicial Courts to administer justice which functions under the supervision and complete control of the High courts. To know more on High Court visit the linked page.

Aspirants would find this article very helpful while preparing for the UPSC 2021.

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To complement your preparation for the upcoming exam, check the following links:

Civil Courts Powers, Functions & Hierarchy

  • Civil courts deal with civil cases. Civil law is referred to in almost all cases other than criminal cases.
  • 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.

Civil Court Jurisdiction

Civil courts have four types of jurisdiction:

  • 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.

Civil Courts Hierarchy

  1. The Civil Courts are of three grades. The Court of the District Judge is at the top and is located at the district headquarters.
  2. It has the power of superintendence over the courts under its control and exercises both judicial and administrative powers. He has both original and appellate jurisdictions. Cases of amount beyond a specified value can come straight to his court. He can also hear appeals from lower courts.
  3. Under the district courts, there are the other two Civil Courts which are subordinate to the Court of the District Judge are-
    1. the Court of Subordinate Judges and Additional Subordinate Judges and
    2. the Courts of Munsifs and Additional Munsifs.
  4. A dispute involving property or amount which is not valued more than two thousand rupees comes within the jurisdiction of the Munsif Court. Most civil cases are filed in the Munsif’s court. There is appeal from the Munsif Court to the Court of the Sub-Judge or to the Court of the Additional Sub-Judge.
  5. Against the judgement of the Court of Sub¬Judge or the Court of Additional Sub-Judge, one can appeal to the Court of District Judge. 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.
  6. The High Court can entertain appeals against the judgement of the Court of the District Judge.

Aspirants can check out various relevant links provided below to prepare well for Indian Judiciary for UPSC exam-

Free Online Quiz

Frequently Asked Questions on Civil Courts

Q 1. What is the purpose of a Civil Court?

Ans. A court of law that deals with disagreements between individual people or private companies, rather than with criminal activities is said to be Civil Court. It deals with cases related to money, debts, property, housing, etc.

Q 2. In a Civil Court, who has the highest authority?

Ans. The District Court is the highest civil court in the district, where theDistrict Judge is the highest judicial authority.

UPSC exam-related links are given below for candidates convenience in the preparation.

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