There shall be High Court for each state (Article 214), and every High Court shall be a court of record and shall have all the powers of such a court including the power to punish for contempt of itself (Article 215). However, Parliament may, by law, establish a common High Court for two or more states and a Union Territory (Article 231). Every High Court shall consist of a Chief Justice and such other judges as the President may from time to time deem it necessary to appoint. Provisions for additional judges and acting judges being appointed by the President are also given in the Constitution. The President, while appointing the judges shall consult the Chief Justice of India, the Governor of the State and also the Chief Justice of that High Court in the matter of appointment of a judge other than the Chief Justice. A judge of a High Court shall hold office until the age of 62 years. A judge can vacate the seat by resigning, by being appointed a judge of the Supreme Court or by being transferred to any other High Court by the President. A judge can be removed by the President on grounds of misbehaviour or incapacity in the same manner in which a judge of the Supreme Court is removed.
Jurisdiction of High Courts
The jurisdiction of the High Court of a state is co-terminus with the territorial limits of that state. The original jurisdiction of High court includes the enforcement of the Fundamental Rights, settlement of disputes relating to the election to the Union and State legislatures and jurisdiction over revenue matters. Its appellate jurisdiction extends to both civil and criminal matters. On the civil side, an appeal to the High Court is either a first appeal or second appeal. The criminal appellate jurisdiction consists of appeals from the decisions of:
a) A session judge, or an additional session judge where the sentence is of imprisonment exceeding 7 years.
b) An assistant session judge, metropolitan Magistrate of other judicial Magistrate in certain certified cases other than ‘petty’ cases. The writ jurisdiction of High Court means issuance of writs/orders for the enforcement of Fundamental Rights and also in cases of ordinary legal rights. High Court also has the power to superintend all other courts and tribunals, except those dealing with armed forces. It can also frame rules and issue instructions for guidance from time to time with directions for speedier and effective judicial remedy. High Court also has the power to transfer cases to itself from subordinate courts concerning the interpretation of the Constitution. However, the Parliament, by law, may extend the jurisdiction of a High Court to, or exclude the jurisdiction of a High Court from, any Union Territory. High Courts’ power of original and appellate jurisdiction is also circumscribed by the creation of Central Administrative Tribunals, with respect to services under the Union and it has no power to invalidate a Central Act, rule, notification or order made by any administrative authority of the Union.