Courts in India can be broadly categorized into Civil Court and Criminal Court
In civil courts every suit should be instituted before the court of lowest jurisdiction and the Munsif's Court is the court of lowest jurisdiction in the civil side. The Munsiff's Court is the competent court to try the suit if value of subject matter of the suit is worth one lakh rupees or below. If the value of the subject matter exceeds above rupees one lakh, the suit should be filed before the Subordinate Judge's Court.
An appeal from the decisions of the Munsiff court and Sub court can be filed before the District Court, if the subject matter of the suit is of value up to rupees two lakhs. If the value is above two lakhs, the appeal should be filed before the High Court and after that to the Supreme Court.
Administration of criminal justice is done through Magistrate Courts and Sessions courts. The Court at the lowest level in criminal matters is called Judicial Magistrate of the second class. This Court is competent to try the case if the offence is punishable with imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year, or with fine not exceeding five thousand rupees, or with both. The First Class Magistrate is competent to try offences punishable with imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or with fine up to ten thousand rupees. The Chief Judicial Magistrate can impose any fine and punishment up to seven years imprisonment.
Each state is divided into judicial districts presided over by a 'District and Sessions Judge'. He is known as a District Judge when he presides over a civil case and a Sessions Judge when he presides over a criminal case. The Assistant Sessions Judge is competent to impose punishments up to ten years imprisonment and any fine. The Sessions Judge can impose any punishment authorized by law; but the sentence of death passed by him should be subject to the confirmation by the High Court.
High Court stands at the head of a State's judicial administration. High courts exercise their original civil and criminal jurisdiction only if the courts subordinate to the High court in the state are not competent to try such matters for lack of pecuniary, territorial jurisdiction. High courts may also enjoy original jurisdiction in certain matters if so designated specifically in a state or Federal law. e.g.: Company law cases are instituted only in a High court. It has power to issue to any person within its jurisdiction writs, orders or directions. However, primarily the work of most High Courts consists of Appeals from lower courts and writ petitions in terms of Article 226 of the Constitution of India.Writs are in the nature of habeas corpus, mandamus, prohibition, quo warranto and certiorari for enforcement of Fundamental Rights and for any other purpose. Each High Court has powers of superintendence over all Courts and Tribunals with in its jurisdiction.
Supreme Court of India
The Supreme Court is the highest court in the country. It has original, appellate and advisory jurisdiction. Its exclusive original jurisdiction extends to Center-State and inters- State disputes as well. In addition, Article 32 of the Constitution gives an extensive original jurisdiction to the Supreme Court for the enforcement of Fundamental Rights. It is empowered to issue directions, orders or writs, including writs in the nature of habeas corpus, mandamus, prohibition, quo warranto and certiorari to enforce them. The Supreme Court, if satisfied that cases involving substantially the same questions of law of general importance are pending before it and the High Courts, it may withdraw such case and dispose them by itself.