Functions and Composition of High Court

Functions and Composition of High Court

In the Indian Judicial system, The High Court is an intermediate body for disbursal of Justice to the grievances of Indian Citizens. After reading this text you will be able to know about the functioning of high courts under the Indian Judicial system.

In Indian polity and constitution, the scheme of judicial system, high court works below the Supreme Court. This was established in India in 1962, when the high courts were set up at Bombay, Calcutta and Madras. The number of judges in the high court, unlike the Supreme Court, is decided by the president of India rather than the parliament. The constitution of India provides one high court in each state. 

Composition of high court 

Each state has one high court

The high court is headed by the Chief Justice of high court

The Chief Justice is assisted by the other high court judges. 

(if required, parliament can increase the number of high courts to solve pending cases)

Qualifications for appointment as judge of high court 

High court judge should be a citizen of India 

Judge of the high court held a judicial office for at least 10 years or worked as an advocate in a high court for at least 10 years. 


Every judge is appointed by the president in consultation with the Chief Justice of SC and governor of the concerned state.

In case of appointment for other high court judges, it is also done by the president in consultation with the Chief Justice of SC, Chief Justice of HC and governor of the state. 

Removal of high court judges 

A judge of the high court can be removed by the president on the grounds of proved misbehaviour or incapacity. 

Approval of the 2/3rd majority of both the houses is also needed to go ahead with the impeachment of high court judges.

  • Retirement: at the age of 62 years. 
  • Transfer of high court judges 
  • President can transfer high court judges from one high court to another only if 
  • It is done in consultation with the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
  • In consultation with 4 senior most Supreme Court judges 
  • If approved by the Chief Justice of high court 

The high court judge, who is transferred to another high court, is entitled to get compensatory allowance in addition to his salary. 


Jurisdiction is the power that a court of law exercises to carry out judgements and enforce laws. 

  • Original jurisdiction 
  • Appellate jurisdiction 
  • Advisory jurisdiction
  • Judicial review 
  • Original jurisdiction 

Original jurisdiction processes the power to control those cases that cannot be advanced in other courts other than high court. 

The original jurisdiction of the high court extends to the matters of admiralty, Will, matrimonial and contempt of court cases.

Appellate jurisdiction 

This processes the power to control the cases of appeal against the judgement provided by any district courts or any subordinate courts in the country. 

The cases include: civil cases and the criminal cases

Advisory jurisdiction 

Any government department, legislature or governor may mention and send a specific case for consideration to the high court if it has certain special arrangements; this power of the high court to control such cases is referred to as advisory jurisdiction. 

Judicial Review 

High court is authorised to review any judgment or order developed by any subordinate court, with a perception of reducing any kind of mistake or error that can crept in the judgement; it is referred as Judicial Review. 

This is done in cases of errors of law, wrong judgment and fragrant error in procedure. 

Subordinate courts 

The other subordinate courts are  

  • Civil court 
  • Criminal court 
  • Court of revenue 

Salary of a judge in high court 

Under article 221, a judge of one high court is entitled to allowances and rights. 

The salary of a judge of a high court is 80,000 INR per month 

The salary of the Chief Justice of the high court is 90,000 INR per month. 


The high courts are the highest courts of appellate jurisdiction in each state and union territory of India. High courts exercise their original civil and criminal jurisdiction only if the subordinate courts are not authorised by law. Judges of a high court are appointed by the president of India in consultation with the chief justice and the governor of the state under Article 217 of the constitution. The work of most high courts primarily consists of appeals from lower courts and writ petitions in terms of article 226 and 227 of the Indian polity and constitution.