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High Courts in India | How many high courts in India

A high court is a supreme or highest judicial body in a state. As per Article 214, each state in India is supposed to have a High Court. Furthermore, as par Article 231, two or more state can have one or common high court. For example, Bombay High Court exercises its jurisdiction over Maharashtra, Dada and Nagar Haveli, Goa, etc.

The newly formed high courts in India includes Telangana High Court and Andhra Pradesh High Court that were created in 2019. As of now (2020), there are 25 high courts in India. Besides this, Calcutta High Court that was set up in 1862 is the oldest high court in India.

The high court comprises a Chief Justice and other judges that are appointed by the President of India. To appoint the chief justice of the high court of a state, the president of India is required to consult the Governor of that State and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. The number of judges in a high court depends on the requirement and thus varies from court to court and state to state.

Who can become the judge of a high court I Qualification required to become the judge of a high court?

  1. He or she should be a citizen of India
  2. He should have served as an advocate in one or more high courts in India or served for at least 10 years in a subordinate court in India.
  3. He should have held a judicial office in India for at least ten years.

Besides this, the age of retirement for the judge of the high court was 60 years that was increased to 62 years in 1963 as per the 15th amendment of the constitution.

Removal of the Judge of a High Court

  • He may resign if he wants to leave his office. He is required to send his resignation to the president of India.
  • If he is appointed as a Supreme Court's judge or shifted to some other high court, his office is considered vacate.
  • He may be removed if the parliament passes a motion against him by an absolute majority

Power and functions of a High Court

  • Issue writs: It has the power to issue writs of mandamus, habeas corpus, quo-warranto, etc.
  • Superintendence: It has superintendence over all courts and tribunals under its jurisdiction.
  • Transfer of case: It can withdraw or transfer the case from the court which is subordinate to it. It happens with those cases that are pending and involves a substantial question of law.
  • Appointment of District judges: Governor is required to consult the High Court while appointing, posting or promoting the district judges. The high court also provides consultation regarding the appointment of State Judicial Service's members.

The list of high courts in India with their location and year of establishment is given below:

  1. Bombay High Court
  2. Kolkata High Court
  3. Madras High Court
  4. Allahabad High Court
  5. Karnataka High Court
  6. Patna High Court
  7. Jammu & Kashmir High Court
  8. Punjab & Haryana
  9. Gauhati High Court
  10. Orissa High Court
  11. Rajasthan High Court
  12. Madhya Pradesh High Court
  13. Kerala High Court
  14. Gujarat High Court
  15. Delhi High Court
  16. Himachal Pradesh High Court
  17. Sikkim High Court
  18. Chhattisgarh High Court
  19. Uttarakhand High Court
  20. Jharkhand High Court
  21. Tripura High Court
  22. Manipur High Court
  23. Meghalaya High Court
  24. Telangana High Court
  25. Andhra Pradesh High Court

1) Bombay High Court

Bombay High Court is one of the oldest high courts in India located in Mumbai, Maharashtra. It was set up on 14 August 1862. Besides Maharashtra, its jurisdiction extends over God, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu. It has regional branches at Panaji in Goa, and at Nagpur and Aurangabad in Maharashtra. Its main seat is at Mumbai.

It has the power of original jurisdiction (when a case is heard for the first time) as well as Appellate power (to review, amend, etc., the case of a lower court). The sanctioned strength of judges for this court is 94 judges in Bombay high court. Its building is a part of the Victorian and Art Deco Ensemble of Mumbai and its current chief justice as of June 2020 is Mohit S. Shah. The decisions taken by Bombay high court can only be challenged in the Supreme Court of India.


2) Kolkata High Court

Calcutta High Court is one of the oldest high courts in India. Its jurisdiction covers West Bengal, and Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Its building is designed by Mr. Walter Granville based on the Cloth Hall at Ypres in Belgium.

It was set up on 01 July 1862 under the High Court's Act, 1861. Its principal seat is Kolkata, the capital city of West Bengal and the sanctioned judge strength is 72. The current chief justice of the court is Justice Thottathil B. Radhakrishnan.


3) Madras High Court

Madras High Court is located in the city of Chennai in the state of Tamil Nadu. It is also counted among the oldest high-courts in India. It was established in 1862 by merging the Supreme Court of Juducature at Madras, and the Sadr Diwani Adalat.

Its original jurisdiction (seat) is at Chennai, however, its appellate jurisdiction covers Tamil Nadu and Union territory of Puducherry. The sanction judges' strength for Madras high court is 60. The current chief justice of Madras High Court is Amreshwar Pratap Sahi. He was appointed on 11 November 2019.


4) Allahabad High Court

Allahabad High Court is based at Allahabad that was renamed Prayagraj. It was established on 17 March 1866 and its jurisdiction cover the Uttar Pradesh state of India. It has a permanent circuit bench at Lucknow while its seat is located at Prayagraj.

The sanctioned strength of judges of the court is 160 out of which 76 are permanent and 84 are additional. The current chief justice of Allahabad High Court as of June 2020 is Govind Mathur.


5) Karnataka High Court

Karnataka High Court, which is officially known as Karnataka Uccha Nyayalaya, is located in the city of Bangalore, Karnataka. Formally, it was known as the High Court of Mysore. At present, as of July 2020, Abhay Shreeniwas Oka is the chief justice of the court. Its main seat is at Bengaluru and bench is at Dharwad and Gulbarga.

Its building is known as Attara Kacheri which is a two-storey building made of brick and stone in the Graeco-Roman style of architecture. The sanctioned judge strength for this court is 62.


6) Patna High Court

It belongs to the state of Bihar and was set up on 09 February 1916. Its founding stone was laid on 01 December 1913 and the building of court was completed on 03 February 1916 and it started its operations on 01 March 1916.

It exercises its jurisdiction over the Patna. The current chief justice of Patna high court as of October 2020 is Sanjay Karol who was appointed on 11 November 2019. The sanctioned judges' strength for this court is 40 and additional judges' strength is 13.


7) Jammu & Kashmir High Court

It is the high court of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh. It was established on 26 March 1928. The sanctioned strength of judges for this court is 17 out of which 13 are permanent and the rest of the four serve as additional judges.

J&K high court was established based on the order issued by the Maharaja of J&K in March 1928. After the Reorganization Bill was passed by Indian Parliament the J&K and Ladakh became independent union territories, however, the J&K high court is to continue its jurisdiction over both of these union territories. There are two seats of this court that include Srinagar and Jammu. Besides this, the current chief justice of J&K high court is Gita Mittal. She was appointed on 11 August 2018.


8) Punjab & Haryana

Punjab & Haryana high court is a common high court for Haryana, Punjab and Chandigarh. It is located in sector 1 of Chandigarh and its building is designed by Le Corbusier and is also known as the Palace of Justice. Its seat is Chandigarh.

As of November 2019, it had 56 Judges out of which 39 were holding permanent position and rest of the 17 were serving as additional judges. However, the sanctioned strength of judges is 85.

The existing Punjab and Haryana high court started functioning from 1966. The current (as of June 2020) chief justice of Punjab and Haryana High court is Ravi Shankar Jha who started his tenure on 06 October 2019.


9) Gauhati High Court

It has emerged from the High Court of Assam when the high court of Assam was renamed Gauhati High Court in 1971 as per the North East Areas (Reorganization) Act. It has its Jurisdiction over Assam, Nagaland, Mizoram, and Arunachal Pradesh states of India.

The main seat is at Guwahati in the state of Assam. Besides this, it also has three benches that include Kohima Bench for Nagaland, Aizawl Bench for Mizoram and Itanagar bench for Arunachal Pradesh.

The sanctioned Judge strength for this court is 24 out which one is chief justice and 6 are additional judges. The current chief justice of Guwahati high court as of June 2020 is Nongmeikapam Kotiswar Singh.


10) Orissa High Court

It is the high court for the Odisha state of India. Formerly, this state was under the jurisdiction of Patna High Court. Later when Odisha became an independent province on 01 April 1936, govt. of India decided to set up a new High Court for the state. Consequently, on 30 April 1948, govt. of India issued the Odisha High Court Order. Later, the high court was formally set up on 26 July 1948.

The principal seat of this court is Cuttack and its sanctioned judge strength is 27. The current chief justice of Orissa high court is Mohammad Rafiq as of August 2020.


11) Rajasthan High Court

It is the high court for the Rajasthan state of India. Rajasthan High Court was set up on 29 August 1949 under the Rajasthan High Court Ordinance 1949. It was inaugurated by Maharaja Sawai Man Singh on 29 August 1949. It exercises its jurisdiction over the entire state of Rajasthan.

Its seat is at Jodhpur and bench is at Jaipur. The sanctioned strength of Judges is 50, however, the actual strength is 34. The present chief justice of Rajasthan high court as of October 2020 is Indrajit Mahanty, a former judge of Bombay high court. He was appointed on 06 October 2019.


12) Madhya Pradesh High Court

It is the high court of the state of the Madhya Pradesh. It is located in Jabalpur and was established in 1956 when the new state of Madhya Pradesh was created as per the section 49 of the States Re-organization act. Its principal seat is at Jabalpur. The sanctioned judges' strength for this court is 53 judges. Before becoming Madras high court, it was serving as Nagpur High Court.

The first chief justice of Madhya Pradesh high court is M. Hidayatullah and its current chief justice as of August 2020 is Ajay Kumar Mittal. He assumed office on 03 November 2019.


13) Kerala High Court

It is the highest court in the state of Kerala and Lakshadweep. It is established in Kochi. As of now, its sanctioned judge strength is 27 out of which one is chief justice and twenty are additional judges. Its jurisdiction area comprises Kerala and Lakshadweep.

The new building of the court is inaugurated on 11 February 2006 by Justice Y. K. Sabharwal (chief justice of India). The building is provided with modern facilities that include AC courtrooms, videoconferencing, internet, including the facility of retrieving order copies and publishing the status of a case using internet. Besides this, it also has the facility of the bank, post office, clinic, library, canteen, etc.


14) Gujarat High Court

It is the high court in the state of Gujarat and is located at Sola, Ahmedabad. It was set up on 01 May 1960 as per the Bombay Re-organization Act, 1960 when Gujarat became an independent state after Bombay was divided into Maharashtra and Gujarat.

Ahmedabad is the seat of Gujarat High Court. The sanctioned strength of judges for this court is 52 (39 permanent posts and 13 additional posts), however, the current strength of judges is 30. Its jurisdiction covers Gujarat including district, administrative level and various other courts in Gujarat. The current chief justice of Gujarat high court is Vikram Nath. He was appointed on 10 November 2019 by the president of India.


15) Delhi High Court

Delhi High Court is located in the capital city of Delhi in India. It was established on 31 October 1966 with only four judges. It exercises its jurisdiction over the entire territory of New Delhi. At present, it has a sanctioned strength of 60 judges out of which 45 are permanent judges and 15 are additional judges. New Delhi is the main seat of Delhi High Court.

Besides this, it also has original civil side jurisdiction over its territory. It means, the civil cases can be filed directly in Delhi High Court. Dhirubhai Naranbhai Patel is the current chief justice of Delhi High Court as of October 2020.


16) Himachal Pradesh High Court

It is the high court of Himachal Pradesh, India. Himachal Pradesh became a state on 25 January 1971 in the same year high court was established for the state. It is located at the Mall, Ravenswood in Shimla and its jurisdiction is exercised over the entire state of Himachal Pradesh.

The principal seat of Himachal Pradesh High Court is Shimla. Its sanctioned judge strength is 9, one out of which is chief justice. The current chief justice of Himachal high court is Lingappa Narayana Swamy as of September 2020.


17) Sikkim High Court

It is the high court in the Sikkim state of India. It was established in 1975 in the same year when Sikkim became the 22nd state of India. It exercises its jurisdiction over the entire state of Sikkim.

The principal seat of the court is at Gangtok and the sanctioned judge strength for the court is 3. It appeals to Supreme Court of India. The current chief justice of Sikkim High Court as of July 2020 is Arup Kumar Goswami. He was appointed for this position on 15 October 2019. The retirement age for the judges is 62.


18) Chhattisgarh High Court

It is the high court of the state of Chhattisgarh located at Bilaspur. It exercises its jurisdiction over the entire state of Chhattisgarh. It was established on 01 November 2000 when the Chhattisgarh state was created after the reorganization of Madhya Pradesh.

The sanctioned judge strength for this court is 22 out of which 17 are permanent and 5 are additional judges. The current chief justice of Chhattisgarh state (as of July 2020) is P R Ramachandra Menon since 06 May 2019.


19) Uttarakhand High Court

It is the high court of the state of Uttarakhand in India. Uttarakhand was created on 09 November 2000 as per the Uttar Pradesh Reorganization Act, 2000. On the same day when this state was created, Uttarakhand high court was established. This court exercises its jurisdiction over the entire state of Uttarakhand.

The sanctioned judge strength in the beginning was 7 which was later increased to 9 in 2003. Its main seat is Nainital. The current chief justice of Uttarakhand high court is Ravi Vijaykumar Malimath as of October 2020. He took charge as a chief justice on 28 July 2020.


20) Jharkhand High Court

It is the high court of the state of the Jharkhand. It is located in Doranda, Ranchi. It came into existence as per Bihar Reorganisation Act, 2000 after Bihar state was reorganized and Jharkhand was carved out of it. It exercises its jurisdiction over the entire state of Jharkhand. Formerly, it was the circuit bench of the Patna High Court that was later converted into permanent bench of the Patna High Court that was finally converted into Jharkhand High Court.

The principal seat of Jharkhand High Court is at Ranchi. Its sanctioned judge strength is 25. The current chief justice of this court as of June 2020 is Dr. Ravi Ranjan, he assumed the office on 17 November 2019.


21) Tripura High Court

It is the high court of the state of Tripura. It was established on 23 March 2013 as per the North-Eastern Areas (Re-organisation) Act, 1971. Its principal seat is at Agartala. It has its jurisdiction over the entire state of Tripura. Before the establishment of Tripura High Court, Tripura was under the jurisdiction of Gauhati High Court.

It appeals to the Supreme Court of India. The sanctioned strength of judges for this court is four including the chief justice of the court. The first chief justice of Tripura High Court was Deepak Gupta and the current chief justice as of June 2020 is Akil Abdulhamid Kureshi, he assumed the office on 16 November 2019.


22) Manipur High Court

It is the high court in the state of Manipur located at Mantripukhri, Imphal. It was established on 25 March 2013 after making required changes in the Indian Constitution. It exercises its jurisdiction over the entire state of Manipur. Its sanctioned judge strength is 5.

Its principal seat is at Imphal. Formerly, Manipur was under the jurisdiction of Gauhati High Court. The first chief justice of Manipur high court was Abhay Manohar Sapre and the current chief justice (as of June 2020) of Manipur High Court is Ramalingam Sudhakar who assumed office on 18 May 2018.


23) Meghalaya High Court

Meghalaya High Court is the highest or high court of the Meghalaya state in India. It was set up in March 2013 after making the required changes in the Indian Constitution and as per 1971 the north-eastern regions (reorganization) act. The principal seat of the Meghalaya high court is at Shilong and it has its jurisdiction over the entire state of Meghalaya.

The sanctioned strength of judges for this high court is 4 permanent judges out of which one is chief justice and 3 are judges. The first chief justice of Meghalaya High Court was T. Meena Kumari and the current chief justice (as of June 2020) is Biswanath Somadder who assumed office on 27 April 2020.


24) Telangana High Court

Telangana high court belongs to the Telangana state of India. As the name suggests, it exercises its jurisdiction over the entire state of Telangana. Before becoming a high court for Telangana, initially, it was established as a high court for Hyderabad. Later, it was renamed high court of Andhra Pradesh based on the States Reorganization Act, 1956. Again, it was renamed high court of Judicature at Hyderabad based on the split of Andhra Pradesh.

Thereafter, when president of India issued order on 26 December 2018 to split the high court of Judicature at Hyderabad. Consequently, Telangana High Court was established on 01 January 2019 with its principal seat at Hyderabad.

Its main seat is in Hyderabad and its sanctioned judges' strength of 24. The first chief justice of Telangana high court was T.B. Radhakrishnan and the current chief justice as of August 2020 is Raghvendra Singh Chauhan who assumed office on 22 June 2019.


25) Andhra Pradesh High Court

It is the high court that belongs to Andhra Pradesh. It was established on 01 January 2019 as per the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014. It has jurisdiction over the entire state of Andhra Pradesh and its principal seat is at Amaravati.

The sanctioned strength of judges for Andhra Pradesh high court is 37 out of which 28 are permanent judges and nine are additional judges. The first chief justice of Andhra Pradesh high court is Chagari Praveen Kumar and the current chief justice as of October 2020 is J. K. Maheshwari who assumed office on 07 October 2019.






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