Report No. 79
III. The Courts
1.6. Courts under Constitution.-
The judicial power of the Union and the States is exercised through the courts established by or under the Constitution. The Constitution of India, apart from creating a Supreme Court for the Union of India, has provided for a High Court for each State. It has also empowered every State to establish for its territory appropriate judicial machinery, with such judicial powers as are necessary, subject to constitutional limitations. This accounts for some difference in the functioning and exercise of jurisdiction by various courts, including, in certain respects, the High Courts, in each State. There are, however, certain features which are common to most High Courts.
1.7. Role of Courts.-
The utility of the Supreme Court and the High Courts was well brought out in the 58th Report of the Law Commission1 which dealt with the structure and jurisdiction of the higher judiciary:
"Ever since our Constitution was adopted and the Supreme Court was established, the Supreme Court has, by its verdicts rendered during the last twenty-two years, made the concept of the Rule of Law relevant, coherent and stable in this country. It has consistently protected the Fundamental Rights of the citizens against unconstitutional encroachment, examined the validity of legislative and executive actions fairly, impartially and fearlessly, and introduced an element of certainty and uniformity in the interpretation of laws. The service thus rendered by the Supreme Court is of a very significant character and its importance cannot be exaggerated in the context of the federal set-up of the Indian Republic.
During the same period, High Courts in our States also have done valuable work in exercising their ordinary civil and criminal jurisdiction and their constitutional jurisdiction under Articles 226 and 227 of the Constitution. Broadly stated, it can be legitimately claimed that the operation of judicial process in our country during the last twenty-two years has, on the whole, fostered and strengthened the best judicial traditions and thereby deserved and commanded confidence from the Indian community in general and the litigating public in particular."
1. Law Commission of India, 58th Report (Structure and Jurisdiction of the Higher Judiciary), Questionnaire and the Preamble thereto quoted, paras. 1.1 and 1.2.