The Independence of the High Court can be given as:
- Appointment: As after the “Second and Third judges Case”, the appointment of a judge of High Court lies within judiciary itself and completely aloof from powers of executive and legislature.
- Tenure: The security of tenure is guaranteed till the retirement age of 65 years; as a High Court judge can’t be removed except by address of President which is subjected to procedure as above defined.
- Emoluments: The Judges are entitled to fix salary and service conditions as determined by Parliament. But they cannot be changed to their disadvantage after appointment, except in case of a Financial Emergency. The expenses of the High Court are charged on the Consolidated Fund of the State, which is not subjected to vote of State legislature.
- Retirement: A retired judge can be appointed as a Judge of the High Court for a temporary period, as deemed fit by the Chief Justice of the High Court.
- Conduct of Judges: The conduct of the Judges of High Court can’t be discussed in Parliament unless any motion of impeachment has been moved.
- Powers: Both the Parliament and the State Legislature are not authorized to cut the powers and jurisdiction of High Court as guaranteed by constitution.
The following are the Jurisdictions and Powers which the High Courts enjoy all over the country.
- Original jurisdiction:
The Constitution of India does not give a detailed description of the original jurisdiction of the High Court. It is accepted that the original jurisdiction of a High Court is exercised by issue of Writs to any person or authority including Government.
Article 226 of the Constitution vests in the High Court the power to issue writs for the restoration of the Fundamental Rights.
This power of the High Court does not derogate the similar power conferred on the Supreme Court in Article 32 of the Constitution.
The original jurisdiction of the High Courts also extends to the matters of admiralty, probate, matrimonial and contempt of Court cases. The High Courts have also full powers to make rules to regulate their business in relation to the administration of justice. It can punish for its own contempt.
- Appellate Jurisdiction:
The appellate jurisdiction of High Court extends to both civil and criminal cases. In civil cases, its jurisdiction extends to cases tried by District judges. In the criminal cases it extends to the cases decided by the Sessions and Additional Sessions Judges.
Thus, the jurisdiction of the High Court extends to all cases under the State or federal laws.
Its jurisdiction can be enlarged by the Parliament and the State Legislature. The Parliament exercises exclusive power to make laws touching the jurisdiction and power of all Courts with respect to the subjects on which it is competent to legislate. It can also legislate on subjects enumerated in the Concurrent List.
Likewise, a State Legislature has the power to make laws touching the jurisdictions and powers of all Courts within the State with respect to all subjects enumerated in the State List and the Concurrent List.
But as regards the subjects in the Concurrent List the Union law prevails in case of conflict.