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Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Session Courts in India

Session courts in India have become a need of the hour, where the common petitions are not heard, law and order in the country is at a pity stage, where the normal cases of hearing for the common man goes for years and the common man gives up rather instead of seeking justice in the court. The High courts and Supreme courts are the only courts where a common man can seek justice. Moreover, there are Consumer Courts that are not very effective in most cases. What India really needs is a session court where the common man can easily and comfortably file cases at a nominal fee, that will help them seek justice for small & big cases. The cases requiring attention of the judges at the high court need to be routed to the high court or the supreme court depending on the criticality of the case.

Law and order across the society is the basic need for people to live in peace and harmony. We often see people breaking laws for common things and the common man is handicapped to even try to seek justice. Either one has to fight by self or seek justice with the help of his acquaintances, hence social security plays a major role for people in the India. Family, friends, neighbours are a social security and have them for anything to deal with in their day to day life from thefts to crimes. But it is becoming a danger line in today's fast paced world, where people are busier than before, do not have time and your vicinity is becoming a danger place inviting thefts and crimes to occur. 

It is now the common man's responsibility to remain more vigilant and cautious towards his family and close ones. Crime cases examples are like - Old people and senior citizen in pune are target for murders and thefts in these days, rapes and sexual abuse is catching up high in delhi, NCR and most other places in the country, leave your house to travel to your native for a week might surely invite theft in your house etc. There has been a drastic increase in the cases of thefts and crime in the country seeking more and more justice. It is now becoming a challenge to the judges and courts to intervene and resolve issues to establish law and order in the cities, states and the country.

Usually, in today's world, a common man lodges a complaint for theft in the house or theft of assets to a police station in the area, lodges an FIR but it is never heard and the FIR case is closed in 3 months stipulated time automatically. This is the usual trend today, a common man will just assume it as his destiny to have suffered for his own negligence or luck to have made a heavy loss. He/she will not seek a court or police station to report his/her loss due to an unlawful act. This is inviting crimes even more as there is no law and order in the country and the miscreants have all freedom to perform crimes. A child remains in discipline when he is monitored by the teachers in the school. A child remains in discipline at home when he is monitored by his parents. A miscreant or a criminal has no teacher or no parent to remain in discipline or stop him/her for making any unlawful act. 

On the other hand, let us take example of the many developed countries like USA, there are Session Courts in every area, a city might have many session courts across all parts of the city. It is easy for the common man and the citizen of the country to seek justice in any court even for the silliest thing like a miscreant having threatened a child or a dog. The justice seeker is not just given a justice but is given a settlement to the damage caused. The need for the courts is emerging in the country now, there is a loud shout required that is the necessity of the hour. In USA, the session courts can be found across every street rather there are many session courts in a city which is easily reachable to the common man.

It is wrong to say that India does not have a session court. In fact, the district courts are called the session courts in India, for example, Mumbai has 3 session courts in the city. I have gathered a more information for the knowledge of everyone here about the session courts:-

"District court is referred to as sessions court when it exercises its jurisdiction on criminal matters under Code of Criminal procedure (CrPc). As per section 9 of CrPc, the court is established by the State Government for every sessions division. The court is presided over by a Judge, appointed by the High Court of that particular state. The High Court may also appoint Additional Sessions Judges and Assistant Sessions Judges in this court.[1]

In Indian cities, the Sessions Court is responsible for adjudicating matters related to criminal cases. The court is responsible for cases relating to murders, theft, dacoity, pick-pocketing and other such cases. In Mumbai (Bombay) there are three courts, the main one being in the Kala Ghoda region of South Mumbai second at Sewree in south Mumbai and the third in Dindoshi in the Suburban area of Borivali.[2]

Sessions court has the power to impose the full range of penalties for criminal acts, including the death penalty. Originally, the Sessions Courts heard each case continuously in sessions and delivered judgements immediately on completion of arguments. Hence the name 'Sessions Court' meant that the cases would be disposed off expeditiously. One of the important reasons for delays in the Indian Judicial System, is that the concept of 'Sessions' is observed only in breach due to repeated adjournments, loop holes in the case papers and backlog of cases. The Government of India has not found a solution to this endemic problem." - Source Wikipedia

You may find more detail about the District Courts in India in the official link "http://indiancourts.nic.in/districtcourt.html"

We will study the comparison of the judicial system in India and the US to understand the legal systems.

Let us first get into more details about Courts in India:

Structure of Courts in India

India being a Federal system, the Constitution of India has provided a single integrated system of Courts for the  Union as well as the States which administer both Union and State laws. The Indian Judicial System is bifurcated into two branches - Civil and Criminal (at Taluk and District levels).

The Supreme Court has original, appellate and advisory jurisdiction. There are 18 high courts in the country out of which three are having jurisdiction over more than one state - Bombay, Guwahati, Punjab and Haryana High Court.The district courts of India are established by the State governments in India for every district.

Types of Courts in India
There are 4 types of Courts in India:
# Supreme Court - The Supreme Court of India is the highest judicial forum and final court of appeal as established by the Constitution of India. According to the Constitution of India, the role of the Supreme Court is that of a federal court and guardian of the Constitution. The Supreme Court is meant to be the last resort and highest appellate court which takes up appeals against judgments of the High Courts of the states and territories. Also,disputes between states or petitions involving a serious infringement of fundamental and human rights are usually brought directly to the Supreme Court.

# High Courts- These are below Supreme Courts. There are 24 High Courts at the State level. Below the High Courts are a hierarchy of subordinate courts such as the civil courts, family courts, criminal courts and various other district courts.

# District/Subordinate Courts - These include district courts and other courts. The District Courts of India are established by the State governments in India for every district or for one or more districts together taking into account the number of cases, population distribution in the district. They administer justice in India at a district level. These courts are under administrative control of the High Court of the State to which the district concerned belongs. The decisions of District court are subject to the appellate jurisdiction of the concerned High court. (Source: Wikipedia)

# Lok Adalats - It solves cases at much faster pace than any other court. It is below districts courts.

Court Structure in US
The structure of court and judicial system to an extent varies from state to State. As per the New York Judiciary system, there are trial courts and appellate courts. Most cases start at the trial-court level, parties occasionally ask a higher court to reconsider the case, which is called an appeal and is dealt in the appellate courts. NY city has Civil and Criminal Courts while outside the NY city - District Courts, City Courts, Town and Village Justice Courts, County Courts located in each county outside NY city.

Types of Courts in US
The United States court system comprises of a federal system and 50 state systems, each having its own structures and legal procedures.
# State Courts: Most legal issues are resolved in State Trial Courts, which are the courts at the lowest tier in a State's Court system. Depending on the structure of a State's Court system, trial courts may be city or Municipal Courts, Justice of the peace or JP courts, County or Circuit Courts, or even Regional Trial Courts.
                   Many states also have specialized trial courts that hear cases related to a very specific area of the law including Probate courts, Family law courts, Juvenile courts, and Small claims courts. Every state has a court of last resort, generally called the "Supreme Court." Although Supreme Court decisions are final within a State Court System, sometimes they can be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

# Federal Courts: Most of the Federal Court system is divided into Districts and Circuits. There is at least one Federal District in every state, but populous states can have multiple districts. Texas has Northern, Western, Southern and Eastern districts. Generally, Federal lawsuits start out at the district level in a federal court. Tax court, bankruptcy court, court of federal claims, and court of veteran appeals are all examples of special Federal Courts.
               Each federal circuit includes more than one district and is home to a Federal Court of Appeal. This court plays a role analogous to a state appellate court.At the very top of the federal court system is the U.S. Supreme Court. There are nine Justices who sit on the Supreme Court and are nominated by the President,  approved by the U.S. Senate.


Law and Judicial Systems of Nations, 4th ed. World Jurist Association, 2002. K583.W67 2002 
Modern Legal Systems Cyclopedia, 1984-date. 21 vols. K530.M63 1984 

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