The high courts of India are the highest courts of appellate jurisdiction in each state and union territory of India. However, a high court exercises its original civil and criminal jurisdiction only if the subordinate courts are not authorized by law to try such matters for lack of peculiar or territorial jurisdiction. High courts may also enjoy original jurisdiction in certain matters, if so designated, especially[1] by the constitution, a state law or union law.

High Courts Of India
Authorized byIndian Constitution

The work of most high courts primarily consists of appeals from lower courts and writ petitions in terms of Articles 226 and 227 of the Constitution. Writ jurisdiction is also the original jurisdiction of a high court.

Each state is divided into judicial districts presided over by a district judge and a session judge. He is known as the district judge when he presides over a civil case and the session's judge when he presides over a criminal case. He is the highest judicial authority below a high court judge. Below him, there are courts of civil jurisdiction, known by different names in different states. Under Article 141 of the constitution, all courts in India, including high courts – are bound by the judgements and orders of the Supreme Court of India by precedence.

Judges in a high court are appointed by the president of India in consultation with the chief justice of India and the governor of the state under Article 217, Chapter Five of Part VI of the Constitution, but through subsequent judicial interpretations, the primacy of the appointment process is on the hands of the Judicial Collegium. High courts are headed by a chief justice. The chief justices rank fourteenth (within their respective states) and seventeenth (outside their respective states) on the Indian order of precedence. The number of judges in a court is decided by dividing the average institution of main cases during the last five years by the national average, or the average rate of disposal of main cases per judge per year in that high court, whichever is higher.

The Madras High Court is the oldest high court in the country, established on 26 June 1862. High courts that handle numerous cases of a particular region have permanent benches established there. Benches are also present in states which come under the jurisdiction of a court outside its territorial limits. Smaller states with few cases may have circuit benches established. Circuit benches (known as circuit courts in some parts of the world) are temporary courts which hold proceedings for a few selected months in a year. Thus cases built up during this interim period are judged when the circuit court is in session. According to a study conducted by Bangalore-based N.G.O, Daksh, on 21 high courts in collaboration with the Ministry of Law and Justice in March 2015, it was found that average pendency of a case in high courts in India is 3 years.[2]

The buildings of Bombay High Court (as part of the Victorian and art deco ensemble of Mumbai) and Punjab and Haryana High Court (as part of the architectural work of Le Corbusier) are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

The high courts are substantially different from and should not be confused with the state courts of other federations, in that the Constitution of India includes detailed provisions for the uniform organisation and operation of all high courts.[3] In other federations like the United States, state courts are formed under the constitutions of the separate states and as a result vary greatly from state to state.[3]

High courts

The Calcutta High Court in Kolkata (est. 1862), Bombay High Court in Mumbai (est. 1862), Madras High Court in Chennai (est. 1862), Allahabad High Court in Allahabad (est. 1866), and Bangalore High Court (now Karnataka High Court) in Bengaluru (est. 1884) are the five oldest high courts in India. The Andhra High Court and Telangana High Court are the newest high courts, established on 1 January 2019 according to the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014.

The following are the 25 high courts in India, sorted by name, year established, act by which it was established, jurisdiction, principal seat (headquarters), permanent benches (subordinate to the principal seat), circuit benches (functional a few days in a month/year), the maximum number of judges sanctioned, and the presiding chief justice of the high court:

# Court Established Act Jurisdiction Principal seat Bench(es) Judges Chief justice
1 Allahabad High Court[4] 17 March 1866 Indian High Courts Act 1861 Uttar Pradesh Prayagraj Lucknow[A] 160 119 41 Arun Bhansali
2 Andhra Pradesh High Court[5] 1 January 2019 Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014 Andhra Pradesh Amaravati
37 28 9 Dhiraj Singh Thakur
3 Bombay High Court 14 August 1862 Indian High Courts Act 1861 Goa, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu, Maharashtra Mumbai Aurangabad,[A] Nagpur,[A] Panaji[A] 94 71 23 Devendra Kumar Upadhyaya
4 Calcutta High Court 2 July 1862 Indian High Courts Act 1861 Andaman and Nicobar Islands, West Bengal Kolkata Port Blair[B]
98 78 28 T. S. Sivagnanam
5 Chhattisgarh High Court 1 November 2000 Madhya Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2000 Chhattisgarh Bilaspur
22 17 5 Ramesh Sinha
6 Delhi High Court[6] 31 October 1966 Delhi High Court Act, 1966 Delhi New Delhi
60 46 14 Manmohan
7 Gauhati High Court[7] 1 March 1948 Government of India Act 1935 Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Mizoram, Nagaland Guwahati Aizawl,[A] Itanagar,[A] Kohima[A] 30 22 8 Vijay Bishnoi
8 Gujarat High Court 1 May 1960 Bombay Reorgansisation Act, 1960 Gujarat Ahmedabad
52 39 13 Sunita Agarwal
9 Himachal Pradesh High Court 25 January 1971 State of Himachal Pradesh Act, 1970 Himachal Pradesh Shimla
17 13 4 M. S. Ramachandra Rao
10 Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh High Court[8][9] 26 March 1928 Letters Patent issued by then Maharaja of Kashmir, Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019 Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh Srinagar/Jammu[C]
17 13 4 N. Kotiswar Singh
11 Jharkhand High Court 15 November 2000 Bihar Reorganisation Act, 2000 Jharkhand Ranchi
25 20 5 Shree Chandrashekhar
12 Karnataka High Court[10] 1884 Mysore High Court Act, 1884 Karnataka Bengaluru Dharwad,[A] Kalaburagi[A] 62 47 15 Nilay Vipinchandra Anjaria
13 Kerala High Court[11] 1 November 1956 States Reorganisation Act, 1956 Kerala, Lakshadweep Kochi
47 35 12 Ashish Jitendra Desai
14 Madhya Pradesh High Court[12] 2 January 1936 Government of India Act 1935 Madhya Pradesh Jabalpur Gwalior,[A] Indore[A] 53 39 14 Sheel Nagu
15 Madras High Court 26 June 1862 Indian High Courts Act 1861 Tamil Nadu, Puducherry Chennai Madurai[A] 75 56 19 R. Mahadevan
16 Manipur High Court 25 March 2013 North-Eastern Areas (Reorganisation) and Other Related Laws (Amendment) Act, 2012 Manipur Imphal
5 4 1 Siddharth Mridul
17 Meghalaya High Court 23 March 2013 North-Eastern Areas (Reorganisation) and Other Related Laws (Amendment) Act, 2012 Meghalaya Shillong
4 3 1 S. Vaidyanathan
18 Orissa High Court[13] 3 April 1948 Orissa High Court Ordinance, 1948 Odisha Cuttack
33 24 9 Chakradhari Sharan Singh
19 Patna High Court 2 September 1916 Letters Patent issued by then British Crown Bihar Patna
53 40 13 K. Vinod Chandran
20 Punjab and Haryana High Court[14] 15 August 1947 Punjab High Court Ordinance, 1947 Chandigarh, Haryana, Punjab Chandigarh
85 64 21 Gurmeet Singh Sandhawalia
21 Rajasthan High Court 21 June 1949 Rajasthan High Court Ordinance, 1949 Rajasthan Jodhpur Jaipur[A] 50 38 12 Manindra Mohan Shrivastava
22 Sikkim High Court 16 May 1975 The 36th Amendment to the Indian Constitution Sikkim Gangtok
3 3 0 Biswanath Somadder
23 Telangana High Court[15] 1 January 2019 Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014 Telangana Hyderabad
42 32 10 Alok Aradhe
24 Tripura High Court 26 March 2013 North-Eastern Areas (Reorganisation) and Other Related Laws (Amendment) Act, 2012 Tripura Agartala
5 4 1 Aparesh Kumar Singh
25 Uttarakhand High Court[16] 9 November 2000 Uttar Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2000 Uttarakhand Nainital
11 9 2 Ritu Bahri
Total 1114 840 274 -
  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Permanent bench.
  2. ^ a b Circuit bench.
  3. ^ Srinagar is the summer capital; Jammu is the winter capital.

High courts by states/union territories

The Madras High Court in Chennai, one of the first four high courts of India
The Bombay High Court in Mumbai, one of the first four high courts of India and a World Heritage Site
The Calcutta High Court in Kolkata, one of the first four high courts of India
The Allahabad High Court in Prayagraj, one of the first four high courts of India
A working day view of the Kerala High Court in Kochi
The Telangana High Court in Hyderabad. Built in 1919 it's one of the oldest high courts.
The Punjab and Haryana High Court is part of the Chandigarh Capitol Complex, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
New High Court Building of Andhra at Amaravati
State/UT Court Principal seat Bench(es)
Andaman and Nicobar Islands Calcutta High Court
Port Blair[a]
Arunachal Pradesh Gauhati High Court
Andhra Pradesh Andhra Pradesh High Court Amaravati
Assam Gauhati High Court Guwahati
Bihar Patna High Court Patna
Chandigarh Punjab and Haryana High Court Chandigarh
Chhattisgarh Chhattisgarh High Court Bilaspur
Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu Bombay High Court Mumbai
Delhi Delhi High Court New Delhi
Goa Bombay High Court
Gujarat Gujarat High Court Ahmedabad
Haryana Punjab and Haryana High Court Chandigarh
Himachal Pradesh Himachal Pradesh High Court Shimla
Jammu and Kashmir Jammu and Kashmir High Court Srinagar/Jammu[c]
Jharkhand Jharkhand High Court Ranchi
Karnataka Karnataka High Court Bengaluru Dharwad[b] and Kalaburagi[b]
Kerala Kerala High Court Kochi
Ladakh Jammu and Kashmir High Court Srinagar/Jammu[c]
Lakshadweep Kerala High Court Kochi
Madhya Pradesh Madhya Pradesh High Court Jabalpur Gwalior[b] and Indore[b]
Maharashtra Bombay High Court Mumbai Aurangabad[b] and Nagpur[b]
Manipur Manipur High Court Imphal
Meghalaya Meghalaya High Court Shillong
Mizoram Gauhati High Court
Nagaland Gauhati High Court
Odisha Orissa High Court Cuttack
Puducherry Madras High Court Chennai
Punjab Punjab and Haryana High Court Chandigarh
Rajasthan Rajasthan High Court Jodhpur Jaipur[b]
Sikkim Sikkim High Court Gangtok
Tamil Nadu Madras High Court Chennai Madurai[b]
Telangana Telangana High Court Hyderabad
Tripura Tripura High Court Agartala
Uttar Pradesh Allahabad High Court Allahabad Lucknow[b]
Uttarakhand Uttaranchal High Court Nainital
West Bengal Calcutta High Court Kolkata Jalpaiguri[b]
  1. ^ Circuit bench.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Permanent bench.
  3. ^ a b Srinagar is the summer capital; Jammu is the winter capital.

Courts under a high court

See also


  1. ^ Body league my presw Ho Chi Minh....., Engineering New Zealand (Organisation), issuing. EG. OCLC 1015974760.((cite book)): CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  2. ^ Thakur, Pradeep (22 March 2016). "HCs taking 3 years on average to decide cases: Study". The Times of India. New Delhi. OCLC 23379369. Archived from the original on 9 March 2018. Retrieved 9 March 2018.
  3. ^ a b Pylee, M.V. (2017). India's Constitution (16th ed.). New Delhi: S. Chand & Company Ltd. p. 184. ISBN 9789352531042. Archived from the original on 14 November 2023. Retrieved 24 June 2023.
  4. ^ Originally established at Agra, it shifted to Allahabad in 1875.
  5. ^ "High Court of Andhra Pradesh to function at Amaravati from Jan 1, 2019". Bar & Bench. 26 December 2018. Retrieved 27 December 2018.
  6. ^ Lahore High Court was established at Lahore on 21 March 1919 and had jurisdiction over undivided Punjab and Delhi. On 11 August 1947 a separate Punjab High Court was created with its seat at Simla under the Indian Independence Act, 1947, which had jurisdiction over Punjab, Delhi and present Himachal Pradesh and Haryana. In 1966 after the reorganisation of the State of Punjab, the High Court was designated as the Punjab and Haryana High Court at Chandigarh. The Delhi High Court was established on 31 October 1966 with its seat at Simla which was later shifted to New Delhi in 1971 after the Himachal Pradesh was granted the statehood with its own High Court at Simla.
  7. ^ Originally known as the High Court of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, and Nagaland, it was renamed as Gauhati High Court in 1971.
  8. ^ Originally, known as the Jammu and Kashmir High Court. But Jammu and Kashmir having been bifurcated into two union territories, since the reorganization of the state, the court was renamed as the High Court of Jammu Kashmir and Ladakh in July 2021.
  9. ^ "New nomenclature for Jammu and Kashmir High Court". The Hindu. 17 July 2021. Archived from the original on 3 September 2021. Retrieved 7 December 2021.
  10. ^ Originally known as Mysore High Court, it was renamed as Karnataka High Court in 1974.
  11. ^ The High Court of Travancore-Cochin was inaugurated at Kochi on 7 July 1949. The state of Kerala was formed by the States Reorganisation Act, 1956. That Act abolished the Travancore-Cochin High Court and created the Kerala High Court. The Act also extended the jurisdiction of the Kerala High Court to Lakshadweep.
  12. ^ Under the Government of India Act 1935, a High Court was established at Nagpur for the Central Provinces by Letters Patent dated 2 January 1936. After the reorganization of states, this High Court was moved to Jabalpur in 1956.
  13. ^ Though the State of Orissa was renamed Odisha in March 2011, the Orissa High Court retained its original name. There has been an ongoing discussion on how to legally change the nomenclature of the High Courts to reflect the renaming of states, but so far none has changed.
  14. ^ Originally known as Punjab High Court, it was renamed as Punjab and Haryana High Court in 1966.
  15. ^ Originally known as Andhra Pradesh High Court, and it was established on 5 November 1956 but it was renamed as High Court of Judicature at Hyderabad in 2014, renamed again as Telangana High Court on 20 April 1920.
  16. ^ Originally known as Uttaranchal High Court, it was renamed as Uttarakhand High Court in 2007.

Further reading