Powers of Criminal Courts

1. The  Apex Court

The Supreme Court is the ultimate court, at the top of the Judicial system. It has the supreme judicial authority in our country.

  • Federal Court– Article 131gives the power of original jurisdiction to the Supreme Court, to resolve the dispute arising between the Centre and the States or between two States.
  • Interpretation of the Constitution-Only the Apex Court has the power to settle a question based on any issue related to the Constitution.
  • Power Of Judicial Review (Article 137)-All the laws enacted are subjected to scrutiny by the Judiciary.
  • Court of Appeal – The apex court is the highest court for appeal in India. It has the power to hear appeals from all the cases lying in the various High Courts and subordinate courts of our country. A certificate of the grant is to be provided according to Article 132(1), 133(1) and 134of the Constitution with respect to any judgment, decree or final order of all cases of the High Court involving the question of law. Appeals to the Supreme Court can be made under the following categories:-
  • Constitutional Matters
  • Civil Matters
  • Criminal Matters
  • Special Leave Petition

2.  The High Courts

  • Original Jurisdiction – In some issues, the case can be directly filed in the High Courts. This is known as the original jurisdiction of the High Court. E.g., In matters related to fundamental rights, Marriage and Divorce cases.
  • Appellate Jurisdiction-The High Court is the Appellate Court for the cases coming up from the trial court.
  • Supervisory Jurisdiction-This refers to the power of general superintendence of the High Court over the matters of all the subordinate courts.

The powers of the various courts have been highlighted in the Constitution of India. Apart from these courts, the power and functions of the subordinate criminal courts have been provided under the Code Of Criminal Procedure, 1973, as mentioned under section 6.

  • Court of Session
  • First Class Judicial Magistrate and, a metropolitan magistrate in  any metropolitan area
  • Second Class Judicial Magistrate
  • Executive Magistrates

The power of the various subordinate courts is mentioned from section 26-35, under the Code of Criminal Procedure, which has been described below.

Section 26 mentions the list of Courts which are eligible to try offences – According to Section 26, any offence mentioned under the Indian Penal Code may be tried by:

  • the High Court
  • the Court of Session
  • any other Court as specified in the First Schedule of the Code of Criminal Procedure

Although it has to be ensured that any offence committed under section 376, section 376A, section 376B, section 376C, section 376D and also section 376E of the Indian Penal Code, be tried by a woman judge.

3. The Sessions Court

The State Government establishes the Sessions Court which has to be presided by a Judge appointed by the High Court. The High Court appoints Additional as well as Assistant Sessions Judges. The Court of Sessions ordinarily sits at such place or places as ordered by the High Court.

4. The Magistrate Court

The Magistrate judges are usually appointed by the High Court.

The jurisdiction in case of Juveniles (Section 27)– Any person who is below the age of sixteen years, who is a juvenile is exempted from the death penalty and punishment for imprisonment for life. The Chief Judicial Magistrate, or any other Court specially empowered under the Children Act, 1960 (60 of 1960) or any other law for the time being in force which provides for the treatment, training and rehabilitation of youthful offenders, are eligible for trying such cases.

Miscellaneous Powers

  • Mode of Conferring Powers – Section 32states that the High Court or the State Governments have the power by virtue of an order to empower people by xtheir titles.
  • Withdrawal of Powers- According to Section 33, the High Court or the State Government, have the power to withdraw the powers conferred by them under this code.
  • Powers of Judges and Magistrate exercisable by their successors-in-office- According to Section 35, subject to the other provisions of this Code, the powers and duties of a Judge or Magistrate may be exercised or performed by their successors-in-chief.


The Constitution of India holds absolutely the authority and value in India. Hence, it will become essential to offer safeguards for its safety and therefore, the courts were vested with numerous powers to maintain a take a look at and to make certain that no authority misuses its powers and encroaches upon others domain. The courtrooms are the locations wherein human beings can take their grievances and get their disputes resolved upon the failure of different structures of the Government.

The hierarchy of the Courts has been advanced in this type of way that it will become smooth for anyone who’s residing on this country to knock the doorways of the courts every time a dispute arises. It affords a platform for the residents for attractive to better courts, in case they sense that justice has been denied to them with the aid of using the decrease courts. India is a rustic with a big populace in it. Therefore, it desires this current machine of Judiciary to prosper and makes its manner easier, in order that human beings can technique it without difficulty in order that Justice is given to all residents of this country.

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