Q1. When and in which three Presidency cities were the High Courts first established?
The High Courts were established in 1882 at the three Presidency states of Calcutta, Bombay and Madras.
Q2. Explain the purpose of Public Litigation Interest. Give an example.
In the early 1980s, the Supreme Court introduced Public Interest Litigation (PIL). It is included in Article 32 of the Indian Constitution and contains a tool which directly joins the public with the judiciary.
- It was done to increase access to justice.
- It allowed any individual or organisation to file a PIL in the High Court or the Supreme Court on behalf of those whose rights were being violated.
- The legal process was greatly simplified and even a letter addressed to the Supreme Court or High Court could be treated as a PIL.
Example: A PIL was used to secure justice on a large number of issues such as rescuing bonded labourers from inhuman work conditions.
Q3. What do you mean by appellate jurisdiction?
Appellate jurisdiction means that a person can appeal to a higher court if they believe that the judgement passed by the lower court is not just.
Q4. ‘While the courts are available for all, in reality, access to courts has always been difficult for a vast majority of the poor in India’. Explain this statement.
The statement means that the legal procedures in India involve a lot of money and paperwork. They also take up a lot of time of the people who are fighting for justice. For a poor person who is illiterate, the idea of going to court to get justice often seems remote because his/her family depends on daily wages and legal counsel is costly.
Q5. Distinguish between Criminal and Civil Law.
The difference are as follows:
|Criminal Law||Civil Law|
|A law that involves conduct that society has outlawed as a threat to the safety or welfare of the public.||A law that governs the relationship between individuals or organisations, and is mainly concerned with disputes that society has determined are essentially private matters.|
|The cases are filed by a private party.||The cases are filed by the government.|
|Examples: Criminal disputes such as theft, murder, dacoity, rape etc.||Examples: Issues concerned with marriage, divorce, property, rent matters, inheritance etc|
|It usually begins with the First Information Report (FIR).||A petition has to be filed before the relevant court by the affected party only.|
|Compensation for injuries or damages or an injunction against nuisance.||The guilty is subject to Custodial (imprisonment) or non-custodial punishment (fines). In exceptional cases, the death penalty is awarded.|
Q6. Define the following terms:
- (a) Appeal
- (b) Violation
- (c) Acquit
- (d) Eviction
The definitions are as follows:
(a) Appeal: It refers to an application to a higher court for a reversal of the decision of a lower court.
(b) Violation: It is defined as the act of breaking a law or an act which is done unlawfully.
(c) Acquit: The term is used when a jury or judge at the end of a criminal trial finds the accused defendant not guilty.
(d) Eviction: It is generic word used for the act of expelling (kicking out) someone from real property by legal action.
Q7. What do you mean by ‘Separation of powers’?
Separation of powers is also known as trias politica. This term was coined by Charles-Louis de Secondat, baron de La Brède et de Montesquieu, an 18th century French social and political philosopher.
Separation of powers refers to the division of government responsibilities into distinct branches to limit any one branch from exercising the core functions of another. The intent is to prevent the concentration of power and provide for checks and balances. The normal division of branches is into a legislature, an executive and a judiciary.
Define the term Judicial Review.
The power of Supreme Court and high courts to review the laws enacted by the legislature whether the laws are in accordance to the Constitution is known as the Judicial Review. The Supreme Court and the High Court can declare law null and void id it violate any provision of the Constitution.
Q9. Which judgement established the Right to Livelihood as part of the Right to Life?
The judgement of Olga Tellis vs. Bombay Municipal Corporation established the Right to Livelihood as part of the Right to Life.
Q10. Who functions as a Court of Record? Why is it called so?
The Supreme Court functions as a Court of Record. It is called so because it records and prints all its proceedings and judgements.