India is one of the biggest democracies in the world and also one country which has a complex yet effective judiciary system. The Indian judiciary administers a common law system of legal jurisdiction. There are many different levels of judiciary in India and many different types of courts, each of which is responsible for passing jurisdiction on cases that come to them.
Each court may hear both civil and criminal cases but within each of these segments, a different hierarchical structure is followed to ensure smoothness and proper distribution of responsibilities. There is a hierarchy of civil court in each state of India which comes under the high court of that state to administer the disputes in civil laws. The hierarchy may differ from state to state but remains pretty much the same on a broader level. The following is a basic nomenclature or hierarchy of civil courts in India
The Supreme Court is the highest judiciary body in the country and handles both civil and criminal cases. The verdict that it passes on civil cases is the last word and cannot be challenged any further. It is the highest court of appeal and comprises of the chief justice and 30 other judges
The next level of civil courts in India is the high court. There is one high court for each state in India and these courts too listen to criminal cases as well. The high courts are often considered to be the principal civil courts of original jurisdiction in each state along with district courts which come at a level lower to high courts. Civil cases which fall between the monetary value of over 20 lakhs are filed before the high court of each state.
These courts are headed by the District judge and his collateral additional district judges. Within the civil courts hierarchy of each state in India, these courts come at the second highest position and are established by the state governments in India for each district or for a few districts together. Civil cases which are between the monetary value of 3 lakhs and 20 lakhs are filed before the district judges or additional district judges.
Senior Civil Judge Court
After the district court, the court that falls next in the hierarchy of civil courts in India is the senior civil judge court. This is the court which entertains regular matters which require proper civil trial following all the rules of procedure and evidence given in the civil procedure court.
Civil Judge Court
This is a lower level civil court which too entertains civil matters. Civil cases which are upto a monetary value of 3 lakhs are filed before such courts.
Small Cause Court
This is the lowest level civil court in India and is established to adjudicate upon small cause matters like custody matters, guardianship which do not need an extended or detailed trial. Cases which are below the value of 3 lakhs are filed with this court.