Kerala High Court

Kerala High Court

High Court of Kerala is the highest court in the Indian state of Kerala and in the Union Territory of Lakshadweep. The High Court of Kerala is headquartered at Kochi. Drawing its powers from the Constitution of India, the High Court has the power to issue directions, orders and writs including the writs of "habeas corpus", "mandamus", "prohibition", "quo warranto" and "certiorari" for ensuring the enforcement of the Fundamental Rights guaranteed by the Constitution to citizens or for other specified purposes. The High Court is empowered with original, appellate and revisional jurisdiction in civil as well as criminal matters, and the power to answer references to it under some statutes. The High Court has the superintendence and visitorial jurisdiction over all courts and tribunals of inferior jurisdiction covered under its territorial jurisdiction.

The Chief Justice of the High Court of Kerala is Justice H.L Dattucite web |title=Justice H.L.Dattu J.|publisher=Office of Kerala High Court|accessdate=2007-11-27 |url= ] . The High Court of Kerala has a sanctioned judge strength of 40cite web |title=Judge Strength in High Courts_Press Release|publisher=Press Information Bureau for Government of India|accessdate=2007-11-26 |url= ] out of which 26 judges are functioning at present. Depending on the importance and nature of the question to be adjudicated, the judges sit as Single (one judge), Division (two judges), Full (three judges) or such other benches of larger strengths.

The foundation stone for the new multi-storied building of High Court for housing the High Court of Kerala was laid on 14 March, 1994 by the then Chief Justice of India, Justice M. N. Venkatachaliah. The estimated cost of construction was ten crore Indian rupees cite web |title=Funds for infrastructure of High Courts|publisher=Press Information Bureau for Government of India|accessdate=2007-11-26 |url= ] . The construction was completed in the year 2005 at a cost of eighty-five croreClarifyme|date=March 2008 Indian rupees. The completed High Court building was inaugurated by the Chief Justice of India, Justice Y.K.Sabharwal on 11th February, 2006. The new High Court building is equipped with modern amenities like videoconferencing, air conditioned Court rooms, intranet working, facilities for retrieval of order copies and case status via internet etc. The building is built on five acres of land and has a super built-up area of 550,000 square feet on total nine floors. The building has in it a post office, bank, medical clinic, library, canteens and such other most needed utilities and services. The High Court of Kerala has moved to its new building from the date of its inauguration, from the adjacent Ram Mohan Palace, where it had been functioning.

Judicial System in the Kingdom of Travancore

In the Kingdom of Travancore, Colonel Munro recommended necessary regulations to be passed for the reorganisation of the Courts. These recommendations were accepted by the then Thiruvithaamcoore monarch and a Regulation in tune to his recommendations was passed in the year 1811. Zilla Courts and a Huzur Court were established in the Kingdom of Travancore, in the years 1811 and 1814 respectively. Huzur Court, which functioned as the final appellate Court was later replaced by Sadar Court in the year 1861. Sadar Court, which possessed almost all the powers of the present High Court of Kerala, continued functioning until 1881. Later in the year 1887, the High Court of Travancore was established with bench strength of five judges. One among the five judges was appointed as the Chief Justice. The judges had the assistance of a Pundit, who acted alike an amicus curiae to advice them on the various points of Hindu law. Mr. Ramachandra Iyer was appointed as the first Chief Justice, at his prime age of 35.

Judicial System in the Kingdom of Cochin

In the Kingdom of Cochin, Desavazhis and Naduvazhis were empowered to settle the disputes following the prevailing customary law. More serious matters used to be attended by the monarch himself. In the year 1812, for the first time in its history, graded law courts were established under the Diwanship of Colonel Munro, in the Kingdom of Cochin. The first Subordinate Courts (Sub Courts) were established by Colonel Munro at Trichur (Thrissur) and Tripunithura. Until 1835, Huzur Court was the final appellate Court. Huzur Court had bench strength of three judges. Later Huzur Court was reconstituted as Raja's Court of Appeal and Subordinate Courts were reconstituted as Zilla Courts. The Zilla courts were empowered with unlimited jurisdiction, but subject to the confirmation from the Raja's Court of Appeal. The Raja's Court of Appeal was reconstituted as the Chief Court of Cochin in the year 1900. The Chief Court of Cochin had three permanent judges one of whom acted as the Chief Judge. Mr. S. Locke was appointed as the first Chief Judge. Later the Chief Court of Cochin was reconstituted as the High Court, during the Diwanship of Sri. Shanmukham Chettiyar.

Establishment of High Court of Kerala

On 1st November 1956, the States Reorganisation Act, 1956 was passed thereby integrating the State of Travancore-Cochin with Malabar district and Kasaragod to form the present State of Kerala. The High Court of Kerala, as it is today was established on 1 November 1956 as the High Court designated for the State of Kerala. The Kerala High Court Act, 1958 defined the jurisdiction and various functions, and powers of the High Court of Kerala. Initially, many cases from both the Travancore-Cochin High Court and the High Court of Madras were transferred to the High Court of Kerala for adjudication. Justice K. T. Koshi was appointed as the first Chief Justice of High Court of Kerala.


Past Chief Justices

See also

* High Courts of India


See also

* [ High Court of Kerala]
* [ History of present judiciary in Kerala]
* [ Calendar of High Court of Kerala]
* [ Judges of High Court of Kerala]
* [ Speech at the inauguration of the new building ]
* [ Daily Cause List of High Court of Kerala]
* [ Daily Cause Lists of the various High Courts in India]

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