The Court of the District Judge is the highest civil court in a district to deal with civil cases.
Very often the same court is called the Court of District and Sessions Judge, when it deals with both civil and criminal cases at the district level.
The judge of this court is appointed by the Governor of the State.
Below the Court of District Judge, there may be one or more courts of sub judges in the district.
Separate family courts, which are equal to courts of sub judge, have been established in districts to exclusively hear cases of family disputes, like divorce, custody of children, etc.
Below them there are courts of munsifs and small cause courts which decide cases involving petty amounts.
No appeal can be made against the decisions of the small cause courts.
All these courts hear and settle civil disputes.
The Court of the District Judge (called the District Courts) hears not only appeals against the decisions of the courts of sub-judges, but also some of the cases begin directly in the Court of District Judge itself.
Appeals against the decisions of this court may be heard by the High Court of the State.
Civil Courts deal with cases pertaining to disputes between two or more persons regarding property, divorce, contract, and breach of agreement or landlord – tenant disputes.
The Court of the Sessions Judge (known as Sessions Courts) is the highest court for criminal cases in a district.
Below this court, there are courts of magistrates of First, Second and Third class.
In metropolitan cities like Delhi, Calcutta, Mumbai and Chennai, First Class Magistrates are called Metropolitan Magistrates.
All these criminal courts are competent to try the accused and to award punishment, as sanctioned by law, to those who are found guilty of violation of law.
Criminal Courts hear criminal cases which are related to violation of laws.
These cases involve theft, dacoity, rape, arson, pickpocketing, physical assault, murder etc.
In such cases the guilty person is awarded punishment.
It may be fine, imprisonment or even death sentence.
Normally every accused is presented by the police before a magistrate.
The magistrate can finally dispose off cases of minor crime.
But, when a magistrate finds prima-facie case of serious crime he/she may commit the accused to the sessions court.
Thus, sessions courts try the accused who are sent up to them by the magistrate concerned.
As mentioned above, an accused who is awarded death sentence by the sessions court, can be hanged to death only after his sentence is confirmed by the High Court.
Revenue courts deal with cases of land revenue in the State.
The highest revenue court in the district is the Board of Revenue.
Under it are the Courts of Commissioners, Collectors, Tehsildars and Assistant Tehsildars.
The Board of Revenue hears the final appeals against all the lower revenue courts under it.