Lower Judiciary

1. Panchayat courts are the lowest courts having both civil as well as criminal jurisdictions (only for petty cases in some states). Their nomenclature in different states is Nyaya Panchayat, Panchayat Adalat, Gram Kutchery. 

2. Above them are Munsif courts and above them are subordinate judges (who have unlimited jurisdiction over civil suits irrespective of amount involved and hear first appeals from Munsifs). 

3. Highest court in district is district judge (in both civil and criminal matters and has unlimited original jurisdiction). In civil matters he hears appeals from subordinate judges and munsifs. 

4. Criminal cases are tried directly by judicial magistrates (or metropolitan magistrates in metropolitan areas) since the enactment of CrPC (except in J&K and Nagaland). 

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