The subordinate courts are divided into two categories, namely, the civil courts subject to the civil procedure code and the criminal courts subject to the criminal procedure code. According to the All India Judges Association case (1989), the Supreme Court directed to bring a uniform designation in the subordinate judiciary's judicial officers all over the country - District or Additional District Judges, Civil Judge (Senior Division) and the Civil Judge (Junior Division) on the civil side and Sessions Judge, Additional Sessions Judge, Chief Judicial Magistrate, and Judicial Magistrate on the criminal side as laid down in the criminal procedure code. The chart below shows the hierarchy of courts in the subordinate courts.
In addition, there are courts known as small causes courts. These courts are set up either under the Provisional Small Causes Act at the district level or under the Presidency Small Causes Court Act in presidency or metropolitan down.
The constitution provides that a District Judge shall be appointed by the Governor in consultation with the High Court of the state concerned and the posting including transfer and promotion are made in like manner. Relating to the appointment in any other post of the state judicial service, the constitution says that such appointment may be made by the Governor of the state in accordance with the rules framed by him in consultation with the State Public Service Commission and the High Court. The administrative control over the members of subordinate judicial service vests with the High Court under Article 235 of the constitution.
In addition to the hierarchy of regular courts, family courts also are constituted in various states in India. According to Family Courts Act of 1984, these courts have powers and jurisdiction to enquire into the cases relating to marriages and family affairs with a view to settle cases without much expenditure and going to regular courts which are
Civil side : Criminal side
District Judge : Sessions Judge
Additional District Judge : Additional Sessions Judge
Civil Judge (Senior Division) : Chief Judicial Magistrate.- -
Civil Judge (Junior Division) : Judicial Magistrate expensive. Matters such as dispute within the family, divorce, dowry harrassment, etc. are looked into by these courts. These courts follow the Civil Procedure Code.