Sub-ordinate Judiciary And Its Role in Exhaustion of Public Grievances



In earlier Era, during British days, the executive and judicial powers had been combined under a district officer who was both Collector and Magistrate. This gave him a tremendous power over the citizens. The practice was so deeply hated that the Constitution-makers provided separation of the judiciary from the executive as one of the Directive Principles, and made the judiciary at the lower levels completely independent of the execu­tive. A judicial system was, thus, established in the country under which every unit of the judiciary at every level, from the highest court in the land to the lowest, functioned in a spirit of judicial indepen­dence. The Constitution provides for the appointment of district and subordinate judges, lays down their qualifications and places the whole of the civil judicial under the control of the High Court.

There are different subordinate courts of Indian Judiciary. These are also known as Lower courts. The courts which handle the Civil cases are known as District Courts and the courts which handle criminal cases are called Sessions court and the third kind of court is there venue court. The subordinate courts are present at the district level and if unsatisfied with it’s decision people can appeal in high court. We will discuss about the district judge, session judge, their appointment and qualification. Nowadays, we can also see the courts below these courts like the sub judge courts, Munsif Court, Judicial Magistrate, tehsildar etc.


The role which in many scholars and jurists agree that the First Amendment right “to petition the Government for a redress of public grievances” includes a right of court access, but narrowly define this right as the right to file a lawsuit. This dominant view fails to meaningfully differentiate between the right top petition, the freedom of speech, and due process, missing the distinct significance of the Petition Clause when individuals petition courts under subordinate courts. The most significant threats to court access today occur after the filing stage, when courts deny or limit remedies to legally injured persons — by enforcing a mandatory arbitration provision or an exhaustion requirement, granting an official qualified or absolute immunity from suit, or drastically reducing a damages award pursuant to a statutory cap. By defining court access too narrowly, the prevailing theory of the right to petition renders the First Amendment silent in the face of these threats.

This Article fills this gap in First Amendment theory by presenting the first systematic account of the right to petition the courts that expands the concept of court access from procedural forum access to substantive remedial access — guaranteeing the right of a legally injured person to obtain a meaningful remedy by subordinate Courts. With remedial theory best accounts for the history, text, and precedent of the Petition Clause. As a historical matter, this theory gains force from the insight that the First Amendment right to petition is best understood as the merger of the English right to petition and the English right to a remedy. These antecedent rights controlled petitioning practice directed at different institutional actors, but, when those petitions were legal in nature, there was a shared expectation that relief, where warranted, would follow. From a textual perspective, the remedial theory gives the Petition Clause meaning independent of the Speech Clause, and it explains why the Framers expanded the Petition Clause’s recipient sub clause from “the Legislature” to “the Government.” Jurisprudentially, the theory garners a perhaps surprising degree of support from both early subordinate Courts and   Supreme Court a precedent.

 This theory could translate naturally into a tiered scrutiny doctrinal

framework for remedial access claims, with more deferential review for neutral time, place, and manner provisions, and heightened scrutiny when remedial burdens are based on the content of the lawsuit, the identity of the plaintiff, or the defendant’s governmental status relating law of in India.


The remedial theory of the Petition Clause receives further support from the goal sub clause — “for a redress of grievances.” Note that the terms “redress” and “grievances” appear only in the Petition Clause and nowhere else within the original Constitution or Bill of Rights. And, as previously stated, this sub clause is grammatically unnecessary, suggesting that its inclusion in the text is deliberate and significant. The goal sub clause informs both the purpose and the scope of the petitionary right, and speaks explicitly in terms of remediation. The Court’s consideration of the Second Amendment’s prefatory clause in defining that Amendment’s purpose and scope provides a useful analogy. In the Second Amendment, the operative clause is preceded by a prefatory clause which “announces purpose” of the Amendment, and the Court has recognized that this specification of purpose informs the Amendment’s meaning: “Logic demands” specifying language “to resolve an ambiguity” in the operative language.

By expanding the recipient sub clause to “the Government,” the Framers extended the right to petition to the judicial forum, where the goal sub clause takes on specialized meaning in light of the distinctive democratic function of legal petitions. When an individual petitions a court, the grievance she asserts is legal injury, and the redress she seeks is individualized rights vindication. In this context, the goal sub clause “for a redress of grievances” connotes the purpose of ensuring individualized redress, rather than participatory interests, and logic demands a link between this purpose and the scope of the command. Thus, the right to petition the courts logically entails a right to a remedy.

In sum, the remedial interpretation accounts for and draws support from the precise words the Framers selected — the right “to petition for exhaustion of public grievances.”

Aishwarya Says:

I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.

If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.

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