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Unitary system of judicial governance is the rule in India and under it the Supreme Court of India is the highest judiciary body of the country. High courts in respective states are next in status and are responsible for dealing with the judicial functions of the states. In the state of West Bengal also, the High Court is the highest judicial authority and has jurisdiction over different other lower courts in Kolkata & West Bengal.
Calcutta High Court
The High Court of the State in West Bengal is located in Kolkata. Established as the High Court of Judicature at Fort William in 1862 under the High Courts Act, 1861 it is one of the oldest serving courts in India. The court is believed to be the exact replica of the Cloth Hall, Ypres, in Belgium. Neo Gothic design is easily reflected in the construction of the building.Stone facing front is a unique design in itself. This is easily one of the most respected and revered buildings in the city and also in the state.
Calcutta High Court is located in Esplanade Row W, BBD Bagh in Kolkata. The High Court in West Bengal has two wings - the criminal court and the civil court, which are responsible for looking into the appeals from lower courts. It was under the Letters Patent of 14th May, 1862 that the establishment was promulgated. The first Chief Justice of Calcutta High Courtwas Justice Barnes Peacock (1862–1870) while the First ever Indian Chief Justice of Calcutta High Court was Justice P. Chakravartti (1952–1958) .
For trying various cases under the criminal category, the highest court is Sessions Judge Court in the metropolitan area. The presiding judge is known as the Metropolitan Magistrate. In the case of civil matters, the City Civil Courts are responsible for the metropolitan region. In Kolkata, the Civil Court is located at the Kiran Shankar Roy Road and deals with variety of petitions on civil matters. This part of the judicial system in Kolkata is also having a rich past. Their functioning is carried out as per the rules and guidelines laid by the Calcutta High Court.
City Civil Court , Calcutta
Address: 2&3 Kiran Shankar Roy Rd. Kolkata -700001
District Court Kolkata
Presently, there are 38 district courts in jurisdiction of Kolkata district and its subdivisions. All these courts are located in the premises of Bankshall Court Complex, at 2 & 3 Bankshall Street, Kolkata. This complex has two old heritage buildings, and a new multistoried structure in between these two older structures. Bichar Bhawan is the name given to this new building. From these buildings, there are various courts with different level magistrates and judges presiding on different kinds of cases, even pertaining to different jurisdictions. Fast Track Courts, Calcutta also function from these buildings, which were inaugurated in 1915, with the newer construction in the early 20th century.
Consumer Court Kolkata is a new forum for the protection of the rights of consumers. As per the regulations in Consumer Protection Act, 1986, the government of West Bengal established a separate department of Consumer Affairs Department in 1999. Under this department is the Consumer Court Kolkata, which has one state level commission and 21 district level forums. Their authority is quasi-judicial. There are two units of district level Consumer Courts in Kolkata, while the state level commission is also located here. The addresses of the two District and one State Commission in Kolkata are: