Context:

The Lakshadweep administration, which has been facing widespread protests over its policies, has mooted a proposal to shift its legal jurisdiction from the Kerala High Court to the Karnataka High Court.

Relevance:

GS-II: Polity and Governance (Constitutional Provisions, Judiciary)

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Why change Lakshadweep HC jurisdiction now?
  2. High Courts for Union Territories

Why change Lakshadweep HC jurisdiction now?

  • The proposal was initiated by the administration after several litigations were moved before the Kerala High Court against the decisions taken by the islands’ new Administrator.
  • These decisions included revising standard operating procedures for COVID- appropriate behaviour, introduction of the “goonda Act” and demolishing hutments of fishermen for widening of roads.
  • As many as 23 applications, including 11 writ petitions, have been filed against the Administrator and also against the alleged high-handedness of either the police or the local government of the islands. The proposal for shifting its legal jurisdiction from the High Court of Kerala to Karnataka comes amid these developments.

Click Here to read about the recent reforms in Lakshadweep

High Courts for Union Territories

  • Article 241 talks about “High Courts for Union territories”. It says: “Parliament may by law constitute a High Court for a Union territory or declare any court in any such territory to be a High Court for all or any of the purposes of this Constitution”.
  • As per the Constitution of India, “When a common High Court is established for more than one State, administrative expenses have to be paid only from the consolidated fund of the ‘State’ in which the principal seat of the High Court is situated”.
  • The High Court is the supreme judicial body in a state and according to Article 214, each state of India shall have a High Court.
  • However, Article 231 also mentions that there can be a common High Court for two or more States or for two or more states and a union territory.
  • There are 25 High Courts in India, six having control over more than one State/UT. Delhi has a High Court of its own among the Union Territories.

-Source: The Hindu

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