The constitution of the Republic of India guarantees, besides other rights, safeguards against arbitrary deprivation of life and personal liberty by providing in Article 12 that no person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law.

The unity and uniformity of the judicial structure were preserved by placing such areas of law like criminal law and procedure, civil procedure, will, succession, contract including special form of contract, but not including contract relating to agricultural land, registration of deeds and evidence, etc. in the concurrent list.

Judiciary is one of the three important wings of the Government including Executive and Legislature.

The break-up of the courts in the State, excluding the High Court is as follows
District Courts
Addl. District Courts
Subordinate Judges Courts
Spl. Judge for CBI Cases
Judl. First Class Magistrate Courts
Judl. Magistrate of I class for Railways
Spl. Judl. Magistrate of II Class for Railways
Spl. Judl. Magistrate of Second Class
City Civil Courts

The City Civil Courts are presided over by a Chief Judge and Five Addl. Chief Judges in the Cadre of Districts & Sessions Judges. There is one Special Judge in the rank of District Judge to deal with the cases arising out of Economic Offences and five Addl. Judges in the Cadre of Sub-Judges and Eleven Asst. Judges in the Cadre of District Munsifs. There are seven Rent Controller Courts, two at Secunderabad and five at Hyderabad, presided over by District Munsifs exercising jurisdiction over the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad.

City Criminal Courts

The City Criminal Courts are presided over by one Metropolitan Sessions Judge, three Addl. Metropolitan Sessions Judges in the Cadre of District Judges. There is one Special Judge for Essential Commodities Act cases, One Special Judge for CBI Cases, Twenty Metropolitan Magistrates in the Cadre of District Munsifs and thirty two Special Metropolitan Magistrates of II class. One Mahila Court in the Metropolitan Sessions Division, Hyderabad was established during 1986-87 with a Lady Presiding Officer in the Cadre of Sub-Judge designated as "Addl. Chief Metropolitan Magistrate-cum-Asst. Sessions Judge" to try offences against women such as outraging modesty, rape and kidnapping.

Mobile Courts

There are four Mobile Courts in the twin Cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad, one Mobile Court at Visakhapatnam, two Mobile Courts presided over by Judicial First Class Magistrates which function at Vijayawada and Guntur, and a Mobile Court at Vijayawada, for dealing with the offences under the AP Municipalities Act and Vijayawada Municipal Corporation Act. There are three Courts in the Cadre of Munsif Magistrates one each at Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada and Hyderabad, exclusively to try the cases arising in various places under the Factories Act and Labour Law.

In addition to the above, twenty-two Special Mobile courts function in 22 Districts.

Three Special Sessions Courts one each in Guntur, Chittoor and Mahabubnagar function exclusively to try offences falling under the provisions of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989

In addition to the above, there are also three Industrial Tribunals, Three Tribunals for Disciplinary Proceedings, Two Sales Tax Appealate Tribunals at Hyderabad, one State Transport Appellate Tribunal at Hyderabad, Eight Labour Courts presided over by the District Judges are functioning at Anantapur, Guntur, Visakhapatnam, Warangal, GodavariKhani and three at Hyderabad, Six Land Reforms Appeallate Tribunals presided over by District Judges are functioning at East Godavari, West Godavari, Nalgonda, Warangal, Karimnagar and Mahabubnagar. There is also one prescribed Authority, in the cadre of District Judge, at Bobbili, to settle the claims arising under Category-I (arrears relating to salaries and wages etc.,) and Category III (amount due to cane growers in respect of price of sugar -cane supplied).

Official Receivers

There are 14 Official Receivers appointed on part-time basis in Andhra Region, one in each district excepting Vizianagaram District. There are two Additional Official Receivers on part-time basis in West Godavari and Prakasam districts.

Legal Advisers and Counsels

There are Advocates on record and Standing Counsel for the State Government for handling all Cases of the State Government coming before the Supreme Court.

The law officers attached to the High court are: 1. Advocate-General 2. Government Pleaders (in High Court in Andhra Pradesh Administrative Tribunal) 3. Assistant Government Pleaders 4. Public Prosecutors 5. Additional Public Prosecutors 6. Special Assistant Government Pleaders.

There are panels of Advocates in the High Court as also in the Subordinate Courts to defend the accused who cannot afford to engage an advocate on their own.

Legal Aid to the Poor

An amount of Rs. 10 lakh has been provided in Budget Estimates 1994-95 for administering the Scheme of Rendering Free legal aid to the poor as well as all the undefended accused in the State in I & II class Magistrate Courts

Andhra Pradesh Judicial Academy

There is a judicial Academy at Secunderabad functioning under the auspices of the High Court to impart training to the newly recruited judicial officers.

Lok Ayukta

The office of the Lok Ayukta and Upa-Lok Ayukta came into being on November 15, 1983. Any administrative action involving abuse of power for personal gain or to harm any one; administrative actions motivated by improper or corrupt motives causing loss to state or to any person and all acts involving outright corruption or lack of integrity can be brought to the notice of Lok Ayukta. Any citizen can make a complaint; the Lok Ayukta and Upa-Lok Ayukta suo motto can take up investigation and finally he can act on a reference from the Governor. Starting from ministers, all officers, except a few are covered by the Act.

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