The High Court of Karnataka has asked all the District and Sessions Courts to not use the words "lower court" or "subordinate court" while exercising their appellate powers.
In a letter addressed to all the courts of Karnataka, the Chief Justice of the high court has appealed to all of them, including their Registries, to instead use of the words "Trial Court" or "District Court", either in the judicial side or in the administrative side.
It has been pointed out therein that the words lower or subordinate sound "incongruous" in the judicial hierarchy. Reference was made to paragraph 4.8 of the 118th report of the Law Commission of India. It reads as under,
"…when any matter is before a court of competent jurisdiction even at the grass-root level, it handles the matter un-influenced by any extraneous or irrelevant consideration and wholly free from any outside pressure including pressure from upper layers of service…the word "subordinate", in our opinion is not an appropriate word prefixing the "Judicial Service". The word "subordinate" conveys not only the state of being subordinate, but also indicates "inferiority" in status, position, rank or order. It also indicates an act of submission and obedience to authority. These judges function independently in judicial functions, though they may be under the control of the High Court in matters of administration. But that doesn't justify their being burdened as "Subordinate Judicial Service".