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SUPREMECOURT
KALYANSIR.COM

THESUPREMECOURTOFINDIA

TheSupremeCourtcameintoexistenceonJanuary28,1950.
It is as an integrated judicial system of Courts that is present in India. (Federation for
Legislatureandexecutive)
TheSupremeCourtistheapexcourt(topmostinthehierarchy)inthecountry.
TheHighCourtsarebelowtheSupremeCourt.
UndertheHighCourtthereisasystemofsubordinatecourts.(DistrictCourtsandother
lowercourts).
TheSupremeCourtistheguardianoftheConstitution.
The Supreme Court is the guarantor and protector of the Fundamental Rights of the
citizens.
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The Security of tenure is provided to the judges by the Constitution. This means the
judgesofSupremeCourtcanberemovedbythePresidentonlyinthemannerandonthe
groundsmentionedintheConstitution.
The Judges of the Supreme Court do not hold the office during the pleasure of the
President.
(NOTE:We learnt in the previous chapters that the Ministers do not have security of
tenureandtheyholdtheofficeduringthepleasureofthePresident).
SofarhowmanyjudgesofSupremeCourthavebeenremoved?
NoSupremeCourtjudgewasremovedsofarinindependentIndia.

STRENGTHOFSUPREMECOURT:
Theoriginalstrength(1950)oftheSupremeCourtwaseightjudges.
ThisincludesoneChiefJusticeofIndia(CJI)andsevenotherjudges.
Today'sQuestion ClickHere
Thestrengthwasincreasedtoten(10)intheyear1956.

Thesamewasincreasedtothirteen(13)intheyear1966.
Itwasfurtherincreasedtoseventeen(17)intheyear1977.
Thestrengthwasincreasedtotwentyfive(25)intheyear1986.
ThepresentstrengthofSupremeCourtisthirtyone(31).
TheParliamentofIndiaisempoweredtoincreasethestrengthfromtimetotime.

QUALIFICATIONSOFJUDGESOFTHESUPREMECOURT:
ShouldbeacitizenofIndia.
ShouldhavebeenajudgeofaHighCourt(s)forfive(5)years.
(OR)
ShouldhavebeenanadvocateofHighCourt(s)forten(10)years.
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(OR)
ShouldhavebeenadistinguishedjuristintheopinionofthePresident.
(Note:TheConstitutionhasnotprescribedaminimumageforappointmentofajudgeof
theSupremeCourt).

APPOINTMENTOFJUDGES:
ThejudgesoftheSupremeCourtareappointedbythePresident.
TheChiefJusticeofIndia(CJI)isappointedbythePresidentafterconsultationwithsuch
judgesoftheSupremeCourtandHighCourtsasthePresidentdeemsnecessary.
The other judges are also appointed by the President after consultation with the Chief
Justice of India and such other judges of the Supreme Court and the High Court as the
Presidentdeemsnecessary.
(IMPORTANT: While appointing the other judges of the Supreme Court the
consultationwiththeChiefJusticeofIndiaisobligatoryforthePresident).
Fromtheyear1950to1973apracticehasbeenestablishedthattheseniormostjudgeof
theSupremeCourtisappointedastheChiefJusticeofIndia.
Today'sQuestion ClickHere
Theconventionwasviolatedintheyear1973whenANRaywasappointedastheCJIby
supersedingthreeseniorjudges.
Intheyear1977MUBegwasappointedastheCJIbysupersedingthethenseniormost
judgeoftheSupremeCourt.
Intheyear1993inthesecondjudgescasetheSupremeCourtruledthatthatthesenior
mostjudgedoftheSupremeCourtalonebeappointedastheCJI.
OATH:
OathofofficeisadministeredbythePresidentofIndia.
In the absence of the President some other person appointed by the President would
performthesame.

TENURE(TERM):
Ajudgeholdstheofficetillhe/sheattainstheageof65years.
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SALARY:
Thesalaries,privileges,leavesandpensionsoftheSupremeCourtaredeterminedbythe
Parliamentfromtimetotime.
AtpresentthesalaryoftheChiefJusticeofIndiaisRs.1,00,000/(OneLakh).
TheSalaryofotherJudgeoftheSupremeCourtis90,000/(NinetyThousands).

RESIGNATION:
AjudgesubmitstheresignationtothePresidentofIndia.

IMPEACHMENTORREMOVAL:
AjudgeoftheSupremeCourtcanberemovedthroughimpeachment.
AjudgecanberemovedfromtheofficebythePresidentontherecommendationbythe
Parliament.
TherearetwogroundsthatarementionedintheConstitutionfortheremovalofjudgeof
theSupremeCourt.
ProvedMisbehavior
(OR)
Incapacity.
The removal procedure of a Judge of the Supreme Court is initiated either in the Lok
SabhaorintheRajyaSabha.
IftheprocedurebeginsinLokSabha.
AremovalmotionofaSupremeCourtjudgeissignedby100membersinthecaseof
LokSabha.
ThesignedremovalmotionistobegiventotheSpeaker.

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ThesignedremovalmotionistobegiventotheSpeaker.
Thespeakermayadmitorrefusetoadmitthesame.
Ifitisadmittedthespeakerconstitutesathreemembercommitteetoinvestigateinto
thecharges.
Thecommitteeshouldconsistof
theCJI(OR)ajudgeoftheSupremeCourt
achiefjusticeofahighcourt
Adistinguishedjurist.
If the committee finds the judge to be guilty of misbehavior or suffering from
incapacitytheLokSabhacantakeuptheconsiderationofthemotion.
AfteritispassedinLokSabhawithaspecialmajoritythemotionispresentedtothe
RajyaSabha.
IfitisalsopassedintheRajyaSabhawithaspecialmajorityanaddressispresented
tothePresidentfortheremovalofthejudge.
ThePresidentpassesanorderremovingthejudge.
IftheprocedurebeginsinRajyaSabha.
AremovalmotionofaSupremeCourtjudgeissignedby50membersinthecaseof
RajyaSabha.
ThesignedremovalmotionistobegiventotheChairman.
TheChairmanmayadmitorrefusetoadmitthesame.
IfitisadmittedtheChairmanconstitutesathreemembercommitteetoinvestigate
intothecharges.
Thecommitteeshouldconsistof
theCJI(OR)ajudgeoftheSupremeCourt
achiefjusticeofahighcourt
Adistinguishedjurist.
If the committee finds the judge to be guilty of misbehavior or suffering from

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If the committee finds the judge to be guilty of misbehavior or suffering from


incapacitytheRajyaSabhacantakeuptheconsiderationofthemotion.
AfteritispassedintheRajyaSabhawithaspecialmajoritythemotionispresentedto
theLokSabha.
IfitisalsopassedintheLokSabhawithaspecialmajorityanaddressispresentedto
thePresidentfortheremovalofthejudge.
ThePresidentpassesanorderremovingthejudge.

MISCELLANEOUS:
UnderArticle121oftheIndianConstitutionnodiscussionshalltakeplaceinParliament
withrespecttotheconductofanyjudgeoftheSupremeCourtorofahighCourtinthe
discharge of his duties except upon a motion for presenting an address to the President
prayingfortheremovaloftheJudge.
IntheabsenceoftheCJIthePresidentcanappointajudgeoftheSupremeCourtasan
actingCJI.
TheCJIcanappointajudgeofaHighCourtasanadhoc(temporary)judgeofSupreme
Court.(ThiscanbedonebytheCJIonlywiththepriorpermissionofthePresident).
TheCJIcanrequestaretiredjudgeoftheSupremeCourtorHighCourttoactasajudge
oftheSupremeCourtforatemporaryperiodoftime.
TheSupremeCourtofIndiaislocatedinDelhi.
The CJI can set up the Benches of the Supreme Court of India in other places of the
CountrybytheCJIwiththepriorpermissionofthePresident.
The Constitutional cases or references made by the President under article 143 of the
Constitutionaredecidedbyabenchconsistingofatleastfivejudges.
Allothercasesareusuallydecidedbyabenchconsistingofnotlessthanthreejudges.
TheSupremeCourtisalsoacourtofrecords.ThejudgmentsoftheSupremeCourtare
admittedtobeofevidentiaryvalueandcannotbequestionedwhenproducedbeforeany
court.Secondly,theSupremeCourthasalsogotthepowertopunishforthecontemptof
court.
TheJudicialreviewisthepoweroftheSupremeCourttoexaminetheconstitutionality
oflegislativeenactmentsandexecutiveordersofboththecentralandstategovernments.
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The judicial review is needed to uphold the principle of the supremacy of the
Constitution,tomaintaintheconceptoffederalism(balancebetweenthecentralandstate
governments)andalsotoprotectthefundamentalrightsofthecitizens.
Note: The words Judicial Review is not mentioned in the Constitution. (Can you
pleasethinkwhy?)
TheSupremeCourtusedthepowerofjudicialreviewin
GolaknathCase1967
BankNationalizationcase1970
ThePrivypursesabolitioncase1971
TheKesavanandaBharticase1973
TheMinervaMillscase1980
PleaseNote:(AlltheabovecasesIdiscusswithyouinaseparatenoteunderthetitle'Basic
structureoftheIndianConstitution')
TheSupremeCourtistheultimateinterpreteroftheConstitution.

The election disputes related to the the President and Vice President can
bechallengedonlyintheSupremeCourtandthedecisionoftheSupremeCourtshallbe
final.

THE COMMITTEE OF INQUIRY: This is constituted by the Speaker or Chairman


underjudgesInquiryAct.
AConstitutionAmendmentbill(Private)wasintroducedinRSbyanominatedmember
H K Dua to relook at the law to prevent a judge from resigning till any impeachment
motion process is completed. As happened in the case of Calcutta HC Justice Soumitra
Senin2011(laterwithdrawnafterassuranceisgivenbythelawMinister)
UnderArticles124(2)and217(1)ifajudgesubmitsresignationtothePresidenteven
while facing impeachment the resignation will automatically comes into effect and the
impeachment proceedings will abruptly come to an end. Even if one house passes a
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resolutionfortheremovalandtheotherHousewillnottakeitupfordiscussion.
SoumitraSen(JudgeofCalcuttaHighCourt)resignedafteraresolutionispassedinthe
RajyaSabhaandbeforeitreachestheLokSabha.
Similarly P D Dinakaran resigned when a committee of Inquiry constituted by the
ChairmanofRS.HencebothjudgesescapedscrutinyoftheirconductbytheParliament
andlikelytoberemovedbythePresident.
ThepresentlacunaisthatonceajudgeresignsitistakenasacceptedandPresidenthas
noroletoplay.
MISCELLANEOUS:
InDecember2012theCJIAltamasKabirgavethenecessaryclarificationstothePMO
on elevating the 2 CJs of High Courts (M Y Eqbal Madras and V Gopalagowda
Madras) to the SC. The PMO sought the clarifications following certain complaints
received by the PMO. The PMO wanted to ascertain whether the allegations were
addressedbytheSCCollegiumbeforerecommendationsweremadeforelevationofthe2
judges.TheCJIsaidrecommendationsweremadeafterconsideringallaspects.
FastTrackCourts:The11thFinanceCommissionrecommendedfortheestablishmentof
1734fasttrackcourtsinthecountryforthedisposaloflongpendingsessionsandother
cases.ItistheprimaryresponsibilityoftheStateGovernmentstoestablishthesecourtsin
consultationwiththeconcernedHighCourt.
DAM999:(OnJanuary24,2013theSCupheldthebanimposedbytheTNgovernment
on the release of the movie DAM 999. The TN government banned the movie on
November 24, 2011 alleging that the film was based on the Mullaperiyar dam dispute
between Tamil Nadu and Kerala. The film was released in entire country except Tamil
Nadu. SC said that the Court cannot ignore the apprehensions raised by the state and
consideronlytheindividualrights.Wecannotcloseoureyestotheobjectionsraisedby
thestateanddecidethecasepurelyonlegalaspectsandwehavetorespectthesentiments
ofthepeople.
TheSConJanuary18,2013directedallthestatesnottograntpermissionforerecting
statues or construction of any structure at public places or on highways which would
obstructtraffic.

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India may be among the few countries in the world where judges appoint themselves.
This practice started after 1993, replacing the system of government picking judges for
higherjudiciarycomprisingSupremeCourtand24HighCourts.
JANUARY30,2014:

The Supreme Court cleared the decks for the trail of the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu
JayalalithaaforherprosecutionthatwasinitiatedbytheIncomeTaxDepartmentfornon
filingofincom4etaxreturnsduring199193bysasienterprisesandbyherselfaspartner
for199394.

JANUARY30,2014:

ThekillersofRajivGandhi(theformerPM)Murugan,SanthanandPerarivalanwhowere
convicted pleaded the Supreme Court for commutation of their death sentence to life
imprisonment citing the inordinate delay in the disposal of their mercy petition by the
formerPresidentPratibhaPatil.
The Madras High Court on August 30, 2011 stayed their execution. In May 2012 the
SupremeCourttransferredthecasetoitself.
MARCH 10, 2014: The Apex court ordered the trail courts for the completion of trail
againstmembersofboththeHousesoftheParliamentandStatelegislatureswithin1year
fromthedateofframingofthechargesagainstthem.Ifthecourtcannotcompletethetrail
within one year because of any reason the court must explain the reasons to the Chief
JusticeoftheconcernedHighCourt.

July7,2014:TheSupremeCourtonMondayruledthatfatwashavenolegalsanction.It
declaredthatnolegalstatushasbeengrantedtotheShariacourts.Theapexcourtsaidthat
either Darul Qaza or any mufti cannot issue fatwas and try to enforce against a person
whohasnotapproachedforreligiousopinion.Theapexcourtsaidthatthereligionorfaith
cannot be used to victimize innocents.The Supreme Court said no law has given any
recognitiontofatwas.

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7Comments

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Jointhediscussion
VenuRao 2yearsago

HelloSir
HowcomeFinanceCommissionrecommendsonsettingupofFastTrackCourts?
4

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kalyan>VenuRao 2yearsago

DearVenu,Itsaniceobservationfromyou,Ireallyappreciateyourkeennesswhilereading.
TheFCalsolooksintootherfunctionsasdirectedbythePresident.Itrecommendedfortheexpeditiousdisposalofthe
longpendingcasesandalsothecasesofundertrailprisioners,henceitsrecommendedFTCs.TheFinanceMinistry
granted502croresandtheyweresetup.
GoodLuck
7

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Parveen 5monthsago

HelloSir,appreciateifyoucouldpleaseelaborateonthefollowing:"SCjudgedoesnotholdofficeduringpleasureofthe
president".

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|<hU$H!_/\_>Parveen 2monthsago

"ItmeansthattheSCjudgeremainsintheofficetilltheageofretirementi.e65.ThePresidentcannotremovethejudge
asperhisconvenience.".

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ankushgoyal ayearago

Hellosir
Ihavedoubtthatissupremecourthavesittingidelhionly??

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AmitShukla 2yearsago

whatisthemeaningofthatSCjudgedonotholdofficeduringthepleasureofpresident.

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|<hU$H!_/\_>AmitShukla 2monthsago

"ItmeansthattheSCjudgeremainsintheofficetilltheageofretirementi.e65.ThePresidentcannotremovethejudge
asperhisconvenience.Also,Notethat,theConstitutionhasnotfixedanytenureforhisoffice."

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