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The Supreme Court of India was constituted under Article
124 of the Constitution. It commenced its sittings on
January 28, 1950.
In order to be appointed as a Judge of the Supreme Court
 a person must be a citizen of India and must have been:
 For at least five years, a Judge of a High Court or of two
or more such Courts in succession, or
 An advocate of a High Court or of two or more such
Courts in succession for at least 10 years, or
 In the opinion of the President, a distinguished jurist.

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Art. 124 of the Constitution of India deals with the
appointment of Supreme Court Judges.

Art 124(2) says that every Judge of the Supreme Court
shall be appointed by the President by warrant under his
hand and seal after consultation with such of the Judges
of the Supreme Court and of the High Courts in the States
as the President may deem necessary.
In the case of appointment of a Judge other than the
Chief Justice, the Chief Justice of India shall always be
consulted. However, the actual process of appointment
has gone through changes due to apex court verdicts.

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Supreme Court judge retires when he attains the age of
65 years.

He may resign addressing the letter to the
President of India. He may be removed by an order
of the President based on parliamentary vote.

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Supreme Court Judge may be removed from his office by
an order of the President passed after an address by each
House of Parliament supported by a majority of the total
membership of that House and by a majority of not less
than two-thirds of the members of that House present
and voting on the ground of proved misbehaviour or
incapacity.
Article 124(5) specifically Lays down that Parliament may
by law regulate the procedure for the presentation of an
address and for the investigation and proof of the
misbehaviour or incapacity.

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Art.126 says that when the office of the Chief Justice of
India is vacant or when he is not in a position to perform
his duties, they are performed by such other judge of the
Supreme Court that the President may appoint.

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Art.127 says that if there is no quorum of the Supreme
Court judges to hold or continue any session of the
Court, the CJI, with the previous consent of the President
and in consultation with the Chief Justice of the High
Court concerned can request in writing a judge of the
high Court who is qualified to be a judge of the Supreme
Court, to function as ad hoc judge of the Supreme Court.
Art. 128 says that retired High Court and Supreme Court
judges may be requested by the CJI, with prior consent of
the President to sit and function as the judge of the
Supreme Court

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Art 132 of the Constitution provides for an appeal to the
Supreme Court from any judgment, decree or final order
of a High Court, whether in civil, criminal or other
proceedings, if the High Court certifies that the case
involves a substantial question of law as to the
interpretation to the constitution.
A substantial question of law means a question on which
two or more High Courts have differed.

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Under Art. 131, exclusive original jurisdiction of the
Supreme Court is one where no other court in the country
enjoys the same power. It extends to all federal disputesany dispute between the Government of India and one or
more States or between the Government of India and any
State or States on one side and one or more States on the
other or between two or more States.
The writ jurisdiction of the Supreme Court is original but
not exclusive as the power is also availb1e to the High
Courts (Art.226). Article 32 of the - Constitution gives an
extensive original jurisdiction to the Supreme Court in
regard to enforcement of Fundamental Rights. It is
empowered to issue writs in the nature of habeas corpus,
mandamus, prohibition, quo warranto and certiorari to
enforce them.

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The Supreme Court has a very wide appellate
jurisdiction over all Courts and Tribunals in India
as it may, in its discretion, grant special leave to
appeal under Art. 136 of the Constitution from any
judgment, decree, determination, sentence or
order interim or final-in any matter from any Court
or Tribunal in the territory of India.

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The Supreme Court has special advisory jurisdiction in
matters which may specifically be referred to it by the
President of India under Article 143 of the Constitution.
According to Art. 143, if it appears to the President that• a question of law or fact has arisen, or is likely to arise
• which is of public importance and that
• it is necessary to take the opinion and advice of the
Supreme Court on it

The advice of the Supreme Court is not binding on the
President but it has the value of a judgement.

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Article 317 of the Constitution, provides that the
Chairman or any other member of a Public Service
Commission can be removed from his office by order of
the President, on the ground of misbehavior, after the
Supreme Court on reference being made by the
President, has on enquiry reported that he ought, on
such ground, to be removed from his office.

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Under Art. 129 of the Constitution the Supreme Court is a
court of record. It means it has the following attributes• its proceedings are recorded and can be quoted as
evidence in any court in the country.
• it sets its own jurisdiction and
• it can punish for contempt of court including contempt
of itself.

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The Judges (inquiry) Bill, 2006 establishes a National
Judicial Council (NJC) to conduct inquiries into allegations
of incapacity or misbehaviour by High Court and Supreme
Court judges.
The NJC shall consist of the Chief Justice of India, two
Supreme Court judges and two High Court Chief Justices
to investigate High Court judges; or the Chief Justice of
India and four Supreme Court judges to investigate
Supreme Court judges.

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Many reforms have already been initiated and are in
progress. Some have already taken effect as shown
below:
CPC amendments
CrPC amendments 2008
Lok Adalats
Gram Nyayalayas Act 2008
B-judiciary
It is suggested that the jury system like in the US should
be adopted where the common public can be asked to
work as jurors (judges) and decide cases on the basis of
facts. It will reduce pressure on courts.

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Gram Nyayalaya Act 2008 aims at providing inexpensive
justice to people in rural areas on their doorstep.
It provides for first class judicial magistrates dispensing
justice.
Gram Nyayalayas will try criminal cases, civil suits, claims
or disputes concerning all the offences not punishable
with death, imprisonment for life or imprisonment for a
term exceeding two years.

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Fast track courts were set up, on the recommendation of
the 11th Finance Commission to deal with criminal cases
involving undertrials (there are 1.8 lakh undertrials in
jails around the country) and other cases pending for
more than two years.

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Lok Adalat literally means “people‟s court”. It is an
alternative dispute settlement mechanism which settles
disputes through conciliation and mediation. It helps in
quick disposal of cases and the process is simple and
carries no fees. Lok Adalats are statutory forums since
the enactment of Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987.

All legal disputes pending in civil, criminal, revenue
courts or a tribunal can be taken to Lok Adalat for
amicable settlement except criminal cases which are
non-compoundable (that is, serious of fences where
charges cannot be dropped without the consent of the
judge).

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Judicial review is the power of the judiciary to review the
laws made and executed by the legislature and executive
to make sure that they are in line with the Constitution
and statute. If they are not, judiciary strikes them down
partly or wholly.
The PIL movement in the country is a classical case of
judicial activism whereby the judiciary- the higher rungstake justice to the doorstep of the weak and vulnerable.

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Justice Krishna Iyer, in Murnbai Kamgar Sabha vs.
Abdulbhai Faizullabhai (1976) used the expression PIL for
the first time. Justice Bhagavathi added momentum to PIL
in the late seventies.

In PIL, the victims of violation of constitution and law may
be weak, vulnerable and illiterate. There are many cases
where public interest is violated-for example, child
labour, bonder labour.

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In such a case involving public interest, Supreme Court
since late 1970s, allowed the principle of locus standi to
be set aside. Any socially spirited individual is allowed to
bring it to the notice of the court.
PIL means a legal action initiated in a court of law for the
enforcement of public interest in which the public as
against private individuals have interest in the form of
protection/restoration of their rights.

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The e-Judiciary initiative is taken up- computerization
and connectivity to help in meeting the needs of the
citizens in a transparent manner and enable quicker
disposal of cases.
The Supreme Court took up the “e-courts” project under
the-National e-Governance Plan (NeGEP) for linking about
15,000 courts in the country.

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COURTNIC is an information system designed
to provide the information, on the status of
cases in the Apex Court to a wide variety of
users, from anywhere in the country.

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High Court stands at the head of the State‟s judicial
administration. There are 21 High Courts in the
country. High courts have jurisdiction over a state, a
union territory or a group of states and union
territories.

High Courts are sanctioned under Part VI, Chapter V,
Article 214 of the Indian Constitution.
The Chief Justice of a High Court is appointed by the
President in consultation with the Chief Justice of India
and the Governor of the state.

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Every High Court shall consist of a Chief Justice and such
other judges as the President of India from time to time
deem it necessary.
The number of judges in a court is decided by dividing
the average institution of main cases during the last five
years by the national average.
The Additional Judges are appointed for a period not
exceeding two years taking into account the temporary
increase in the business of the High Court. Such judge
shall also not hold office after attaining the age of 62.

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To be eligible for appointment as a judge, one must be a
citizen of India and should have held a judicial office for
10 years or must have practiced as an advocate of a High
Court or two or more such courts in succession for a
similar period.

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The Judges of High Court can remain in office till the
completion of 62 gears of age.

Besides on the following grounds he can be relieved from
this office.
1. If he is promoted and transferred to Supreme Court,
2. If on the basis of misbehavior or disqualification, if
the Parliament in a Single Session passes a resolution
by a majority of the total membership which is more
than two-thirds of the members present and voting in
each House of Parliament separately.
3. If the resign. After his retirement, he can practice in
any High Court other than his own court.

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Under Article 223, if the office of the Chief Justice of any
State High Courts falls vacant or if the Chief Justice is
absent or for some reason is not in a position to
discharge the responsibilities of the office, then the
President is empowered to appoint any one of the judges
of that Court as „Acting Chief Justice‟.

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Under Article 224 (1) if for some temporary reason the
functions of a High Court has increased temporarily and
the President feels the necessity to increase the number
of Judges temporarily for these functions, then he can
appoint those who fulfill the requisite qualifications as
„Additional Judges‟ for a period not exceeding two years.
In the like manner, under article 224 (2) during the
absence of some judge, the President can appoint acting
judge.

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The highest court in the district is that of District and
Sessions judge. It is empowered to hear both the civil as
well as criminal cases. It should be noted that the district
and the session court is one and the same court and the
same person acts in both the civil and criminal capacities.
When he deals with civil cases, he is known as the District
Judge and when he hears criminal cases, he is called the
Sessions Judge.
He is appointed by the Governor of the state in
consultation with the Chief Justice of the High Court.
The District and Sessions Court is the highest court of the
district. The District and Sessions Judges hears appeals
from subordinate courts under it.

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The Highest Civil Court in the district is that of a District
Judge. The same person hears the civil and the criminal
cases. When he hears criminal cases he is called the
Session Judge; but when he deals with civil cases, he is
called the District Judge. There are Courts of many subjudges under him. They possess original jurisdiction and
also can hear appeals against the Munsiff‟s Court.

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