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The Supreme Court of India

Independent and integrated Judiciary with the Supreme Court as the highest and final tribunal in the country Judiciary is independent from interference from the Legislative and Executive Wings of the Union and State Governments. IJS- means a single judiciary hierarchy for the whole country. Each lower court is made subordinate to its higher one with the Supreme Court at the top.

SC consists of a Chief Justice and 25other Judges. Parliament may increase or decrease the number of the Judges when required. A law passed in 1986 raised the strength of the Judges to 26. Some Judges are appointed on ad-hoc basis to the SC. Retd SC J or HCJ may be appointed on ad-hoc basis a and when required.

All the Judges of the SC are appointed by the President in consultation with such Judges of the Supreme Court and High Court as he deems necessary for the purpose. While appointing the Judge of the Supreme Court the President is bound to consult the Chief Justice of India.

A person to be appointed as a Judge of the Supreme Court must have the following qualifications. Must be a citizen of India. Should have worked as a Judge of a High Court continuously for at atleast 5 years. OR Should have been for atleast 10 years, an advocate of a High Court or of two or more such courts. OR Should be, in the opinion of the President, a distinguished Jurist.


CJI and other Judges are entitled to a nominal monthly salary. Are also entitled to rent free residential accommodation, other allowances and amenities. Salaries and allowances of the Judges cannot be varied to their disadvantage. President can reduce the salaries of the Judges only during the period of the emergencies.

The CJ and Judges of the SC hold office till they complete 65 years of age. President cannot terminate them form their service. Cannot resign from their post whenever they like. Can be impeached, if they are found guilty of misusing their power, or of acting against the provisions of the Constitution. Procedure for the impeachment of a Judge of the SC is the same as that followed for the impeachment of the President of India. Purpose of the rigid procedure prescribed for the removal of the Judges to ensure the non- interference in the working of the Courts and to assure the judges security of their tenure of office.

Powers and Functions of the SC

Judicial functions Advisory functions Administrative functions Other functions

Judicial Functions
A) JFSC extend to original as well as appellate jurisdiction.

Original Jurisdiction: Includes 1. Center State Disputes 2.Inter- State Disputes 3.Disputes relating to Fundamental Rights 4.Cases relating to interpretation of the Constitution

Judicial Functions
Appellate jurisdiction : SC has the power to grant special leave to appeal against the judgement delivered by any court in the country. Such cases brought before the SC, only through an appeal, come under the category of the AJ of the SC.

Judicial Functions
SC is empowered to hear appeals against the decisions of the HC in the following cases: 1. Civil Cases 2.Criminal Cases 3.Constitutional Cases 4.Power to grant special leave to Appeal 5.Custodian of the Constitution 6.Guardian of the Fundamental Rights.

Advisory Functions
President may seek advice of SC on important questions of law and fact. A bench of 5 judges deal with it. The opinion of the SC is not binding on the President as its not a judicial pronouncement.

Advisory Functions

1. Power to transfer Cases SC has the power to transfer to itself all cases pending before one or more high courts. The SC can also transfer cases pending before a High Court to any other High Court.

Ultimate interpreter of the Constitution

1) SC is the ultimate authority to interpret the Constitution. 2) Its interpretation is final as well as binding. 3) Only the SC has the right to review and revise its earlier judgements. 4) Nothing in the Constitution can prevent SC from departing from its previous decisions and review than in the interest of justice.

Administrative Functions

1) SC has the administrative control of all the High Courts and Subordinate Courts in India. 2) It decides the procedure to be adopted in a court of law. 3) SC can order any court in the country to work for better and speeder disposal of justice to people. 4)

Court of Record
SC is a Court of Record.

A Court of Record is one whose judgements are in then nature of judicial precedents and are referred to in other of the country. Some of the judgements of the SC are considered to be as good as laws. HC and DC decide cases in the light of the judgements passed by the SC. The main decisions of the HC too are preserved for reference by the SC.