SUPREME COURT

SUPREME COURT

 

ORGANISATION OF SC: (ART. 124)
  • Article 124 to 147 –Part V of the constitution.
  • Integrated single system of judicial system adopted from govt of India act 1935 + enforces both central and state laws
  • Inaugurated January 28, 1950 succeeded the federal court of India but replaced British Privy council as highest court of appeal.
  • Total 34 judges (CJI + 33 other judges)
  • Supreme court (number of judges) amendment act 2019—increased number of judges from 31 to 34
  • Chief justice is appointed by the president after consultation with such judges of the Supreme Court and high courts as he deems necessary.
  • Other Judges of the SC are appointed by president after consultation with chief justice and such other judges as he deems necessary
  • Consultation of chief justice is Obligatory for appointment of judges other than Chief justice.

 

CONCURRENCE Vs CONSULTATION:
  • 1st judges case (1982):only implies exchange of views
  • 2nd judges case (1993): consultation = concurrence advice by CJI is binding on president(but CJI will tender his advice after consulting his two senior most colleagues
  • 3rd judges case: consultation of plurality of judges- CJI should consult collegium of 4 senior most judges (even if two gave adverse opinion that recommendation cannot be forwarded)
  • 99th CAA 2015- declared National judicial appointments commission (NJAC) act unconstitutional and void.

 

APPOINTMENT OF CJI

 

Appoint senior most (1950-1973) à Later discontinued à 2nd judges case: held senior most must alone be CJI.
 

QUALIFICATION OF JUDGES

 

  •          He should be a citizen of India
  •         He should have been judge of High Court for 5 years or
  •          He should have been an advocate of high court for 10 years or 3) distinguished jurist in the opinion of president (no such condition in case of HC)
  •          No minimum age prescribed
OATH OR AFFIRMATION
  •         A person appointed as a judge of the Supreme Court has to subscribe an oath before the President, or some person appointed by him for this purpose.
SALARIES AND ALLOWANCES The salaries, allowances, privileges, leave and pension of the judges of the Supreme Court are determined from time to time by the Parliament.
 

TENURE OF JUDGES

 

  •         Constitution no fixed tenure of judges of supreme court
  •         Three provisions: Holds office until he attains the age of 65 years (manner prescribed by parliament) + Resign by writing to president + Removed from office by president on recommendation of parliament.
 

 

REMOVAL OF JUDGES

 

  •          Removed by order of president
  •          But only after an address by parliament has been presented to him in same session for such removal
  •          Ground of removal : Proved misbehavior or/and Incapacity
  •         Procedure relating to the removal of a judge of a Supreme court is govern by  The Judges Enquiry Act (1968).
 

 

 

 

JUDGES ENQUIRY ACT 1968:

 

  •          Removal motion : signed by 100 members (Lok Sabha) or 50 members (Rajya Sabha ) à given to chairperson of the respective houses
  •          If admitted by chairperson à  three member committee to enquire into charges
  •          Committee: Chief justice /judge of supreme court + chief justice of high court + distinguished jurist.
  •          If they find guilty à house take up for consideration
  •          Motion passed  in each house by special majority , and then an address presented to president for removal of judge
  •          Order passed by president
  •          No judge has been impeached so far.
ACTING CHIEF JUSTICE :
  •         President can appoint a judge of supreme court as the office of chief justice of India is: vacant; temporarily absent; Unable to perform the duties of office.
 

AD HOC JUDGE:

  •         when lack of quorum of permanent judges to hold or continue any session of the supreme court,à CJI  can appoint a judge of HC as Ad hoc judges (only with consent of chief  justice in High court +previous consent of president)
  •          Ad hoc judge = all jurisdiction, power and privileges of judge of supreme court.
RETIRED JUDGE:
  •         At any time  chief justice of India can request any retired judge (qualified to be) of supreme court to act as supreme court for temporary period.
SEAT OF SUPREME COURT (ART. 130):
  •          Delhi (by constitution) + Authorizes chief justice of India to appoint other places as seat of supreme court + approval of president.
 

PROCEDURE OF THE COURT:

 

•         Supreme court + approval of president can make rules for regulating generally the practice and procedure of the court

•         Constitutional case + article 143 = decided by bench of at least five judges

•         All judgment = majority voting

  •         Dissenting judgments can also be given if differed
 

 

 

 

INDEPENDENCE OF SUPREME COURT

 

•         Mode of appointment: Judges appointed by judiciary itself

•         Security of tenure: Judges are removed only on the manner prescribed by the constitution

•         Fixed service conditions: Cannot be changed to their disadvantage after their appointment except during a financial emergency (Art.360)

•         Expenses charged on consolidated fund of India

•         Conduct of judges cannot be discussed: Except when impeachment motion is in consideration  of parliament

•         Ban on practice after retirement: Except the SC and the other high courts.

•         Freedom to appoint its staff

•         Jurisdiction cannot be curtailed: But can be extended by parliament.

  •          Separation from executive

 

JURISDICTION AND POWER OF SUPREME COURT

 

 

 

ORIGINAL JURISDICTION (ART.131):

DISPUTE BETWEEN:

1.       State and center

2.       State and other states

3.       Centre and state on one side and other state on other side

•         Only supreme court have power to hear such cases]-exclusive jurisdiction

•         Questions of political nature is avoided

•         Dispute  must involve a question (whether of law or fact)

•         A dispute arising out of any pre-constitution treaty, agreement, covenant, engagement, Sanad or other similar instrument

•         A dispute arising out of any treaty, agreements etc. which specifically provide that such jurisdiction don’t extend to such a dispute.

•         Interstate water dispute

•         Matters referred to Finance Commission Etc.

 

 

WRIT JURISDICTION (ART. 32):

 

  •          Aggrieved can go directly to supreme court
  •          But it’s not exclusive (high courts can also issue writ)
  •         Only for enforcement for Fundamental rights (not for legal rights – Narrower than HC)
  •         Writ jurisdiction of high court is wider than supreme court.
  •          NOTE – SC can issue writs only for FR and not “for any other purpose”. This makes writ jurisdiction of HC wider than SC.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

APPELLATE JURISDICTION :

 

APPEALS IN: Constitutional matters: appeal against judgment of high court + Civil matters + Criminal matters + Special leave Petition.

 

CONSTITUTIONAL MATTERS: Against judgment of High Court: If case involves substantial question of law that requires the interpretation of constitution.

 

CIVIL MATTERS: Appeal lies to supreme court if: Case involves substantial question of law + That the question needs to be decided by the supreme court

 

CRIMINAL MATTERS: Supreme court hears appeals against judgment in a criminal proceedings of high court if high court :

o   Has on appeal reversed an order of acquittal of an accused person and sentenced him to death

o   Has taken before itself any case from any subordinate court and convicted the accused person and sentenced him to death

o   Certifies that the case fit one for appeal to  the supreme court

 

 

 

APPEAL BY SPECIAL LEAVE (ART. 136)

•         Special leave to appeal from any judgment in any matter passed by any court or tribunal in the country.

•         Exception: court martial or military tribunal

•         FOUR ASPECT : discretion and not a right + granted in Final or interlocutory judgment + Related to any matter: constitutional, civil, criminal, income tax, labour revenue, advocates etc. + granted against any tribunal and not necessarily be high court exceptional and overriding power à exercised sparingly and only in exceptional times.

 

 

ADVISORY JURISDICTION (ART. 143)

 

President à supreme court (advice given ) à President

Two categories of matter :

1.       On any question of law or fact of public importance which has arisen or which is likely to arise à SC may or may not give advice

2.       On any dispute arising out of any pre-constitution treaty, agreement, covenant, engagement, Sanad or other similar instrument à SC must give advice.

NOTE: President may or may not follow the opinion.

 

COURT OF RECORD:

 

Judgment, proceedings and acts of supreme court are recorded for perpetual memory and testimony:

1.       Evidentiary value +cannot be questioned by any court

2.       Legal precedents +references

POWER TO PUNISH FOR CONTEMPT OF COURT: Simple imprisonment up to 6 month +/fine up to Rs.2000/-

 

 

 

 

 

CONTEMPT OF COURT:

 

•         CIVIL CONTEMPT: willful disobedience to any judgment ,order ,writ or other process of court or willful breach of an undertaking given to a court

•         CRIMINAL CONTEMPT: publication of any matter  or doing an act which à Scandalizes or lowers the authority of court + Prejudices or interferes with the due course of judicial proceedings + Interferes or obstructs the administration of justice in any other manner.

•         NOT AMOUNT TO THE CONTEMPT OF COURT: Innocent publication and distribution  of some matter + fair and accurate report of judicial proceedings  + fair and reasonable criticism of judicial acts + comment on administrative side.

CONSTITUTIONAL INTERPRETATION: Supreme Court is the ultimate interpreter of the Constitution.
 

 

 

 

OTHER POWERS:

 

  •          It decides the disputes regarding the election of the president and the vice-president. In this regard, it has the original, exclusive and final authority.
  •          Enquires into the conduct and behaviour of the chairman and members of the UPSC on a reference made by the president à Advice by SC binding on the president.
  •         power to review its own judgement or order.
  •          Its law is binding on all courts in India.

 

NOTE: The Supreme Court’s jurisdiction and powers with respect to matters in the Union list can be enlarged by the Parliament.