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constitution of india (union judiciary)
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THE UNION JUDICIARY
Q. 1. Which is the highest judicial court in India?
Ans. Under Article 124 of the Constitution, the Supreme Court of India is the highest court.
Q. 2. How many Judges are there in the Supreme Court of India?
Ans. There is one Chief Justice and not more than 25 others Judges.
Q. 3. Who appoints the Judges of the Supreme Court of India?
Ans. Every Judge of the Supreme Court is appoint1d by the President by warrant under his hand and seal under Article 124(2), The President also consults the Chief Justice of India in the appointment of other Judges.
Q. 4. What is the age of retirement for the Judges of the Supreme Court?
Ans. Sixty-five years.
Q. 5. Can a Judge resign from his Office?
Ans. A Judge may, by writing under his hand addressed to the President, resign his office under Article 124(2) (a).
Q. 6. Can a Judge of the Supreme Court be removed ?
Ans. Yes. A Judge of the Supreme Court 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 the House and by a majority of not less than two-thirds of the members of that House present and voting has been presented to the same session for such removal on the ground of proved misbehavior or incapacity.
Q. 7. What is the salary of the Judges of the Supreme Court ?
Ans. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court gets a salary of Rs. 33,000 per
month and the other Judges get a salary of Rs. 30,000 per month,.
Q. 8. What are the qualifications for a Judge of the Supreme Court ?
Ans. Following are the qualifications for a Judge of the Supreme Court under
Article 124(3J of the Constitution:
(a) He should be a citizen of India
(b) He should have been for at least five years a Judge of a High Court or
of two or more such courts in succession; or
(c) He should have been for at least 1 0 years an advocate of High Court
or of two or 'more such courts in succession. .
(d) He is in the opinion of the President a distinguished jurist.
Q. 9. Which is the seat of the Supreme Court of India?
Ans. Under Article 130, Delhi is the seat of the Supreme Court of India.
Q. 10. Who appoints ad hoc Judges?
Ans. Under Article 127, the Chief Justice of India can appoint ad hoc Judges of the High .Courts who are qualified to be' apppointed as the judges of the Supreme Court for short durations with the previous consent of the President of India.
Q. 11. Can a retired Judge be asked to sit in the Supreme Court ?
Ans. Yes. Under Article 128 of the Constitution, the Chief Justice of india
may at any time request any person who has held the Office of a Judge df the Supreme Court, with the previous consent of the President, to sit and act as a Judge of the Supreme Court.
Q. 12. Can the Parliament vote on the salaries of the Judges?
Ans. No. The salaries of the Judges are charged upon the Consolidated Fund of India and are not votable in the Parliament.
Q. 13. Can the salaries of the Judges be reduced during their term of Office ?
Ans. No. The salaries of the Judges of the Supreme Court cannot be reduced during the term of their Office. Only during the proclamation of financial emergency, the President can reduce their salaries.
Q. 14. Who administers the Oath of Office to the Judges of the Supreme Court ?
Ans. The President administers the Oath of Office to the Judges of the Supreme Court of India.
Q. 15. What is the form of Oath for the Judge of Supreme Court ?
Ans. The Oath of Office as per the Constitution is as follows:
"I, A.B., having been appointed Chief Justice (or a Judge) of the Supreme Court of India do swear in the name of God/solemnly affirm that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of India as by law established, that I will uphold the sovereignty and integrity of India that I will duly and faithfully, and to the best of my ability, knowledge and judgement perform the duties of my office without fear and favour, affection or ill will and that I will uphold the Constitution and the laws."
Q. 16. What are the powers of the Supreme Court of India?
Ans. The Supreme Court of India has a vast jurisdiction. It is at the apex of a monolithic judiciary. In certain ways the Indian Supreme Court has a larger jurisdiction than the American Supreme' Court.
Article 129 has made the Supreme Court a court of record and given it all the powers of such a court including the powers to punish for contempt of itself. A court of record is a court "whose acts and proceedings are enrolled for perpetual memory and testimony. These records are of such high authority that their truth cannot be questioned in any court."
(i) Original Jurisdiction of the Supreme Court
Article 131 has given the following original jurisdiction to the Supreme
It has original jurisdiction
(a) In any dispute between the Government of India and one or more States;
(b) In any dispute between the Government of India and any State or
States on the one side and one or more other States on the other
(c) Between two or ,more States
This original jurisdiction extends in so far as the dispute involves any question (whether of law or fact) on which the existence or extent of a legal right depends. In invoking the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court _o conditions must be satisfied; one regarding the parties and the other regarding the nature of dispute. The parties must be the States or the Government of India. Secondly the dispute must relate to any question of law or fact on which the existence of a legal right depends.
Under Article 32 of the Constitution the Supreme Court also exercises original jurisdiction for the enforcement of the Fundamental Rights granted to the citizens of India in Part III of the Constitution.
The Supreme Court has the power to issue directions or orders or writs including writs in the nature of habeas corpus, mandamus, prohibition, quo warranto and certiorari whichever may be appropriate, for the enforcement of any of the rights conferred by Part III.
(ii) Appellate Jurisdiction of Supreme Court in appeals from High Courts in certain cases
The Supreme Court enjoys the following Appellate Jurisdiction, under Article 132 of the Constitution in Appeals from High Courts in certain cases:
(a) An appeal shall lie to the Supreme Court from any judgement, decree or final order of a High Court in the territory of India, whether in a civil, criminal or other proceeding, if the High Court certifies that the case involves a substantial question of law as to the interpretation of the Constitution.
(b) Where the High Court has refused to give such a certificate:
the Supreme Court may, if ,it is satisfied that the case involves a substantial question of law as to the interpretation of this Constitution, grant special leave to appeal from such judgement, decree or final order.
(c) Where such a certificate is given, or such leave is granted, any party in the case may appeal to the Supreme Court on the ground that any such question as aforesaid has been wrongly decided.
(iii}Appellate jurisdiction of Supreme Court in Appeals from High Courts in regard to Civil matters
In civil matters under Article 133 of the Constitution
(a) An appeal shall lie to the Supreme court from any judgement, decree or final order in q civil proceeding of a High Court in the territory of India if the High Court certifies that the case involves a substantial question of law of general importance and
(b) That in the opinion of the High Court the said question needs to be
decided by the Supreme Court.
(c) Formerly before the Thirtieth Amendment, any case involving an amount
of Rs. 20,000 could be taken to the Supreme Court. However, this
condition has since been waived.
(d) Besides this, the Supreme Court may grant special leave to appeal where
a certificate by the High Court has not been granted.
(iv)Appellate Jurisdiction of Supreme Court in regard to Criminal matters.
Under Article 134 of the Constitution an appeal shall lie to the Supreme Court from any judgement, final order or sentences in a criminal proceeding of a High Court in the territory of India if the High Court;
(a) has on appeal reversed an order of acquittal of an accused person and.
sentenced him to death; or
(b) has withdrawn for trial before itself any case from any court subordinate
to its authority and has in such trial convicted the accused person and
sentenced him to death; or
(c) Certifies that the case is a fit one for appeal to the Supreme Court; The Supreme Court can also grant a special leave to appeal under Article 136.
(v) Special leave to Appeal by the Supreme Court
Under Article 136 of the Constitution the Supreme Court has specifically been given the power in its discretion, to grant special leave to appeal from any judgement, decree, determination, sentence or order in any cause or matter passed or made by any court or tribunal in the territory of India.
(vi) Review its own Judgements or Orders
Under Article 137 the Supreme Court has been given the powers to review any judgement pronounced or order made by it previously.
(vii) law declared by Supreme Court to be binding on all Courts
Under Article J 41 the law declared by the Supreme Court is binding on all courts within the territory of India.
(viii) Advisory Jurisdiction
Under Article 143 of the Constitution the President of India may seek the advice of the Supreme Court on any question of
law or fact which is of such public importance that it is expedient to obtain the opinion of the Supreme Court upon it. The Supreme Court may, after such hearing as it thinks fit, report to the President its opinion thereon. But this advice is not binding on the President. He may accept it or reject it.
(ix) Under Article 144 all the authorities, civil and judicial, in the territory of India are bound to act in aid of the Supreme Court.
(x) Rule making regarding the Supreme Court
Under Article 145 the Supreme Court may from time to time with the approval of the President make rules for regulating the practice and procedure of the Supreme Court.
Under the above Article 145 the judgements of the Supreme Court are delivered in open court. These judgements are delivered with the concurrence of majority of the Judges present at the hearing of the case.
Q. 17. What are the limitations on the powers of the Supreme Court ?
Ans. The following are the limitations on the powers of the Supreme Court :
(a) The Supreme Court cannot question the decision of the Speaker as to whether a bill is a money bill or not.
(b) The Court cannot interfere with the delimitation of constituencies.
(c) The Court cannot question the detention or arrest of a person or an Act if it has been made in accordance with the procedure established by law. The position has changed since Maneka Gandhi case in which the Supreme Court laid down that the procedure should not be arbitrary, unfair or unreasonable but the apex court has not ceased to make use of this power under the basic structure theory of the Constitution.
(d) Under the Forty-second Amendment of the Constitution the Court cannot determine the adequacy of compensation given by the State for acquisition of private property.
(e) Again under the forty-second constitutional amendment the Supreme Court cannot question any amendment made by the Parliament including the amendment of the fundamental rights but the Supreme Court asserted in the Keshwanand Bharti case (1973) that the Parliament cannot alter the basic structure of the Constitution and if the Parliament amends the constitution to encroach upon the basic structure of the Constitution, it can declare that amendment as unconstitutional.
(f) Again under the Forty-second Amendment, it was enjoined that the Supreme court could not nullify any law passed by the States on the basis that it was unconstitutional. But under the Forty-third Amendment, the power to declare a State low as unconstitutional has been restored to the Supreme Court.
(g) Similarly, if a law passed by the Union Parliament was to be challenged in the Supreme Court, a condition was laid under the Forty-second Amendment that it should be heard by a bench of at least seven Judges and at least five Judges should give their Judgement against it, if it was to be nullified by the Supreme Court. But his condition has also been
removed under the Forty-third Amendment passed by the Parliament subsequently.
Of course, the Janata government restored back the powers to the Supreme Court under the Forty-third Amendment, which were taken away under the Forty-second Amendment passed during the Emergency in 1976.
Q. 18. Does the Sulpreme Court of India possess the powers of Judicial Review
Ans. Originally our Supreme Court was really supreme and it , enjoyed absolute powers of Judicial Review. It was the protector and guardian of the Constitution, since there was the supremacy of the Constitution. But under the Forty-second Amendment, the supremacy of the Parliament has been established instead of the supremacy of the Constitution and that way the power of judicial review of the Supreme Court had been curtaiiled to a great extent.
Under the above amendment it could declare any law passed by the States as unconstitutional but a case must be heard by at least a bench of seven judges and the judgement nullifying the law must be delivered at least by a two-thirds majority. But under the Forty-third Amendment which was passed in 1978 both the above restrictions on the powers of the Supreme Court were removed. Now it can declare both a State law and the Union law as unconstitutional if it
infringes the Fundamental Rights or encroaches upon the basic structure of the Constitution.
Q. 19. Enumerate the provisions through which independence of the Judges is ensured.
Ans. The independence of the Judges is ensured by the following provisions:
(1) Every Judge of the Supreme Court is appointed by the President of India after consultation with such of the Judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts of the States as the President may deem necessary for the purpose.
(2) The elimination of politics in the appointment of Judges is further achieved by prescribing high minimum qualifications in the Constitution itself.
(3) A Judge of the Supreme Court once appointed holds office until he completes the age of sixty-five years.
(4) A retired Judge is prohibited from practising before any court in India.
(5) A Judge of the Supreme Court can be removed from office by on order from President only on the grounds of
proved misbehavior or incapacity after a resolution for the purpose is passed by both Houses of Parliament
supported by a majority of the total membership of the House and majority of not less than two-thirds of the
members present and voting.
(6) The conditions of service of a judge cannot be altered to his disadvantage after his appointment.
(7) The salaries and allowances of the judges are changed in the Consolidated Fund of India and are not subject to the vote of Parliament.
(8) The independence of the judges is further safeguarded by making all their actions and decisions in their official capacity immune from criticism in Parliament or State Assembly and also providing for an establishment over which the Court has complete control.
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