The Supreme Court of India is the highest court of the India’s courts. It was established by Part V, Chapter IV of the Constitution of India. The Supreme Court of India comprises the Chief Justice of India and not more than 30 other Judges appointed by the President of India. The Supreme Court of India is a federal court, guardian of the Constitution and the highest court of appeal. The composition and jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of India is described in Articles 124 to 147 of the Constitution of India. Generally, this court takes up appeals against judgments of the High Courts of the states and territories. But it also takes writ petitions in cases of serious human rights violations and serious issue cases that need immediate resolution. On January 28, 1950, the Supreme Court of India had its inaugural sitting and since then has delivered more than 24,000 reported judgments.
Appointment and Qualification :
- Person must be citizen of India.
- Person must have been a Judge of a High Court for at least five years or
- An Advocate of a High Court or of two or more such Courts in succession for at least 10 years or
- The person must be a distinguished jurist in the opinion of the President.
- The senior-most judge of the Supreme Court is appointed as the Chief Justice of India.
- Other judges are appointed by the President after consultation with such judges of the Supreme Court and of the High Courts as the President may dream necessary.
Term and Salary :
- The Chief Justice and Judges of Supreme Court retire upon attaining the age of 65 years.
- They can give resignation to President or can be removed by the Parliament.
- The salary of Chief Justice is Rs.1,00,000 per month and salary of Judges are Rs.90,000 per month.
Jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of India
Original jurisdiction :
- The Supreme Court handles the dispute between the Central Government and one or more States, between two or more States etc.
- In regard to enforcement of Fundamental Rights, the Article 32 of the Constitution grants an extensive original jurisdiction to the Supreme Court.
Appellate jurisdiction :
- In civil cases, an appeal lies to the Supreme Court if the High Court concerned certifies that the case involves a substantial question of law of general importance.
- In criminal cases, an appeal lies to the Supreme Court if the High Court has on appeal reversed an order of acquittal of an accused person and sentenced him to death or to imprisonment for life or for a period of not less than 10 years, or has withdrawn for trial before itself any case from any Court subordinate to its authority and has in such trial convicted the accused and sentenced him to death or to imprisonment for life or for a period of not less than 10 years, or certified that the case is a fit one for appeal to the Supreme Court.
Advisory jurisdiction :
- Under Article 143 of the Constitution, the Supreme Court has special advisory jurisdiction in matters which may specifically be referred to it by the President of India.
Judicial independence :
- A Judge of the Supreme Court cannot be removed from office except by an order of the President passed after an address in each House of Parliament supported by a majority of the total membership.
- The salary and allowances of a judge of the Supreme Court cannot be reduced after the appointment.
- A person who has been a Judge of the Supreme Court is debarred from practising in any court of law or before any other authority in India.