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Supreme Court

This is at the top of all state and district courts, presided by the Chief Justice of India. Because it is the highest authority of justice for the country, the decision made by the Supreme Court stands above all other courts.

[Roles & Functions]

(1) Appellate jurisdiction: Appeal lies with the Supreme Court against the High Court under articles – 132 , 133, 134 & 136)

  • It may be related to any matter — constitutional, civil, criminal, income-tax, labour, revenue, advocates, etc.


(2) Advisory Jurisdiction: SC can provide advisory opinion on question of law or of public importance.

  • SC not bound to give advisory opinion on political matter.

  • SC bound to give advisory jurisdiction on matters relating to disputes arising out of a treaty or agreement

(3) Judicial Review: 

  • To uphold the principle of the supremacy of the Constitution.

  • To maintain federal equilibrium (balance between Centre and states).

  • To protect the fundamental rights of the citizens (under Article 32).

(4) Judicial Activism: An assertive role is played by the judiciary to force other organs of the state namely the Executive and Legislature to discharge their duties properly.


(5) Other powers:          

  • Disputes regarding the election of the President and the Vice-President. 

  • SC advice to remove chairman and members of UPSC is binding on President.

  • Authorized to withdraw the cases pending before the High Courts and dispose them by itself.


[Appointment of Judges]

  1. CJI is the senior-most judge appointed by the President of India.

  2. The President shall always consult the CJI while appointing other judges. (Article 124(2))

  3. The President, in consultation with the CJI, can request (in-writing) a Judge of a High Court (who is qualified to be the judge of Supreme Court) to take charge as an Adhoc judge of the Supreme Court.

  4. The collegium system recommends the appointment & transfer of judges is headed by CJI along with four senior-most judges of the SC.


[Qualification of SC judge]

  1. Citizen of India (Article124).

  2. Should have served as an HC judge for 5 years/advocate of HC for atleast 10 years.


[Removal of an SC judge]

  1. Only President can remove an CS judge on the grounds of proven misbehavior or incapacity.

  2. Under Article 124 (4), 2/3rd vote in both Hosues of Parliament is required to pass the resolution for removal of an SC judge.

  3. An SC judge holds the office till the age of 65.

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