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The Supreme Court of India is the highest court of the land as established by Part V, Chapter IV of the Constitution of India. India, officially the Republic of India (भारत गणराज्य inc-Latn Bhārat Gaṇarājya; see also other Indian languages) is a country Politics of India takes place in a framework of a federal parliamentary multi-party representative democratic Republic modelled The Constitution of India ( Hindi: भारतीय़ संविधान see names in other Indian languages) is the supreme law of India. The Fundamental Rights in India enshrined in the Part III of the Constitution of India guarantee civil liberties such that all Indians can lead their lives in peace In Political science and Constitutional law, the executive is the branch of government responsible for the day-to-day management of the State. The President of India or Rashtrapati ( Hindi: राष्ट्रपति a Sanskrit Neologism, lit The Vice-President of India is the second-highest ranking government official in the Executive branch of the Government of India after the President The Prime Minister of India is head of the Council of Ministers, appointed by the President to assist the latter in the administration of the affairs of the executive Cabinet ministers Manmohan Singh - Prime Minister and also in-charge of the Ministries/ Departments not specifically allocated to the charge of any Minister The Parliament of India (or Sansad) is the federal and supreme Legislative body of India. The Rajya Sabha (meaning the "Council of States" is the Upper house of the Parliament of India. The Vice-President of India is the second-highest ranking government official in the Executive branch of the Government of India after the President The Lok Sabha (also titled the House of the People, by the Constitution) is the directly elected Lower house of the Parliament of India The Speaker of the Lok Sabha is the presiding officer of the upper house of Parliament of India. The term Chief Justice of India refers to the highest judge in the Supreme Court of India. India 's judicial system is made up of the Supreme Court of India at the apex of the hierarchy for the entire country and twenty-one High Courts at the The District Courts of India are presided over by a Judge. They administer justice in India at a district level Elections in India are more than a process of voting someone to rule the nation The Election Commission of India is an autonomous quasi-judiciary constitutional body of India. The Chief Election Commissioner heads the Election Commission of India, a body constitutionally empowered to conduct free and fair elections to the national and state legislatures India has a Multi-party system with a predominance of small regional parties India has a Multi-party system with a predominance of small regional parties India has a Multi-party system with a predominance of small regional parties BamfronttripuraJPG|thumb|right| West Bengal Left Front Committee meeting for solidarity with Tripura]] The Left Front ( Bengali: বাম ফ্রন্ট The National Democratic Alliance ( NDA) is a coalition of political parties in India. United Progressive Alliance ( UPA) is the present ruling coalition of political parties heading the Government of India. India is a union of states comprising twenty-eight states and seven union territories. The Governors and Lieutenant-Governors of the States and territories of India have similar powers and functions at the state level as that of the President of The Vidhan Sabha also known as Legislative Assembly is the lower house of state legislature in India. The Vidhan Parishad also known as Legislative Council forms a part of the state legislatures of India. The Panchayat is a South Asian Political system. ‘Panchayat’ literally means assembly ( yat) of five ( panch) wise and respected elders chosen Information on politics by country is available for every Country, including both De jure and De facto independent The Constitution of India ( Hindi: भारतीय़ संविधान see names in other Indian languages) is the supreme law of India. According to the Constitution of India, the role of the Supreme Court is that of a federal court, guardian of the Constitution and the highest court of appeal. India, officially the Republic of India (भारत गणराज्य inc-Latn Bhārat Gaṇarājya; see also other Indian languages) is a country
Articles 124 to 147 of the Constitution of India lay down the composition and jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of India. Primarily, it is an appellate court which takes up appeals against judgments of the provincial High Courts. But it also takes writ petitions in cases of serious human rights violations or if a case involves a serious issue that needs immediate resolution. The Supreme Court of India had its inaugural sitting on January 28, 1950, and since then has delivered more than 24,000 reported judgments. Events 1077 - Walk to Canossa: The Excommunication of Henry IV Holy Roman Emperor is lifted Year 1950 ( MCML) was a Common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar.
On January 28, 1950, two days after India became a sovereign democratic republic, the Supreme Court came into being. Events 1077 - Walk to Canossa: The Excommunication of Henry IV Holy Roman Emperor is lifted Year 1950 ( MCML) was a Common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. The inauguration took place in the Chamber of Princes in the Parliament building. The Chamber of Princes had earlier been the seat of the Federal Court of India for 12 years, between 1937 and 1950, and was the seat of the Supreme Court until the Supreme Court acquired its present premises in 1958.
After its inauguration on January 28, 1950, the Supreme Court commenced its sittings in the Chamber of Princes in the Parliament House. Events 1077 - Walk to Canossa: The Excommunication of Henry IV Holy Roman Emperor is lifted Year 1950 ( MCML) was a Common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. The Parliament of India (or Sansad) is the federal and supreme Legislative body of India. The Court moved into the present building in 1958. The Supreme Court Bar Association is the bar of the highest court. The current president of the SCBA is Mr. P. H. Parekh.
The Court moved into the present building in 1958. The building is shaped to project the image of scales of justice with the Central Wing of the building corresponding to the centre beam of the Scales. In 1979, two New Wings—the East Wing and the West Wing—were added to the complex. In all there are 15 Court Rooms in the various wings of the building. The Chief Justice's Court is the largest of the Courts located in the centre of the Central Wing.
The original Constitution of India (1950) provisioned for a Supreme Court with a Chief Justice and 7 lower-ranking Judges—leaving it to Parliament to increase this number. In the early years, a full bench of the Supreme Court sat together to hear the cases presented before them. As the work of the Court increased and cases began to accumulate, Parliament increased the number of Judges from 8 in 1950 to 11 in 1956, 14 in 1960, 18 in 1978 and 26 in 1986. As the number of the Judges has increased, they sit in smaller Benches of two and three (referred to as a Division Bench)—coming together in larger Benches of 5 and more only when required (referred to as a Constitutional Bench) to do so or to settle a difference of opinion or controversy. A division bench is a Judicial system in which a case is heard and judged by two Judges Any bench may refer the case up to a larger bench if the need to do so arises.
The Supreme Court of India comprises the Chief Justice of India and not more than 25 other Judges appointed by the President of India. The term Chief Justice of India refers to the highest judge in the Supreme Court of India. The President of India or Rashtrapati ( Hindi: राष्ट्रपति a Sanskrit Neologism, lit However, the President must appoint judges in consultation with the Supreme Court and appointments are generally made on the basis of seniority and not political preference. Supreme Court Judges retire upon attaining the age of 65 years. In order to be appointed as a Judge of the Supreme Court, a person must be a citizen of India and must have been, for at least five years, a Judge of a High Court or of two or more such Courts in succession, 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, in the opinion of the President, a distinguished jurist. Provisions exist for the appointment of a Judge of a High Court as an ad-hoc Judge of the Supreme Court and for retired Judges of the Supreme Court or High Courts to sit and act as Judges of that Court.
The Supreme Court has always maintained a wide regional representation. It also has had a good share of Judges belonging to religious and ethnic minorities. The first woman to be appointed to the Supreme Court was Justice Fatima Beevi in 1987. Justice Fatima Beevi was the first woman to be appointed to the Supreme Court of India and the first Muslim woman to be appointed to any higher judiciary She was later followed by Justices Sujata Manohar and Ruma Pal. Justice Sujata Manohar (born August 28, 1934) is an Indian judge and a member of the National Human Rights Commission of India Justice Ruma Pal (born June 3, 1941) was a judge of the Supreme Court of India until her retirement on June 3, 2006.
Justice K. G. Balakrishnan in 2000 became the first judge from the dalit community. Konakuppakatil Gopinathan Balakrishnan (കൊനകുപ്പക്കാട്ടില് ഗോപിനാഥന് ബാലകൃഷ്ണന് b In 2007 he also became the first dalit Chief Justice of India. Justice B. P. Jeevan Reddy and Justice A. R. Lakshamanan are the only judges to be elevated to be the Chairman of the Law Commission of India even though they were not the chief justice of India.
The Supreme Court has original, appellate and advisory jurisdiction.
It has exclusive original jurisdiction over any dispute between the Government of India and one or more States or between the Government of India and any State or States on one side and one or more States on the other or between two or more States, if and in so far as the dispute involves any question (whether of law or of fact) on which the existence or extent of a legal right depends. India is a union of states comprising twenty-eight states and seven union territories. In addition, Article 32 of the Constitution grants an extensive original jurisdiction to the Supreme Court in regard to enforcement of Fundamental Rights. The Fundamental Rights in India enshrined in the Part III of the Constitution of India guarantee civil liberties such that all Indians can lead their lives in peace It is empowered to issue directions, orders or writs, including writs in the nature of habeas corpus, mandamus, prohibition, quo warranto and certiorari to enforce them. Habeas corpus (ˈheɪbiəs ˈkɔɹpəs ( Latin: command that you have the body is the name of a legal action or Writ, through which a person can seek relief A writ of mandamus or simply mandamus, which means "we command" in Latin, is the name of one of the Prerogative writs in the Common A writ of prohibition is a Prerogative writ sought in a Court of appeal, usually requesting a ruling from the appellate court that a lower court be prohibited from Quo warranto ( Medieval Latin for "by what warrant?" is one of the Prerogative writs that requires the person to whom it is directed to show what Certiorari (ˌsɚʃioʊ('rɛri 'rɑri is a legal term in Roman, English, Philippine and American law referring to a type of Writ
The appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court can be invoked by a certificate granted by the High Court concerned under Articles 132(1), 133(1) or 134 of the Constitution in respect of any judgement, decree or final order of a High Court in both civil and criminal cases, involving substantial questions of law as to the interpretation of the Constitution. The Supreme Court can also grant special leave to appeal from a judgement or order of any non-military Indian court. Parliament has the power to enlarge the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court and has exercised this power in case of criminal appeals by enacting the Supreme Court (Enlargement of Criminal Appellate Jurisdiction) Act, 1970.
Appeals also lie to the Supreme Court in civil matters if the High Court concerned certifies : (a) 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. In criminal cases, an appeal lies to the Supreme Court if the High Court (a) 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 (b) 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 (c) certified that the case is a fit one for appeal to the Supreme Court. Parliament is authorised to confer on the Supreme Court any further powers to entertain and hear appeals from any judgement, final order or sentence in a criminal proceeding of a High Court.
The Supreme Court has special advisory jurisdiction in matters which may specifically be referred to it by the President of India under Article 143 of the Constitution.
The Constitution seeks to ensure the independence of Supreme Court Judges in various ways. Judges are generally appointed on the basis of seniority and not on political preference. 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 of that House and by a majority of not less than two-thirds of members present and voting, and presented to the President in the same Session for such removal on the ground of proved misbehaviour or incapacity. The Parliament of India (or Sansad) is the federal and supreme Legislative body of India. The salary and allowances of a judge of the Supreme Court cannot be reduced after 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.
Under Articles 129 and 142 of the Constitution the Supreme Court has been vested with power to punish anyone for contempt of any law court in India including itself. Contempt of court is a court ruling which in the context of a court trial or hearing deems an individual as having been disrespectful of the court its process and its invested The Supreme Court performed an unprecedented action when it directed a sitting Minister of the state of Maharashtra, Swaroop Singh Naik, to be jailed for 1 month on a charge of contempt of court on May 12 2006. Contempt of court is a court ruling which in the context of a court trial or hearing deems an individual as having been disrespectful of the court its process and its invested This was the first time that a serving Minister was ever jailed.
After some of the courts overturned state laws redistributing land from zamindar (landlord) estates on the grounds that the laws violated the zamindars' fundamental rights, the Parliament of India passed the First Amendment to the Constitution in 1951 followed by the Fourth Amendment in 1955 to protect its authority to implement land redistribution. Zamindar ( Devanagari: ज़मींदार zamīndār, Urdu: زمیندار zamīndār, Eastern Nagari: জমিদার The Supreme Court countered these amendments in 1967 when it ruled in Golaknath v. State of Punjab that Parliament did not have the power to abrogate the fundamental rights, including the provisions on private property. Free Supreme Court Judgements
The Court ruled that the Basic Structure of the Constitution cannot be altered for convenience. The "Basic Structure" doctrine is the judge-made doctrine whereby certain features of the Constitution of India are beyond the limit of the powers of amendment of the
On April 24, 1973, the Supreme Court responded to the parliamentary offensive by ruling in the Kesavananda Bharati v. The State of Kerala case that although these amendments were constitutional, the court still reserved for itself the discretion to reject any constitutional amendments passed by Parliament by declaring that the amendments cannot change the constitution's "basic structure", a decision piloted through by Chief Justice Sikri. Events 1479 BC - Thutmose III ascends to the throne of Egypt, although power effectively shifts to Hatshepsut (according to Year 1973 ( MCMLXXIII) was a Common year starting on Monday (link will display full calendar of the 1973 Gregorian calendar. Kesavananda Bharati v State of Kerala, AIR 1973 SC 1461 is a Landmark decision of the Supreme Court of India, and is the basis in
However, the newfound independence of the judiciary was seriously undermined, and the constitution considerably weakened in what has been called the darkest hour of Indian democracy. This was during the Indian Emergency (1975-1977) of Indira Gandhi. See also State of Emergency in India The Indian Emergency of June 1975–21st March 1977 was a 21-month period when President Indira Priyadarshini Gandhi ( Indirā Priyadarśinī Gāndhī) ( Née: Nehru (19 November 1917 - 31 October 1984 was the Prime Minister of the In an atmosphere where a number of High courts had agreed with the rights of detainees under the restrictive Maintenance of Internal Security Act, the case of Additional District Magistrate of Jabalpur v. Shiv Kant Shukla, popularly known as the Habeas Corpus case, came up for hearing in front of the Supreme Court. The Maintenance of Internal Security Act was a controversial law passed by the Indian parliament in 1973 giving the administration of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi A bench with five of its seniormost judges decided for unrestricted powers of detention during emergency. Justices A. N. Ray, P. N. Bhagwati, Y. V. Chandrachud, and M. The Honourable Justice Yeshwant Vishnu Chandrachud (यशवंत विष्णू चंद्रचूड ( 12 July 1920 - 14 July H. Beg, stated in the majority decision:
The only dissenting opinion was from Justice H. R. Khanna, who stated:
Before delivering his dissenting opinion, Justice Khanna had mentioned to his sister: ‘‘I have prepared my judgment, which is going to cost me the Chief Justice-ship of India. ’’ True to his apprehensions, he was superseded for the post of Chief Justice in January 1977, despite being the most senior judge at the time. In fact, it was felt that the other judges may have gone along for this very reason. Justice Khanna remains a legendary figure among the legal fraternity in India for this decision.
The New York Times, wrote of this opinion: "The submission of an independent judiciary to absolutist government is virtually the last step in the destruction of a democratic society; and the Indian Supreme Court’s decision appears close to utter surrender. "
During the emergency period, the government also passed the 39th amendment, which sought to limit judicial review for the election of the Prime Minister; only a body constituted by Parliament could review this election. The court tamely agreed with this curtailment (1975), despite the earlier Keshavanand decision. Subsequently, the parliament, with most opposition members in jail during the emergency, passed the 42nd Amendment which prevented any court from reviewing any amendment to the constitution with the exception of procedural issues concerning ratification. A few years after the emergency, however, the Supreme court rejected the absoluteness of the 42nd amendment and reaffirmed its power of judicial review in the Minerva Mills case (1980).
As a final act during the emergency, in what Justice V. R. Krishna Iyer has called "a stab on the independence of the High Court", judges were moved helter-skelter across the country, in concurrence with Chief Justice Beg.
Fortunately for Indian jurisprudence, the "brooding spirit of the law" referred to by Justice Khanna was to correct the excesses of the emergency soon enough.
After Indira Gandhi lost elections in 1977, the new government of Morarji Desai, and especially law minister Shanti Bhushan (who had earlier argued for the detenues in the Habeas Corpus case), introduced a number of amendments making it more difficult to declare and sustain an emergency, and reinstated much of the power to the Supreme Court. Morarji Ranchhodji Desai ( मोरारजी देसाई) (29 February 1896 &ndash 10 Shanti Bhushan is a former Union Law Minister and senior advocate of India. It is said that the Basic Structure doctrine, created in Kesavananda, was strengthened in Indira Gandhi's case and set in stone in Minerva Mills.
The Supreme Court's creative and expansive interpretations of Article 21 (Life and Personal Liberty), primarily after the Emergency period, have given rise to a new jurisprudence of public interest litigation that has vigorously promoted many important economic and social rights (constitutionally protected but not enforceable) including, but not restricted to, the rights to free education, livelihood, a clean environment, food and many others. Public Interest Litigation, in Indian law, means Litigation for the protection of Public interest. Civil and political rights (traditionally protected in the Fundamental Rights chapter of the Indian Constitution) have also been expanded and more fiercely protected. These new interpretations have opened the avenue for litigation on a number of important issues. It is interesting to note that the pioneer of the expanded interpretation of Article 21, Chief Justice P N Bhagwati, was also one of the judges who heard the ADM Jabalpur case, and held that the Right to Life could not be claimed in Emergency situations.
In November 1999, the golden jubilee of the Supreme Court was observed. Some of the activities during the jubilee were:
This function was presided over by His Excellency, the President of India. Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka ( Sinhalese:, இலங்கை known as Ceylon before 1972 is an Island