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Supreme Court of India

Supreme Court of IndiaThe Indian judicial system has the supreme court of India at its wheel. 

It is the highest judicial forum and final court of appeal. Supreme Court is considered to be the guardian of the constitution.

Supreme Court does not have any benches in any part of the nation and is presided by the Chief Justice of India.  It had its first sitting on 28 January, 1950.

About the Supreme Court of India

This court is not only final court of permissible but also deals with matter related to state and  even matters comprising of more than one state, and matter which is between the union government and any one or more states.

The supreme court of India has many benches for the litigation, and this apex court has power to punish anybody for its individual crime conduct. Constitution bench is the largest bench of the Supreme Court of India  and comprises 5 or 7 judges. 

The President of India can always seek consultation and guidance including the opinion of the apex court and its judges. The apex court comprises of various benches comprising of the Divisional benches where number of judges are 2 and 3, and the Full benches which have almost  3 or 5 judges.

The Supreme Court is meant to be the last route and is the highest court which takes up appeals against the verdicts of high courts and other courts of the states and territories.

Features of Supreme Court

There are three types of advocates who are allowed to practice law before the supreme court of India:
  • Senior advocates
  • Advocate on record
  • Other advocates
Senior advocates: Supreme Court or High court of India is entitled to give this position to the deserving candidate. They can be appointed as supreme court senior advocate if they are willing to and if they have the ability, special knowledge or experience in law and the said advocate is worthy of this position.

Advocate on record: They are the only advocates who are permitted to file any matter or document before the Supreme Court.

Other advocate: They are advocates who can appear and can argue any matter on behalf of a party in the Supreme Court but they are not given the power to file any document or matter before the court.

Power of judicial review
  • Supreme Court of India is the interpreter of the constitution and its decision is considered to be the final. Laws passed by the union and state legislatures are reviewed by this court as it has the power to  do so.
  • The Supreme Court of India can declare a law ultra null or void if it is against the letter and spirit of the constitution. The power is referred to as power of the judicial review.
  • Judiciary is the protector of our fundamental rights and only source of justice to us.
  • Constitution can plea concerning reading of the constitution certified by a High Court.
  • Criminal of a high court has passed death sentence reversing the order of a release of an inferior court.
  • Supreme Court can admit the case only if he finds that the case is fit for appeal and involves substantial question of law or fact and certified by the high court.
  • President is allowed to seek legal advice from Supreme Court on any issue of public importance. Supreme Court provides its advice after full consideration. A person who has been a Judge of the Supreme Court is debarred from practicing in any court of law or before any other authority in India.

Qualifications of a Supreme Court Judge

 Supreme Court judge should have the following qualifications:
  • a citizen of India
  • he/she should be judge of a High Court for at least five years
  • should be advocate of a High Court for at least ten years
  • should hold distinguished jurist in the opinion of the President

Appointment of a Supreme Court Judge

The president of India has the power to appoint chief justice of India. Other judges in Supreme Court are appointed by the consultation of the chief justice and president as well.


The Chief Justice and other judges of the Supreme Court cling to the office upto the age of 65 years. The decision of the president is considered final if there is any difference about the age of judge. 


President of India after an address by each house of parliament has the authority to remove the judge of Supreme Court from the office, they are supported by the total membership of that house to the minimum of two third majority. 

A judge of the Supreme Court can also be removed by the President from his position only on the ground of proved misbehavior or incapacity.

Powers and Functions of Supreme Court

The jurisdiction of the Supreme Court may be classified as original, appellate and advisory.

Original Jurisdiction: 

  • among the Centre and one or more States,
  • it can be between the Centre and any State or it can be States on the one side and one or more other States on the other,
  • it can be between two or more States.

 Advisory Jurisdiction

  • The President of India can seek the view of the Court if there is a question of law or fact where the explanation of the Constitution is involved.
  • The Supreme Court may give its outlook on the President’s question but it is not obligatory on any party. 

Appellate jurisdiction

  • Constitutional Cases: A plea can be made to the Supreme Court in cases which relate to the interpretation of the Constitution.
  • Civil Cases: In a civil cases also, a petition can be made to the Supreme Court against a decision of a High court.
  • Criminal Cases: A request can be made in the Supreme Court against any judgement, concluding order or sentence given by a High Court.  High courts are the last courts of appeal in  cases regarding criminal matters. Supreme Court has been given the special power by the Parliament to hear appeal against the verdict of the High Courts in criminal matters. 

Public Interest Litigation

Even if the injured party or victim do not file cases, any one from the general public, may file court case, if it is in the general public interest. It is the privilege of the Court to consider or not to consider the application for Public Interest proceedings.

Court of Records

This apex court are also considered to act as the Court of Records.
  • The judgements of the Supreme Court are documented and considered as authoritative and serve as cases, laws and proceedings.
  • The Supreme Court is considered as the protector of the Fundamental Rights of the citizens. and for this purpose, it has been given the authority of issuing certain writs like that of "habeas corpus", "mandamus"," prohibition", "quo warranto" and "certiorari".
  • It can also issue orders and directions. 

Contempt of Court

The Supreme Court can penalize any one who is found to be guilty in contempt of the court. Contempt of court includes passing offensive remarks against the court, disapproval of a judgement of the court, disparagement of judges and the court, refusing to stand by the decisions of the court etc.

Judgment and order Of the court:

The Supreme Court has the power to review any judgement given by it earlier.
  • emergence of new details and evidence related to the case.
  • a blunder is found according to its own record.
  • there are enough reasons for review.
It is the supreme or final analyst of the Constitution. The justification of the Constitution given by the Supreme Court is to be respected. If such a law or executive decision is found unlawful, then it can declare it as invalid.

Address: Tilak Marg, Mandi House, New Delhi, Delhi 110001
Phone: 011 2338 8922

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