The Supreme Court of India is the apex court as well as final court of appeal under the Constitution; it is the highest constitutional court of the country, with the power of constitutional review. Decisions of the apex court are final and binding on all courts in India and are not subject to further review by any other courts In India.
Article 124 of the Constitution of India deals with the establishment and constitution of the Supreme Court. On 26 January 1950, India became a Sovereign Democratic Republic and on 28 January 1950 the Supreme Court came into existence. The apex court was inaugurated in the Chamber of Princes in the Parliament building. Earlier for few years apex court functioned in the Parliament premises and later on in 1958 it shifted to the current location. The magnificent building is shaped and designed with a view to showcase the Scales of Justice. The Central Wing of the building consists of court of Chief Justice which is the largest courtroom with two court halls on each side. The Right Wing of the building consists of Bar-room, Attorney-General and other law officers’ offices and court’s library. The Left Wing constitutes offices of the court. Two new wings were constructed in the premise–East Wing and West Wing in the year 1979.
Chief Justice and Judges of Supreme Court
Article 124 of the Constitution of India provides that the Supreme Court of India shall consist of a Chief Justice and 7 other Judges appointed by the President. Later on the number of Judges was increased to the strength of 31 including Chief Justice and other Judges of Supreme Court. In order to be appointed as the Supreme Court Judge one has to be Indian citizen, judge of one or more high courts for at least 5 years or an advocate of the apex court for 10 years or a distinguished jurist in the opinion of the President. The Supreme Court judges retire upon attaining the age of 65 years.
The administrative division of the court consists of the Registrar-General assisted by eight registrars, several additional and deputy registrars etc., along with 1770 employees.
Jurisdiction of Supreme Court
Being the highest judicial body of the country it is vested with several powers and functions. The Supreme Court of India is the Federal Court of the country based on the division of powers between Union and State Government. There are different types of jurisdictions of the Supreme Court. Article 131 of the Constitution of India gives the court the power of original jurisdiction to settle the disputes between the Union and State or between the States. It is vested with the power to interpret the Constitution and protect its essence. Being the highest judicial body it has the power of appellate jurisdiction where appeal lies from decision of cases involving interpretation of the Constitution. Appeals with respect to civil and criminal cases. Advisory jurisdiction also lies with the court where it provides assistance to the President on issues of law and/or question of fact of public importance.
Article 32 of the Constitution of India provides the apex court the power to issue writs (Habeas Corpus, Mandamas, Prohibition, and Quo-warranto Certiorari). Being the Federal Court as well as protector of the fundamental rights of the citizens it becomes the guardian of the Constitution. The Supreme Court of India also has the power of judicial review by which it examines the validity of any law.
It also entertains matters which are of general interest of the public at large including matters known as ‘Public Interest Litigation’. This power of apex court is a unique feature as this extraordinary jurisdiction is not exercisable by many other court in the world.
The Supreme Court of India also provides free legal aid to the weaker sections of the society. The process for availing the aid involves applying to the Secretary and handing over of all necessary documents regarding the case. The Committee, thereafter, considers the case and provides the respective legal aid to the person.
We have provided a link to the website of the Hon'ble Supreme Court. We have also provided links for Supreme Court Rules, 2013, the practice and procedure of Supreme Court and Supreme Court Calender.