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WHAT ARE THE ROLES AND POWERS OF THE SUPREME COURT IN THE INDIAN JUDICIAL SYSTEM?

The Supreme Court of India holds the top most position in the Indian Judicial System. It is located  in Delhi, with no other benches in any part of the country. It is presided by the Chief Justice of India. The Supreme Court comprises only of various benches comprising of the Divisional benches of 2 or 3 judges, and. The largest bench of 5 or 7 judges in India sits in Supreme Court and called the Constitutional Bench.

Primarily, the Supreme Court is the court of appellate jurisdiction (Article 132 to 136) wherein the appeals are allowed from the High Court, only after the matter is deemed to be important enough on the point of law or on the subject of the constitution of the nation, and is certified as such by the relevant High Court. If the High Court refuses to give such certificate, the individual can appeal to Supreme Court by filing a Special Leave Petition under Article 136. Special leave petition can also be filed against any judgment, decree, determination, sentence or order passed by any court or tribunal in the territory of India in any matter. The exception to this rule is the orders, judgments etc passed by any court or tribunal constituted by or under any law relating to the Armed Forces.

In case of violation of Fundamental Rights granted under the Constitution of India, a Writ petition (Article 32 (2)) can be filed in the Supreme Court of India.. In addition, Supreme Court has Original Jurisdiction in case a dispute arises between:

  • The Government of India and one or more states or
  • The Union Government and any State or States on the one side and one or more States on the other,
  • Two or more states, if the disputes involves a legal right.

The President of the Republic can ask the Supreme Court for its opinion, in case any question of law or fact of public importance for its opinion. This is the advisory jurisdiction of the Supreme Court (Article 143). Moreover, Supreme Court also enjoys the power of Judicial Review (Article 137). 

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