Supreme Court of India

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Supreme Court of India
Supreme Court of India came into existence on 28th of January, 1950, two days after India became a Republic. The inauguration took place in the Chamber of Princes in the Parliament building which also housed India's Parliament, consisting of the Council of States and the House of the People. It was here, in this Chamber of Princes, that the Federal Court of India had sat for 12 years between 1937 and 1950. This was to be the home of the Supreme Court for years that were to follow until the Supreme Court acquired its own present premises.[1]


Contents

[edit] Inauguration

The inaugural proceedings were simple but impressive. They began at 9.45 a.m. when the Judges of the Federal Court - Chief Justice Harilal J.Kania and Justices Saiyid Fazl Ali, M. Patanjali Sastri, Mehr Chand Mahajan, Bijan Kumar Mukherjea and S.R.Das - took their seats. In attendance were the Chief Justices of the High Courts of Allahabad, Bombay, Madras, Orissa, Assam, Nagpur, Punjab, Saurashtra, Patiala and the East Punjab States Union, Mysore, Hyderabad, Madhya Bharat and Travancore-Cochin. Along with the Attorney General for India, M.C. Setalvad were present the Advocate Generals of Bombay, Madras, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, East Punjab, Orissa, Mysore, Hyderabad and Madhya Bharat. Present too, were Prime Minister, other Ministers, Ambassadors and diplomatic representatives of foreign States, a large number of Senior and other Advocates of the Court and other distinguished visitors.

Taking care to ensure that the Rules of the Supreme Court were published and the names of all the Advocates and agents of the Federal Court were brought on the rolls of the Supreme Court, the inaugural proceedings were over and put under part of the record of the Supreme Court.

[edit] Commencement of Work

After its inauguration on January 28, 1950, the Supreme Court commenced its sittings in a part of the Parliament House. The Court moved into the present building in 1958. The building is shaped to project the image of scales of justice. The Central Wing of the building is 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.

[edit] Composition

The original Constitution of 1950 envisaged a Supreme Court with a Chief Justice and 7 puisne Judges - leaving it to Parliament to increase this number. In the early years, all the Judges of the Supreme Court sat together to hear the cases presented before them. As the work of the Court increased and arrears of cases began to cumulate, 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 - coming together in larger Benches of 5 and more only when required to do so or to settle a difference of opinion or controversy.

The Supreme Court of India comprises the Chief Justice of India and not more than 25 other Judges appointed by the President of India. 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 atleast 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 he must be, in the opinion of the President of India, 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 Constitution of India seeks to ensure the independence of Supreme Court Judges in various ways. 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 misbehavior or incapacity. 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.

The proceedings of the Supreme Court are conducted in English only. Supreme Court Rules, 1966 are framed under Article 145 of the Constitution of India to regulate the practice and procedure of the Supreme Court.

[edit] Jurisdiction of the Court

The jurisdiction of the Supreme Court can broadly be categorised as

1.Appellate Jurisdiction

2.Original Jurisdiction

3.Advisory Jurisdiction

[edit] Advisory Jurisdiction of Supreme 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. There are provisions for reference or appeal to this Court under Article 317(1) of the Constitution, Section 257 of the Income Tax Act, 1961, Section 7(2) of the Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Act, 1969, Section 130-A of the Customs Act, 1962, Section 35-H of the Central Excises and Salt Act, 1944 and Section 82C of the Gold (Control) Act, 1968. Appeals also lie to the Supreme Court under the Representation of the People Act, 1951, Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Act, 1969, Advocates Act, 1961, Contempt of Courts Act, 1971, Customs Act, 1962, Central Excises and Salt Act, 1944, Enlargement of Criminal Appellate Jurisdiction Act, 1970, Trial of Offences Relating to Transactions in Securities Act, 1992, Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act, 1987 and Consumer Protection Act, 1986. Election Petitions under Part III of the Presidential and Vice Presidential Elections Act, 1952 are also filed directly in the Supreme Court.

Under Articles 129 and 142 of the Constitution the Supreme Court has been vested with power to punish for contempt of Court including the power to punish for contempt of itself. In case of contempt other than the contempt referred to in Rule 2, Part-I of the Rules to Regulate Proceedings for Contempt of the Supreme Court, 1975, the Court may take action (a) Suo motu, or (b) on a petition made by Attorney General, or Solicitor General, or (c) on a petition made by any person, and in the case of a criminal contempt with the consent in writing of the Attorney General or the Solicitor General.

Under Order XL of the Supreme Court Rules the Supreme Court may review its judgment or order but no application for review is to be entertained in a civil proceeding except on the grounds mentioned in Order XLVII, Rule 1 of the Code of Civil Procedure and in a criminal proceeding except on the ground of an error apparent on the face of the record.[2]

[edit] Registrar of Supreme Court

The Registry of the Supreme Court is headed by the Registrar General who is assisted in his work by three Registrars, four Additional Registrars, twelve Joint Registrars etc. Article 146 of the Constitution deals with the appointments of officers and servants of the Supreme Court Registry.

[edit] Sitting judges of the court

[3]

[edit] Chief Justice

  1. S. H. Kapadia

[edit] Justices

  1. Altamas Kabir
  2. R. V. Raveendran
  3. Dalveer Bhandari
  4. D. K. Jain
  5. Markandey Katju
  6. H. S. Bedi
  7. V. S. Sirpurkar
  8. B. Sudershan Reddy
  9. P. Sathasivam
  10. G. S. Singhvi
  11. Aftab Alam
  12. J. M. Panchal
  13. Mukundakam Sharma
  14. Cyriac Joseph
  15. A.K. Ganguly
  16. R.M. Lodha
  17. H.L. Dattu
  18. Deepak Verma
  19. Balbir Singh Chauhan
  20. A.K. Patnaik
  21. T. S. Thakur
  22. K. S. Radhakrishnan
  23. Surinder Singh Nijjar
  24. Swatanter Kumar
  25. Chandra Mauli Kumar Prasad
  26. H. L. Gokhale
  27. Gyan Sudha Misra
  28. A. R. Dave

[edit] Past Chief Justices of India

  1. H. J. Kania
  2. M. P. Shastri
  3. Mehr Chand Mahajan
  4. B. K. Mukherjee
  5. Sudhi Ranjan Das
  6. Bhuvaneshwar Prasad Sinha
  7. P. B. Gajendragadkar
  8. A. K. Sarkar
  9. K. Subba Rao
  10. K. N. Wanchoo
  11. M. Hidayatullah
  12. J. C. Shah
  13. S. M. Sikri
  14. A. N. Ray
  15. Mirza Hameedullah Beg
  16. Y. V. Chandrachud
  17. P. N. Bhagwati
  18. R. S. Pathak
  19. E. S. Venkataramiah
  20. S. Mukharji
  21. Ranganath Misra
  22. K N Singh
  23. M. H. Kania
  24. L. M. Sharma
  25. M. N. Venkatachaliah
  26. A. M. Ahmadi
  27. J. S. Verma
  28. M. M. Punchhi
  29. A. S. Anand
  30. S. P. Bharucha
  31. B. N. Kirpal
  32. G. B. Pattanaik
  33. VN Khare
  34. Rajendra Babu
  35. R. C. Lahoti
  36. Yogesh Kumar Sabharwal
  37. K.G. Balakrishnan

[edit] References

  1. http://www.supremecourtofindia.nic.in/history.htm
  2. http://www.supremecourtofindia.nic.in/new_s/juris.htm
  3. "Chief Justice of India and sitting Judges." Supreme Court of India. Accessed 3 November 2008.

[edit] External links

http://supremecourtofindia.nic.in/

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