Union Judiciary

The Indian judiciary is an independent and integrated organ. The constitution empowers the union judiciary to protect and preserve the constitution.

The judiciary is an essential component of the Indian governance system; it makes one of the three organs of government, the other two being Legislature and Executives. Part V of the Indian constitution deals with the provisions for the union; in this part, the constitution also provides the functions of the Union Judiciary. The provisions relating to union judiciary introduction and its functioning are given from Article 124 to Article 147.

Features of Indian Judiciary

The Indian constitution allows various features and functions to the judiciary; for example, it has ensured separation of powers among its governing bodies. Following are some essential features of union judiciary in India,

Independence of Union Judiciary

The constitution has given the union judiciary complete independence by following provisions,

  1. The judges of the Supreme Court are appointed by the President, following the recommendation of the collegium.
  2. The constitution gives a rigid and challenging process for the removal or impeachment of a judge.
  3. The legislature and the executives separated from the union judiciary.

Single, Integrated Judicial System 

The constitution establishes the Supreme Court as the highest court of appeal and gives for the establishment of High Courts at the state levels. The High Courts are subordinate to the Supreme Court and are superior to the subordinate courts at district and local levels. All the courts in India are linked to the Supreme Court, thus forming an integrated system of union judiciary.

Judicial Review

The union judiciary can check on the validity of a law made by the legislature. Legislation is subject to judicial review in a court of law for its constitutional validity. The power of judicial review makes the judiciary the protector and preserver of the constitution.

Power to Interpret the Law

The constitution of India is one of the longest written constitutions in the world. The Supreme Court of India is vested in interpreting the laws and provisions mentioned in the constitution; the supreme court’s interpretation of any part of the constitution is final.

Arbiter of Legal Disputes Between Union and States

The constitution empowers the judiciary to act as a referee when a dispute occurs between centre and state; this power is only vested with the supreme court.

According to this power, the supreme court has jurisdiction over a case when a dispute emerges between,

  1. Central government and a state government
  2. Central government and one or more states of the Union of India
  3. Two or more states of the Union of India

Public Interest Litigation System (PILs)

Public Interest Litigations are one of the crucial features of the Indian judicial system; the system of PIL was borrowed from the constitution of the United States. The PILs refer to litigation taken up by a court to secure a public interest; in any case, where the public interest is being put at risk, a PIL can be filed in a court of law.

The Supreme Court

The constitution of India gives union judiciary introduction In Article 124; through this Article, the constitution provides for the establishment of the Supreme Court. The current supreme court was established on January 28, 1950, in New Delhi.

Composition of the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court is the essential part of the union judiciary; it is composed of thirty-one judges at present; the number of judges of the Supreme Court is subject to change; the chief justice of India serves as the head of the Supreme Court.

Appointments of Judges

The constitution prescribes following rules for the appointments in the Supreme Court,

  1. The President of India appoints the judges of the Supreme Court.
  2. The President appoints the chief justice of India after consultation from those judges of the supreme and high court as he shall find necessary.
  3. The President appoints other judges of the supreme and high courts after consulting the chief justice of India and those judges of high courts as he shall find necessary.  

Qualification of Judges

The constitution prescribes the following qualifications for a person to become a judge of the supreme court,

  1. He shall be a citizen of India
  2. He shall be a judge of the high court for at least five years
  3. He shall be an advocate of the high court for at least ten years
  4. He shall be a distinguished jurist in the opinion of the President of India


The union judiciary introduction provides the Indian constitution with a strong and independent judicial system. Article 124 of the Indian constitution provides for forming a Supreme Court at the centre. Indian union judiciary serves as the protector, interpreter, and preserver of the constitution of India, an array of powers is vested in the union judiciary. The Supreme Court is the highest court of appeal in the union judiciary, and its decision is final on all matters.


Frequently asked questions

Get answers to the most common queries related to the CLAT Examination Preparation.

What is meant by the independence of the judiciary?

Answer: The union judiciary in the Indian constitution is designed to be independent of the influence of the ...Read full

Who introduced PILs in the Indian judicial system?

Answer: The PILs or Public Interest Litigations are those litigations filed against an individual, state, organisati...Read full

What is Judicial Review?

Answer: The power of judicial review is given to the judiciary; this power keeps checks and balances on the legislat...Read full

What part of the constitution deals with the union judiciary?

Answer: Provisions for union judiciary are given in articles 124 to 147 of Part V of the constitution.