Ashna Sisodia is teaching live on Unacademy Plus
Course: The Union ( Part V) Lesson: Jurisdiction of Supreme Court Presented by : Ashna Sisodia
Appellate Jurisdiction In 1970, the Parliament had enlarged the Criminal Appellate Jurisdiction of the Supreme Court. Accordingly, an appeal lies to the Supreme Court from the judgement of a high court if the high court: (i) has on appeal, reversed an order of acquittal of an accused person and sentenced him to imprisonment for life or for ten years; or (ii) has taken before itself any case from any subordinate court and convicted the accused person and sentenced him to imprisonment for life or for ten years Further, the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court extends to all civil and criminal cases in which the Federal Court of India had jurisdiction to hear appeals from the high court but which are not covered under the civil and criminal appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court mentioned above. . .
Appellate Jurisdiction (d) Appeal by Special Leave The Supreme Court is authorised to grant in its discretion special leave to appeal from any judgement in any matter passed by any court or tribunal in the country (except military tribunal and court martial). This provision contains the four aspects as under: (i) It is a discretionary power and hence, cannot be claimed as a matter of right. (ii) It can be granted in any judgement whether final or interlocutory (iii) It may be related to any matter-constitutional, civil, criminal, income-tax, labour, revenue, advocates, etc. (iv) It can be granted against any court or tribunal and not necessarily against a high court (of course, except a military court) . . Thus, the scope of this provision is very wide and it vests the Supreme Court with a plenary On the exercise of this power, the Supreme Court itself held that 'being an exceptional and Beyond that it is not possible to fetter the exercise of this power by any set formula or rule'. jurisdiction to hear appeals overriding power, it has to be exercised sparingly and with caution and only in special extraordinary situations.
Advisory Jurisdiction The Constitution (Article 143) authorises the president to seek the opinion of the Supreme Court in the two categories of matters: (a) On any question of law or fact of public importance which has arisen or which is likely to arise. (b) On any dispute arising out of any pre-constitution treaty, agreement, covenant, engagement, or other similar instruments.11 In the first case, the Supreme Court may tender or may refuse to tender its opinion to the president. af law or fact of public importance which has arisen or which is . But in the second case, the Supreme Court 'must' tender its opinion to the president. . In both the cases, the opinion expressed by the Supreme Court is only advisory and not a judicial pronouncement. Hence, it is not binding on the president; he may follow or may not follow the opinion. However, it facilitates the government to have an authoritative legal opinion on a . matter to be decided by it.
A Court of Record . As a Court of Record, the Supreme Court has two powers: . (a) The judgements, proceedings and acts of the Supreme Court are recorded for perpetual memory and testimony. These records are admitted to be of evidentiary value and cannot be questioned when produced before any court. They are recognised as legal precedents and legal references. . (b) It has power to punish for contempt of court, either with simple imprisonment for a term up to six months or with fine up to '2,000 or with both. In 1991, the Supreme Court has ruled that it has power to punish for contempt not only of itself but also of high courts, subordinate courts and tribunals functioning in the entire country.
A Court of Record Contempt of court may be civil or criminal. Civil contempt means wilful disobedience to any judgement, order, writ or other process of a court or wilful breach of an undertaking given to a court. Criminal contempt means the publication of any matter or doing an act which- . (i) scandalises or lowers the authority of a court . (ii) prejudices or interferes with the due course of a judicial proceeding . (iii) interferes or obstructs the administration of justice in any other manner. . However, innocent publication and distribution of some matter, fair and accurate report of judicial proceedings, fair and reasonable criticism of judicial acts and comment on the administrative side of the judiciary do not amount to contempt of court.
Power of Judicial Review Judicial review is the power of the Supreme Court to examine the constitutionality of legislative enactments and executive orders of both the Central and state governments. On examination, if they are found to be violative of the Constitution (ultra- vires), they can be declared as illegal, unconstitutional and invalid (null and void) by the Supreme Court. Consequently, they cannot be enforced by the Government. Judicial review is needed for the following reasons .(a) To uphold the principle of the supremacy of the Constitution. (b) To maintain federal equilibrium (balance between Centre and states). .(c) To protect the fundamental rights of the citizens.
Power of Judicial Review .The Supreme Court used the power of judicial review in various cases, as for example, the Golaknath case (1967), the Bank Nationalisation case (1970), the Privy Purses Abolition case (1971), the Kesavananda Bharati case (1973), the Minerva Mills case (1980) and so on. Though the phrase Judicial Review' has nowhere been used in the Constitution, the provisions of several articles explicitly confer the power of judicial review on the Supreme Court . The constitutional validity of a legislative enactment or an executive order can be challenged in the Supreme Court on the following three grounds: . (a) it infringes the Fundamental Rights (Part III) . (b) it is outside the competence of the authority which has framed it, and . (c) it is repugnant to the constitutional provisions.
Power of Judicial Review scope of judicial review in India is narrower than that of what exists in USA, though the American Constitution does not explicitly mention the concept of judicial review in any of its provisions. . This is because, the American Constitution provides for 'due process of law' against that of 'procedure established by law' which is contained in the Indian Constitution. The difference between the two is: 'The due process of law gives wide scope to the Supreme Court to grant protection to the rights of its citizens. It can declare laws violative of these rights void not only on substantive grounds of being unlawful, but also on procedural grounds of being unreasonable. our Supreme Court, while determining the constitutionality of a law, however examines only the substantive question i.e., whether the law is within the powers of the authority concerned or not. It is not expected to go into the question of its reasonableness, suitability or policy implications.'
Power of Judicial Review American principle of diia en . This American principle of judicial supremacy is also recognised in our constitutional system, but to a limited extent. Nor do we fully follow the British Principle of parliamentary supremacy. There are many limitations on the sovereignty of Parliament in our country, like the written character of the Constitution, the federalism with division of powers, the Fundamental Rights and the judicial review. . In effect, what exists in India is a synthesis of both, that is, the American principle of judicial supremacy and the British principle of parliamentary supremacy.