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Unformatted text preview: 1 Unit 12: JUDICIARY Structure 12.0 Objectives 12.1 Introduction 12.2 Evolution and Development of Judiciary in India 12.3 The Supreme Court 12.3.1 Composition and Appointments 12.3 2 Tenure 12.3.3 Salaries 12.3.4 Immunities 12.4 Jurisdiction of the Supreme Court 12.4.1 Original Jurisdiction 12.4.2 Appellant Jurisdiction 12.4.3 Advisory Jurisdiction 12.4.4 Review Jurisdiction 12.5 The High Court 12.5.1 Composition of the High Court 12.5.2 Jurisdiction 12.6 Subordinate Courts 12.7 Judicial Review 12.8 Judicial Reforms 12.9 Let Us Sum Up 12.10 Some Useful Books 12.11 Answers to Check Your Progress Exercises 12.0 OBJECTIVES This unit deals with the structure, composition, jurisdiction and functions of the Indian judiciary. After going through this unit, you should be able to: • Trace the evolution of the judicial system in India; • Describe the composition of the courts in India; • Explain the functions and jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, High Court and the Subordinate Courts; and • Explain the concept of judicial review and its importance in safeguarding fundamental rights. 12.1 INTRODUCTION In a political system based on constitutional government, the functions of rule making, rule enforcement and rule interpretation are separated into the three institutions of the legislature, the executive and the judiciary. A judiciary that is independent of and acting as a check on the arbitrary exercise of legislative and executive power is an essential feature of a constitutional government. The judiciary is also the final arbiter on what that constitution itself means. In a federal system, the judiciary also serves as a tribunal for the final determination of disputes between the union and its constituent units. Given the tremendous importance of the role and functions of the Supreme Court and the High Courts, various measures have been adopted to ensure the independence of the judiciary. Let us first trace the evolution of the modern 2 judicial system in India and then examine the various constitutional provisions relating to its powers and functions. 12.2 EVOLUTION AND DEVELOPMENT OF JUDICIARY IN INDIA The development of judiciary in general can be traced to the growth of modern nation-states. This was the stage when it was assumed that power and administration of justice was prerogative of the state. During the ancient times, administration of justice was not considered a function of the state as it was based on religious law or dharma. Most of the kings courts dispensed justice according to dharma, ‘a set of eternal laws rested upon the individual duty to be performed in four stages of life (ashrama) and status of individual according to his status (varna)’. The king had no true legislative power, the power to make ordinances “on his own initiative and pleasure”. Even if a law has been enacted and royally recognised, an individual to whom custom applies may disobey it on the ground that it conflicts the precepts of dharma. At the village level, the ground that it conflicts the precepts of dharma....
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- Spring '12