The judiciary In a democratic system, the judiciary is called the third pillar of government, besides the legislative and the executive. The Supreme Court, the apex court of appeal, High Courts and Lower Courts come under the judiciary of India. The Supreme Court is referred to as the ultimate interpreter of Law. The rights of the citizens as guaranteed by the Constitution are protected by the judiciary. STRUCTURE The Indian Judiciary comprises of a network of law courts or judicial bodies. Hence, it consists of a pyramidal structure. At the apex of the pyramid is the Supreme Court, and below it are the High Courts. Cases introduced into the judicial system follow a predetermined course in the sense that all cases from the lower courts will be taken for appeal to the High Courts and, ultimately, to the Supreme Court, if accepted by it for adjudication.


Appointment The current sanctioned strength of the Supreme Court of India incorporates the Chief Justice of India and not more than 25 other Judges, all appointed by the President of India. The tenure of a Supreme Court Judge lasts till he attains 65 years of age.

Supreme court


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 at least five years, a judge of a High Court, or an advocate of a High Court for at least 10 years or he must be, in the opinion of the President
distinguished juest.

Removal of Judges

A Supreme Court judge can be removed from office only by an order of the President if he is found guilty of misuse of authority or proven misbehaviour. The procedure of impeachment of a judge is the same as that of the President of India. To remove a judge from his office, a motion containing the charges against the judge has to be passed separately by both houses of Parliament by two-thirds majority of the members present and voting, which should not be less than a majority of the total membership of the house.


The functions and responsibilities of the Supreme Court are defined by the Constitution. It is the highest court of appeal. It can hear appeals against the decisions of the High Courts. It can take up any dispute between :

citizens of the country; citizens and government of the country;

two or more state governments;

central and state governments, apart from accepting;

Original Jurisdiction

Certain petitions can be made directly in the Supreme Court. Such cases are said to originate in the Supreme Court, and the authority to resolve these cases is called original Jurisdiction. The following type of cases fall within this category.

Advisory Jurisdiction

In addition to the above functions, the Supreme Court of India possesses ‘Advisory power’. This means that the President of India can refer any matter of public importance to the Supreme Court for its advice. However, the President is not bound to accept such advice.

HIGH COURTS High Courts are established under Article 214 of Part VI, Chapter V of the Indian Constitution. The Constitution provides for one High Court for every state of India. But Parliament has been given the power to put more than one state under a High Court, depending on the area and population which the court has to serve. For example, there is only one High Court for the two states.

Calcutta High court

A High Court consists of one Chief Justice and as many other judges as Parliament may the affairs decide from time to time. The Chief Justice of a High Court is appointed by the President of India in consultation with the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and the governor of the state concerned. The other judges of the High Court are appointed by the President in consultation with the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Chief Justice of the High Court and governor of the state.

To be appointed as a Chief Justice of the High Court, a person must be a citizen of India and must have held, for at least ten years, a judicial office in the territory of India or been an advocate in a High Court for at least 10 years, or he must be a distinguished jurist or a renowned writer in the field of law. The judges of the High Courts remain in office till the age of 62. They can resign from the post or can be removed by the President of India. The procedure is the Qualification same as the one adopted for the removal of a supreme court judge.


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