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The Supreme Court of India:

Composition, Appointment
of Judges and Other Details

Mr. Pandurang K. Hanamasagar


I Year LL.B 2nd Semester
JSS’s Sakri Law College Hubballi.
Introduction

 The entire judicature has been divided into three tiers. At the top, there is a
Supreme Court below it is High Court and the lowest rank is occupied by
Session’s Court.
 Supreme Court is the head of the entire system and exercises full control on
all other courts.
 There are no separate set of laws and same civil and criminal system
operates in the entire country.
 All the cases can be taken from lower courts (subordinate courts) to High
Courts and from High courts it can be taken to the Supreme Court. The
decision of Supreme Court would be the final.
Flow of Judicial Process

Supreme
Courts

High
Courts

Lower
Court
The Supreme Court (Apex)

 The Supreme Court is the highest court of law.


 The Constitution says that the law declared by the Supreme Court shall be
binding on all small courts within the territory of India.
 Supreme Court was designed to make it the final authority in the
interpretation of the Constitution.
 While framing the judicial provisions, the Constituent Assembly gave a great
deal of attention to such issues as the independence of the courts the
powers of the Supreme Court and the issue of judicial review.
Seat of Supreme Court

 The constitution declares Delhi as the seat of the Supreme Court.

 Constitution also authorized Chief Justice of India to appoint other place or


places as a seat of Supreme Court, with prior approval of President.

 No direction can be given to President or Chief Justice to appoint any


other place as a seat of the Supreme Court.
Composition

 Parliament has the power to make laws regulating the constitution,


organisation of the jurisdiction and powers of the Supreme Court.
 The Supreme Court is headed by the Chief Justice of Supreme Court also
called as Chief Justice of India.
 Originally, under Article 124(1), the strength of the Court was fixed at one
Chief Justice and seven other judges.
 The number of judges can be increased as well as decreased by
Parliament.
 By the enactment of the Supreme Court (number of Judges) Act, 1956 The
number (7) was raised to 10 in 1956, 13 in 1960, 17 in 1977 and 25 in 1986
and again lastly in 2009 by way of amendment to the Act.
 At present CJI is assisted by 30 judges.
Appointment of Judges

 The President is the appointing authority in the case of judges of the


Supreme Court. Article 124 (2).
 While making appointment of the Chief Justice of India, he may consult
such of the judges of the Supreme Court and of the High Court’s as he
might consider necessary.
 While making appointment of other judges of the Supreme Court, the Chief
Justice shall always be consulted National Judicial Appointment
Commission formed under Article 124A.
 In addition to regular judges, if the President feels that the work load is
heavy, he can appoint ad hoc judges as well.
 He is also empowered to invite retired judges to attend the meeting of the
court.
 Acting Chief Justices
 Oath or Affirmation
Qualification of Judges Article 124 (3)

 To eliminate politics in the appointment of judges, high minimum


qualifications have been prescribed.
 A person shall not be qualified for appointment as a Judge of the Supreme Court
unless he is a citizen of India and -
 (a) has been a High Court Judge for at least 5 years or two or more Courts in
succession; or
 (b) has been an Advocate for at least 10 years of a high Court or two or more
such Courts in succession; or
 (c) is, in the opinion of President, a distinguished jurist.
Tenure of Judges
 No minimum age is prescribed for appointment as a Judge of the Supreme
Court, nor any fixed period of office.
 Once appointed, a Judge of the Supreme Court may cease to be so on the
happening of any one of the following contingencies; (other than death)
 (a) on attaining the age of 65 years;
 (b) on resigning his office by writing addressed to the President;
 (c) on being removed by the President upon an address to that effect being passed
by a special majority of each House of Parliament viz. a majority of the total
membership of that House and by majority of not less than two-thirds of the members
of that House present and voting.
 The only grounds upon which such removal may take place are (1) ‘proved
misbehavior’ and (2) ‘incapacity’.
 The age of the Judge of the Supreme Court shall be determined by such
authority and in such a manner as Parliament may by law provide.
 This provision was inserted by Fifteenth Amendment Act 1963.
Salaries and Emoluments

 Originally A judge of the Supreme Court gets a salary of INR. 30,000 per
month and the use of an official residence free of rent. The salary of the
Chief Justice is INR. 33,000 per month. (According to the 1998 revision).
 At present the basic pay is INR. 2,80,000.00 for Chief Justice of India and
INR. 2,50,000.00 for Supreme Court Judges along with sumptuary allowance
and provided with free accommodation and other facilities like medical,
car, telephone, etc.
 The retired Chief Justice and Judges are entitled to 50% of their last drawn
salary as monthly pension.
Independence of Judges

 Mode of Appointment
 Security of Tenure
 Fixed Service Conditions
 Expenses Charged on Consolidated Fund
 Conduct of Judges cannot be Discussed
 Ban on Practices after Retirement
 Power to Punish for its Contempt
 Freedom to Appoint its Staff
 Its Jurisdiction can not be Curtailed
 Separation from Executive
Thank You