Supreme Court – India

“Independent Judiciary Sine – Qua – Non of Democracy (Absolutely needed)”

  • Exist to see that laws made by legislature are intra vires (with the constitution)
  • At the apex lie SC Custodian & interpreter of constitution
  • Originally 1 CJ & 7 judges, but At present 1 CJ & 30 Judges

 

Appointment & Transfer of Judges – By National Judicial Appointments Commission

Composition of the NJAC – 6 members

  • Chief Justice of India (Chairperson, ex officio)
  • Two other senior judges of the Supreme Court next to the Chief Justice of India – ex officio
  • The Union Minister of Law and Justice, ex-officio
  • Two eminent persons (one of which would be from the SC or ST or OBC or Minority communities or a woman ), for 3 yrs, not eligible for re-nomination, to be nominated by a committee consisting of :
  • Chief Justice of India
  • Prime Minister of India
  • Leader of opposition in the Lok Sabha ( where there is no such Leader of Opposition, then, the Leader of single largest Opposition Party in Lok Sabha)

Functions of the Commission

  • Recommending persons to president for appointment as
  • Chief Justice of India,
  • Judges of the Supreme Court,
  • Chief Justices of High Courts and other Judges of High Courts.
  • Recommending transfer of Chief Justices and other Judges of High Courts from one High Court to any other High Court
  • Ensuring that the persons recommended are of ability and integrity

What is NJAC

Eligibility Criteria of Supreme Court Judges

  • Citizen of India
  • Judge of HC for atleast 5 years in succession / advocate of HC for atleast 10 years in succession
  • A distinguish jurist in opinion of President (a highly qualified academia / law professor)

 

Tenure of Supreme Court Judges

  • 65 years for Supreme Court Judge
  • 3 years more than that of High court Judge

 

Salary of Supreme Court Judges

  • Chief Justice 1 lakh
  • Other Judges 90,000
  • From consolidated fund of India

 

Removal of Supreme Court Judges

By order of President, after an address in each house of parliament, supported by a majority of total membership of the house & passed by a resolution supported by not less than 2/3rd of the members present & voting.

Lok Sabha A motion can be preferred before the house if signed by 100 members
Rajya Sabha A motion can be preferred before the house if signed by 50 members

 

  • Only on grounds of proven misbehavior or incapacity
  • Only after giving 14 days prior notice to said Judge against whom the motion is passed
  • A 3 persons judicial committee is formed headed by serving judge of SC + 2 others from (SC or HC or eminent jurists)
  • Report of same must be passed by both the houses & President

Acting CJ & Ad Hoc Judges

Appointment of Acting CJ By President if CJ is ill or incapable to serve

Appointment of Ad-hoc Judges

  • IF there is lack of quorum of Judges of SC to hold or continue any session in court, CJ of India with previous consent of President & after consultation with CJ of HC concerned, request in writing the attendance of judges to sit in SC as ad-hoc judges for certain period (Judges shall be qualified to be judges of SC)
  • Retired judges of SC can sit in SC as adhoc Judges on request of CJ after consent of President, provided they fulfill the criteria of SC

 

Note 

  • Criminal proceedings initiation against a judge of SC or HC requires CJs consent
  • After retirement, a Judge of SC is prohibited from practising or acting as a judge in any court
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