Original Jurisdiction Of The Supreme Court

Subject to the provisions of this constitution, the Supreme Court shall, the exclusion of any other court, have original jurisdiction in any dispute

• Between the Government of India and one or more states

• Between the Government of India and any state or states or one side and one or more other states on the other

• Between two or more states

This Jurisdiction does not extend to treaties signed before the commencement of the constitution and its scope does not extend to

• complaints as to interference with interstate water supplies referred to statutory tribunal
mentioned in Article 262 with Inter-state water (1) disputes Act. 1956, S. 11 (xxxxiii);

• matters referred to the finance commission (Art. 280);

• adjustment of finances between the union and states (Art. 290); and

• a reference to the Supreme Court under Article 131 read with Article 363 (1).

  • Under this Jurisdiction, the first suit brought before the Supreme Court was between West Bengal and Union of India in 1961, to declare the unconstitutionality of the Coal Bearing Areas (Acquisition and Development) Act, 1957, was dismissed by the Supreme Court.
  • According to Article 71 of the Constitution the Supreme Court exercises original jurisdiction and matters relat¬ing to election of President and vice-President where its decision is final.
  • The election of VV. Giri as President and G.S. Pathak as Vice-President of India in 1996 was challenged in the Supreme Court Justice S.M. Sikri upheld the election of V.V. Giri and G.S. Pathak

Appellate Jurisdiction (Art 132)

  • As a court of appeal, the Supreme Court is a final appellate tribunal of the land. The power of reviewing and revising the orders of lower courts and tribunals by the Supreme Court is called the appellate Jurisdiction.
    An appeal shall lie to the Supreme Court from any judgement, decree or final order of a High Court in the territory of India whether in a civil, criminal or other proceeding (if the High Court certifies under Article 134 ‘1\) that the case involves a substantial question of law as to the inter¬pretation of this constitution. Where such a certificate is given, any party in the case may appeal to the SC on the ground that any such question as aforesaid has been wrongly decided.
  • In fact, the Appellate Jurisdiction of Supreme Court is three folds:
  • Constitutional: In the constitutional matters, an appeal lies to the Supreme Court if the High Court certifies that the case involves a substantial question of law as to the interpretation of tbci constitution.
  • If the High Court refuses to give the certificate, the Supreme Court may grant special 1 for appeal if it is satisfied that the case does involve such a question.
  • Civil Matters (Art. 133): In civil cases, an appeal lies to the Supreme court if a High Court fies that the value of the subject matter of the dispute is not less than Rs. 20,000 or that the is fit for appeal to the Supreme Court.
    The appellate jurisdiction of the court in civil cases can be enlarged if the Parliament passes a law to that effect.
    Criminal Matters (Art. 134): In the criminal cases, an appeal lies to the Supreme Court if the High Court has, on appeal, reversed the order of acquittal of an accused and sentenced him to death Has withdrawn for trial before itself any case from any subordinate and has in such trial convicted the accused and sentenced him to death Certifies that the case is fit for appeal to the Supreme Court
  • The Appellate Jurisdiction of the Supreme Court in criminal matters can be extended by the Parliament, subject to such conditions and limitations as may be specified there in.
  • The Supreme Court under Article 136 enjoys the power of granting special leave to appeal from any judgment, decrees order or sentence in any case or matter passed by any court or tribunal except court martials.

Advisory Jurisdiction (Art. 143): One of the salient features of the Supreme Court of India is its consultative role:

  • The President can refer to the court either a question of law or a question of fact, provided that it is of public importance.
  • However, it is not compulsory for the court to give its advice.
  • The President is empowered to refer to the Supreme Court for its opinion (under Art. 138), disputes arising out of any treaty, agreement, etc., which has been entered into or executed before the commencement of the constitution.
  • In such cases, it is obligatory for the courts, under the Indian Constitution, to give its opinion to the President.
    Moreover, the Supreme Court has writ and revisory jurisdiction, i.e., as follows:

Writ Jurisdiction:

  • Article 32 imposes duty on the Supreme Court to enforce the Fundamental rights. Under this Article, every individual has a right to move the Supreme Court directly if there has been any infringement on his Fundamental Rights. The writ Jurisdiction sometimes is referred to as the Original Jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, but in the strict sense, Original Jurisdiction relates to the federal character of the Constitution.

Revisory Jurisdiction:

  • The Supreme Court under Article 137 is empowered to review an judgment or order made by it with a view to remove any mistake or error that might have crept in the judgment or orders. This means that even though all the judgments and order passed by Supreme Court are binding an all courts of India, they are not binding on the Supreme Court.

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