The Judiciary

The supreme court

  • Article 124 provides for the establishment of the Supreme Court with a chief justice and seven other judges.  
  • It authorizes parliament to increase the number of judges by law.
  • The number as fixed by law in 2008 was 31 in addition to the chief justice.
  • Appointment of judges.
  • Appointed by the president after consulation with the council of ministers such judges of the Supreme Court and of the high courts as he may deem necessary.
  • Usually the senior most judge of the Supreme Court is appointed as chief justice.
  • The advice of the Chief Justice is obligatory.


Qualification of the Judges

  • A citizen of India.
  • A distinguished jurist or 
  • Has been a high court judge for at least 5 years.
  • Has been an advocate of a high court for at least 10 years.



  • The chief justice gets  1 lakh per mensem as the basic salary.
  • Other judge age  90,000 per mensem.



  • Retirement at the age of 65 years.
  • By an order of the President passed after an address by each House of parliament “on the ground of misbehavior or incapacity” supported by a majority of the total membership of the House and by a majority of not less than two-thirds of the members present and voting is presented to him in the same session.


Power and jurisdiction of the court 

  • Under article 131 it has power to hear and determine the disputes between-  § The Govt. of India and one more States.
    • The Govt. of India and one or more States on one side and one or more States on the other.
    • Two or more States.  


  • Under the new article 139 A inserted by the 44th amendment in 1978, the supreme court may transfer to itself cases from one or more high courts if these involve questions of law or of great importance. 
      • Entertain an application for the issue of a constitutional write for the enforcement of fundamental right. Under write jurisdiction (art 32) 
      • The individual has the right to directly move the Supreme Court by presenting a petition.
  • It is the highest court of appeal from all courts in the territory of India under appellate jurisdiction regarding civil, criminal & constitutional matters. 
  • It has an advisory jurisdiction to give its opinion, on any question of law or fact of public importance as may be referred to its consideration by the president.



  • Consists of the chief justice and other judges.
  • At present the number of High Court is 21 in India.




  • Judges of the high court are appointed by the president after consultation with the chief justice of India, the Governor of the State & the chief justice of the high court. 
  • The chief justice of the high court is appointed by the President after consultation with the chief justice of India & the Governor of the State.



  • Must be a citizen of India.
  • Ten years’ service in a judicial office or 
  • Ten years experience as a high court advocate.



  • A judge of the high court gets a salary of  80,000 per mensem.
  • Chief justice of the high court gets a salary of  90,000 per mensem.



  • By retirement at the age of 62 years.
  • By resignation in writing addressed to the President.
  • By being appointed a judge of the Supreme Court or being transferred to any other high court, by the president.
  • By the president on an address of both Houses of Parliament, supported by the vote of 2/3 of the member present, on the ground of proved misbehaviour or incapacity.


Powers of the high courts

  • Each high court has powers of superitendence over all the courts and tribunals (Article 227)
  • Every high court has power throughout the territory under its jurisdiction to issue to any person or authority directions, orders or writs including writs of habeas corpus, prohibition, quo warranto and certiorari or any of them for the enforcement of the fundamental rights or for any other purpose (Art 226)
  • The appellate jurisdiction of the high court is both civil & criminal.