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Supreme Court of India

Supreme Court of India
Supreme Court of India


To uphold the preeminence of the Constitution, it's imperative to have an impartial and autonomous authority to resolve disputes among the federating units. Our Constitution designates the Supreme Court as such an arbitrator.

Functioning as the Apex Court, it serves as the ultimate interpreter and custodian of the Constitution, thereby preserving the democratic framework. 

Its role extends to curbing the arbitrary exercise of governmental power and safeguarding the rights of individuals, serving as the guardian of fundamental rights and upholder of the principles of the 'Rule of Law.' Additionally, as the final Court of Appeal across civil, criminal, and other domains, it ensures the uniform application of law nationwide.

However, in recent times, administrative bodies have emerged as alternative adjudicators, predominantly under executive influence.

While the Constitution endeavours to ensure the judiciary's independence through various mechanisms, such as the consultation with the Chief Justice in appointing Supreme Court judges and the rigorous process for judge removal, there exists a significant erosion of judicial independence due to Union oversight over High Courts, notably through the transfer of judges. 

This dynamic fosters an atmosphere of distrust and favouritism in judicial appointments and promotions, where judges may feel pressured to align with the government's stance to evade transfers.

Moreover, the reluctance of the government to fill judicial vacancies based on merit exacerbates the issue, as the priority shifts from competence to loyalty to the official agenda.

Composition of Supreme Court

The Supreme Court of India shall consist of the Chief Justice and not more than 33 other (Puisne) judges (the number is prescribed by law made by parliament).

Thus, the total number of judges in the Supreme Court at present is 34. The strength of the Supreme Court was originally fixed at one ChiefJustice and 7 other Judges by virtue of Art. 124(1). But Parliament was given power to increase the number of Judges.

It has been held that the number of judges should commensurate with the amount of work, otherwise, -the judiciary cannot perform its constitutional obligation.


To be eligible for appointment as a judge of the Supreme Court, certain qualifications must be met:

(1) the individual must be a citizen of India,

(2) they must have served as a judge of a High Court for a minimum of five consecutive years, or as a judge of two or more High Courts in succession, or

They must have practised as an advocate in a High Court or multiple High Courts for a continuous period of 10 years.

Additionally, at the discretion of the President, a person recognized as a distinguished jurist may also qualify for appointment under Article 124(3).

Appointment of Judges

The appointment process for Judges of the Supreme Court is outlined as follows: Each Judge is appointed by the President through a warrant bearing his signature and seal.

This appointment is made after consultation with a select group of Judges from both the Supreme Court and the High Courts in the States, as deemed necessary by the President under Article 124(2).

However, it's mandated that when appointing a Judge other than the Chief Justice, the consultation with the Chief Justice of India is obligatory.

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