Discuss in detail, the jurisdiction and power of the Supreme Court of India.
Ans. The Supreme Court is a court of record as stated in Article, 129. Dr. Amkedkar defined a court of record as “a court the records of which are admitted to be of evidentiary value and they are not to be questioned when they are produced before any court”. Article 129 furtherays that the Supreme Court shall have all the powers of such a court including the power to punish for contempt of itself. Dr. Ambedkar described this power as a necessary consequence from the status of a court as a court of record. Jurisdiction.—The Supreme Court of India has three kinds of jurisdiction : (I) Original, (2) Appel late, and (3) Advisory. .
1. Original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.—Article 131 deal with the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court shall, to the exclusion of any other court, have original jurisdiction in any dispute—(a) between the Government of India and one or more State; or
(b) between the Government of India and any State or States on one side and one or more other States on the other; or (c) between two or more States.
The jurisdiction of the Supreme Court shall not extend to the following matters :—
(1) a dispute arising of a treaty, agreement, covenant, engagement, Sanad or other similar instrument which having been entered into or executed before the commencement of this Constitution continues in operation after such commencement, or which provide that the said jurisdiction shall not extend to such a dispute (Art, 131)
(2) under Art. 262 Parliament may by law exclude the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court in disputes with respect to the use, distribution or control of the water of any inter State river or river valley;
(3) matter referred to the Finance Commission are also excluded from the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court (Art. 280); ,
(4) the adjustment of certain expenses between the Union and the State (Article 290). In Union of India v. State of Rajasthah, (1984) 4 SCC 238, the Supreitie Court has held that a suit for the recovery of damages against the Government of India is not under Art, 131 of the Constitution. The Constitution (44th Amendment) Act, 1978 has substituted a new Art. 139- A which empowers the Supreme Court to transfer cases from any High Court to another High Court if is expedient to do so for the end of the justice. Clause (2) provide that if on an application made by the Attorney-General or by a party to any such case the Supreme Court is satisfied that it involves the question of law or such questions are of general importance which is pending before it of before one or more High Courts, may withdraw the case and dispose it itself. Article 32 confers original jurisdiction oivthe Supreme Court. Whenever there is an infringement of any of the rights conferred by the Part 111 of the Constitution i.e. Fundamental rights, the Supreme Court can issue writs for the restoration of Fundamental rights of Habeas Corpus, Mandamus, Prohibition rights. These writs may be in the nature of Habeas, Caorpus, Mandamus, Certiorari, Quo warranto and Prohibition.
2. Appellate jurisdiction.—Article 132 says an appeal shall lie to the Supreme Court from any judgment, 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-A that the case involves a substantial question of law as to the interpretation of this Constitution. Thus the Appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court extends to three Branches; (a) Civil, (b) Criminal, and (c) Constitutional.
(A) Appellate jurisdiction in civil cases.—(1) An appeal shall lie to the Supreme Court from any judgment, decree or final order in a civil proceeding of a High Court in the territory of India if the High Court certifies, under Article 134-A,— (i) that in the opinion of the High Court the said question needs to be decided by the Supreme Court. Thus the 30th Amendment removes the condition of monetary value that an appeal could go to the Supreme Court only when the amount or value in dispute was not less than Rs. 20,000. Under Art. 132 now an appeal will lie in the Supreme Court only if the High Court certifies under the new Article 134-A that the case involves a substantial question of law of general importance. The requirement under the amended Article is very strict and both the conditions must be fulfiled.
(B) Appellate Jurisdiction in criminal cases.—According to Article 134 an appeal lies to the Supreme Court from any judgment, final order or sentence in a criminal prdceeding of a High Court in the following two ways (1) with a certificate of the High Court; (2) without a certificate of the High Court. (1) With a certificate the High Court.—Under clause (c) an appeal lies to the Suprem Court if the High Court certifies under Article 134-A (Added by 44h Amendment, 1978) that it is a fit case for appeal to the Surpeme Court [Article 134 (c)]. Under the new Art. 134-A the High Court can grant a certifi-cate for appeal to the Supreme Court under Art. 132 either on its own motion or on ‘oral’ application of the aggrieved party immediately after passing the judgment, decree or final order. Prior to this, the High Court do so only on the application of the aggrieved party. Under new Article (134-A), it can now grant a certificate on its own motion if it deems fit. (2) Without a certificate.—(a) has on appeal reversed an order of acquittal of an accused person and sentenced him to death. (b) has withdrawn for trial before itself, any case from any court subordiante to its authority and has in such trial convicted the accused person and sentenced him to death. But if the High Court has reversed the order of conviction and has ordered the acquittal of an accused, no appeal would lie to the Supreme Court. Under Art. 134 (2) the Supreme Couet has not been constituted as a general Court of Criminal appeal. It would entertain appeal from the judgments of the High Courts only in exceptional circumstances when there is likelyhood of injustice to be caused to the party, Sidheshivar Ganguly v. State of West Bengal, A.I.R. 1958 S.C. 143, Under Art. 134 (2) the Supreme Court does not interfere with concurrent findings of facts any High Court to any other High Court. According to Article 140, Parliament may confer supplementary powers necessary for an effective exercise of jurisdiction by the Court. Rule making Powers of Supreme Court.—Subject to any law made by the Parliament, the Supreme Court may from time to time, with the approval of the President, make rules for regulating the practice and procedure of the court and also the rules as to the proceedings in the court under Articles 131-A and 139-A (Article 145). Appointments of officers and servants of the Supreme Court shall be made by the Chief Justice of India or such other judge of officer of the Court as he may direct (Article 146).