Supreme Court of India
|Supreme Court of India
भारत का उच्चतम न्यायालय
|Established||28 January 1950|
|Composition method||Executive selection (Qualifications imposed)|
|Authorized by||Constitution of India|
|Decisions are appealed to||President of India for Clemency/Commutation of sentence|
|Judge term length||65 years of age|
|Number of positions||31 (30+1)|
|यतो धर्मस्ततो जयः॥ Whence dharma, thence victory.|
|Chief Justice of India|
|Since||29 September 2012|
|Lead position ends||28 September 2012(Month turning 01)|
|Jurist term ends||28 July 2013(Month turning 01)|
|This article is part of the series:
Politics and government of
The Supreme Court of India is the highest judicial forum and final court of appeal as established by Part V, Chapter IV of the Constitution of India. According to the Constitution of India, the role of the Supreme Court is that of a federal court and guardian of the Constitution.
Articles 124 to 147 of the Constitution of India lay down the composition and jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of India. The Supreme Court is meant to be the last resort and highest appellate court which takes up appeals against the verdicts of the High Courts of the states and territories. Also, disputes between states or petitions involving a serious infringement of fundamental and human rights are usually brought directly to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court of India held its inaugural sitting on 28 January 1950, and since then has delivered more than 24,000 reported judgments.
Constitution of the court 
On 28 January 1950, two days after India became a sovereign democratic republic, the Supreme Court came into being. The inauguration took place in the Chamber of Princes in the Parliament building. The Chamber of Princes had earlier been the seat of the Federal Court of India for 12 years, between 1937 and 1950, and was the seat of the Supreme Court until the Supreme Court acquired its present premises in 1958.
After its inauguration on 28 January 1950, the Supreme Court commenced its sittings in the Chamber of Princes in the Parliament House. The Court moved into the present building in 1958. The Supreme Court Bar Association is the bar of the highest court. The current president of the SCBA is M.N. Krishnamani.
The Registry of the Supreme Court is headed by the Secretary General who is assisted in his work by seven Registrars, and twenty one Additional Registrars etc. Article 146 of the Constitution deals with the appointments of officers and servants of the Supreme Court Registry.
Supreme Court Advocates 
There are three categories of Advocates who are entitled to practise law before the Supreme Court of India:-
Senior Advocates 
These are Advocates who are designated as Senior Advocates by the Supreme Court of India or by any High Court. The Court can designate any Advocate, with his consent, as Senior Advocate if in its opinion by virtue of his ability, standing at the Bar or special knowledge or experience in law the said Advocate is deserving of such distinction. A Senior Advocate is not entitled to appear without an Advocate-on-Record in the Supreme Court or without a junior in any other court or tribunal in India. He is also not entitled to accept instructions to draw pleadings or affidavits, advise on evidence or do any drafting work of an analogous kind in any court or tribunal in India or undertake conveyancing work of any kind whatsoever but this prohibition shall not extend to settling any such matter as aforesaid in consultation with a junior.
Only these Advocates are entitled to file any matter or document before the Supreme Court. They can also file an appearance or act for a party in the Supreme Court.
Other Advocates 
These are Advocates whose names are entered on the roll of any State Bar Council maintained under the Advocates Act, 1961 and they can appear and argue any matter on behalf of a party in the Supreme Court but they are not entitled to file any document or matter before the Court.
The Supreme Court Building and its architecture 
The main block of the Supreme Court building was built on a square plot of 22 acres and the building was designed by chief architect Ganesh Bhikaji Deolalikar who was the first Indian to head CPWD and designed the Supreme Court Building in an Indo – British architectural style. He was succeeded by Shridher Krishna Joglekar. The Court moved into the present building in 1958. The building is shaped to project the image of scales of justice with the Central Wing of the building corresponding to the centre beam of the Scales. In 1979, two new wings—the East Wing and the West Wing—were added to the complex. In all there are 15 court rooms in the various wings of the building. The Chief Justice's Court is the largest of the courtrooms located in the centre of the Central Wing.
Size of the court 
As originally enacted, the Constitution of India provided for a Supreme Court with a Chief Justice and seven lower-ranking Judges—leaving it to Indian Parliament to increase this number. In the early years, a full bench of the Supreme Court sat together to hear the cases presented before them. As the work of the Court increased and cases began to accumulate, Parliament increased the number of Judges from the original eight in 1950 to eleven in 1956, fourteen in 1960, eighteen in 1978, twenty-six in 1986 and thirty one in 2008. As the number of the Judges has increased, they have sat in smaller Benches of two or three (referred to as a Division Bench)—coming together in larger Benches of five or more (referred to as a Constitutional Bench) only when required to settle fundamental questions of law. Any bench may refer the case under consideration up to a larger bench if the need to do so arises.
- The person must be a citizen of India
- Judge of a High Court or of two or more such Courts in succession for at least five years, or
- An Advocate of a High Court or of two or more such Courts in succession for at least ten years, or
- The person must be, in the opinion of the President, a distinguished jurist.
A Judge of a High Court or retired Judge of the Supreme Court or High Courts may be appointed as an ad-hoc Judge of the Supreme Court.
Appointments and the Collegium 
Judges of Supreme Court are appointed by the President of India, who acts on the advice of the Union Cabinet. The position of Chief Justice of India is attained on the basis of seniority amongst the judges serving on the court. Subsequent to the rulings in the Three Judges Cases (1982, 1993, 1998), the President has to appoint judges who have been chosen by the Supreme Court's collegium – a closed group comprising the Chief Justice of India and the four senior most associate judges of the court. The Union Cabinet and Parliament have almost no role to play in the appointment of judges to the Supreme Court or to any of India's twenty-two High Courts. The Supreme Court collegium appoints judges to its own bench as well as to benches of the High Courts. It also appoints Chief Justices of the various High Courts. The proceedings of the collegium are not public and have been fiercely guarded by the court, with rulings against right to information (RTI) applicants who sought to know how appointments are made. Each of the five judges on the collegium has to approve of a possible appointee, i.e., they each have a veto power to prevent the elevation of any judge of a High Court or a senior lawyer/jurist who is to be elevated. Appointments have to be unanimous choice of the collegium.
Supreme Court judges retire at the age of 65. A judge of Supreme Court can be removed by the procedure prescribed in Article 124(4) of Constitution of India on ground of proved misconduct or incapacity or judge resigning from his office addressed to the President of India. The procedure prescribed for removal of Supreme Court judge should not be called an impeachment procedure because this procedure is provided only for the removal of the President of India under Article 61 of Constitution of India on ground of violation of the Constitution.
Article 125 of the Indian Constitution leaves it to the Indian Parliament to determine the salary, other allowances, leave of absence, pension, etc. of the Supreme Court judges. However, the Parliament cannot alter any of these privileges and rights to the judge's disadvantage after his appointment. A judge gets 90,000 and the Chief Justice gets a sum of 1,00,000.
Court demographics 
The Supreme Court has always maintained a wide regional representation. It also has had a good share of Judges belonging to religious and ethnic minorities. The first woman to be appointed to the Supreme Court was Justice Fatima Beevi in 1987. She was later followed by Justices Sujata Manohar, Ruma Pal and Gyan Sudha Mishra. Justice Ranjana Desai, who was elevated from the Bombay High Court is the most recent woman judge in the Supreme Court, so that for the first time there were two women (Mishra and Desai) simultaneously in the Supreme Court.
In 2000 Justice K. G. Balakrishnan became the first judge from the dalit community. In 2007 he also became the first dalit Chief Justice of India. In 2010, Justice SH Kapadia coming from a Parsi minority community became the Chief Justice of India. The current Chief Justice, Altamas Kabir, was sworn in on 29 September 2012 and will hold the office till 18 July 2013.
The Supreme Court has original, appellate and advisory jurisdiction under Articles 32, 131–144 of the Constitution.
Original jurisdiction 
The court has exclusive original jurisdiction over any dispute between the Government of India and one or more States or between the Government of India and any State or States on one side and one or more States on the other or between two or more States, if and insofar as the dispute involves any question (whether of law or of fact) on which the existence or extent of a legal right depends. In addition, Article 32 of the Constitution grants an extensive original jurisdiction to the Supreme Court in regard to enforcement of Fundamental Rights. It is empowered to issue directions, orders or writs, including writs in the nature of habeas corpus, mandamus, prohibition, quo warranto and certiorari to enforce them.
Appellate jurisdiction 
The appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court can be invoked by a certificate granted by the High Court concerned under Articles 132(1), 133(1) or 134 of the Constitution in respect of any judgment, decree or final order of a High Court in both civil and criminal cases, involving substantial questions of law as to the interpretation of the Constitution. The Supreme Court can also grant special leave under article 136(1) to appeal from a judgment. Parliament has the power to enlarge the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court and has exercised this power in case of criminal appeals by enacting the Supreme Court (Enlargement of Criminal Appellate Jurisdiction) Act, 1970.
Appeals also lie to the Supreme Court in civil matters if the High Court concerned certifies : (a) that the case involves a substantial question of law of general importance, and (b) that, in the opinion of the High Court, the said question needs to be decided by the Supreme Court. In criminal cases, an appeal lies to the Supreme Court if the High Court (a) has on appeal reversed an order of acquittal of an accused person and sentenced him to death or to imprisonment for life or for a period of not less than 10 years, or (b) has withdrawn for trial before itself any case from any Court subordinate to its authority and has in such trial convicted the accused and sentenced him to death or to imprisonment for life or for a period of not less than 10 years, or (c) certified that the case is a fit one for appeal to the Supreme Court. Parliament is authorised to confer on the Supreme Court any further powers to entertain and hear appeals from any judgment, final order or sentence in a criminal proceeding of a High Court.
Advisory jurisdiction 
The Supreme Court has special advisory jurisdiction in matters which may specifically be referred to it by the President of India under Article 143 of the Constitution.There are provisions for reference or appeal to this Court under Article 317(1) of the Constitution, Section 257 of the Income Tax Act, 1961, Section 7(2) of the Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Act, 1969, Section 130-A of the Customs Act, 1962, Section 35-H of the Central Excises and Salt Act, 1944 and Section 82C of the Gold (Control) Act, 1968. Appeals also lie to the Supreme Court under the Representation of the People Act, 1951, Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Act, 1969, Advocates Act, 1961, Contempt of Courts Act, 1971, Customs Act, 1962, Central Excises and Salt Act, 1944, Enlargement of Criminal Appellate Jurisdiction Act, 1970, Trial of Offences Relating to Transactions in Securities Act, 1992, Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act, 1987 and Consumer Protection Act, 1986. Election Petitions under Part III of the Presidential and Vice Presidential Elections Act, 1952 are also filed directly in the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court has the power to transfer the cases from one High Court to another and even from one District Court of a particular state to another District Court of the other state. In such transfer cases the Hon'ble Supreme Court transfer only those cases if they really lack appropriate territorial jurisdiction and those cases which were otherwise supposed to be filed under the high court
|This section requires expansion. (May 2012)|
The Constitution of India under Article 145 empowers the supreme court to frame its own rules for regulating the practice and procedure of the Court as and when required (with the approval of the President). Accordingly, "Supreme Court Rules, 1950" were framed. They were replaced by the present rules called as "Supreme Court Rules, 1966"
Case selection 
Oral arguments 
Reporting and citation 
Supreme Court Reports is the official journal of Reportable Supreme Court Decisions. It is published under the authority of the Supreme Court of India by the Controller of Publications, Government of India, Delhi.
Judicial independence 
The Constitution seeks to ensure the independence of Supreme Court Judges in various ways. Judges are generally appointed on the basis of seniority and not on political preference. A Judge of the Supreme Court cannot be removed from office except by an order of the President passed after an address in each House of Parliament supported by a majority of the total membership of that House and by a majority of not less than two-thirds of members present and voting, and presented to the President in the same Session for such removal on the ground of proved misbehaviour or incapacity. The salary and allowances of a judge of the Supreme Court cannot be reduced after appointment. A person who has been a Judge of the Supreme Court is debarred from practising in any court of law or before any other authority in India.
Power to review its own judgements 
Under Order XL of the Supreme Court Rules, the Supreme Court may review its judgment or order but no application for review is to be entertained in a civil proceeding except on the grounds mentioned in Order XLVII, Rule 1 of the Code of Civil Procedure and in a criminal proceeding except on the ground of an error apparent on the face of the record.
Powers to punish contempt 
Under Articles 129 and 142 of the Constitution the Supreme Court has been vested with power to punish anyone for contempt of any law court in India including itself. The Supreme Court performed an unprecedented action when it directed a sitting Minister of the state of Maharashtra, Swaroop Singh Naik, to be jailed for 1-month on a charge of contempt of court on 12 May 2006. This was the first time that a serving Minister was ever jailed.
Jammu and Kashmir 
With reference to the State of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) it would be relevant to note that, J&K has for various historical reasons a special status vis-a-vis the other states of India. Article 370 of the Constitution of India carves out certain exceptions for J&K. The Constitution of India is not fully applicable to the state of J&K. This is the effect of Article 370. The Constitution of India is applicable to the state of J&K with various modifications and exceptions. These are provided for in the Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 1954. Also, Jammu and Kashmir, unlike the other Indian states, also has its own Constitution. Although the Constitution of India is applicable to Jammu and Kashmir with numerous modifications, the Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 1954 makes Article 141 applicable to the state of J&K and hence law declared by Supreme Court is equally applicable to all courts of J&K including the High Court.
Landmark judgments: Judiciary-Legislature confrontations 
Land reform (early confrontation) 
After some of the courts overturned state laws redistributing land from zamindar (landlord) estates on the grounds that the laws violated the zamindars' fundamental rights, the Parliament of India passed the First Amendment to the Constitution in 1951 followed by the Fourth Amendment in 1955 to protect its authority to implement land redistribution. The Supreme Court countered these amendments in 1967 when it ruled in Golaknath v. State of Punjab that Parliament did not have the power to abrogate fundamental rights, including the provisions on private property.
Other laws deemed unconstitutional 
- On 1 February 1970, the Supreme Court invalidated the government-sponsored Bank Nationalization Bill that had been passed by Parliament in August 1969.
- The Supreme Court also rejected as unconstitutional a presidential order of 7 September 1970, that abolished the titles, privileges, and privy purses of the former rulers of India's old princely states.
Response from Parliament 
- In reaction to the decisions of the Supreme Court, in 1971 the Parliament of India passed an amendment empowering itself to amend any provision of the constitution, including the fundamental rights.
- The Parliament of India passed the 25th Amendment, making legislative decisions concerning proper land compensation non-justiciable.
- The Parliament of India passed an amendment to the Constitution of India, which added a constitutional article abolishing princely privileges and privy purses.
Counter-response from the Supreme Court 
The Court ruled that the basic structure of the constitution cannot be altered for convenience. On 24 April 1973, the Supreme Court responded to the parliamentary offensive by ruling in Kesavananda Bharati v. The State of Kerala that although these amendments were constitutional, the court still reserved for itself the discretion to reject any constitutional amendments passed by Parliament by declaring that the amendments cannot change the constitution's "basic structure", a decision piloted through by Chief Justice Sikri.
Emergency and Government of India 
The independence of judiciary was severely curtailed on account of powerful central government during the Indian Emergency (1975-1977) of Indira Gandhi. The constitutional rights of imprisoned persons were restricted under Preventive detention laws passed by the parliament. In the case of Shiva Kant Shukla Additional District Magistrate of Jabalpur v. Shiv Kant Shukla, popularly known as the Habeas Corpus case, a bench of five seniormost judges of Supreme court ruled in favour of state's right for unrestricted powers of detention during emergency. Justices A.N. Ray, P. N. Bhagwati, Y. V. Chandrachud, and M.H. Beg, stated in the majority decision:
- (under the declaration of emergency) no person has any locus to move any writ petition under Art. 226 before a High Court for habeas corpus or any other writ or order or direction to challenge the legality of an order of detention.
The only dissenting opinion was from Justice H. R. Khanna, who stated:
- detention without trial is an anathema to all those who love personal liberty... A dissent is an appeal to the brooding spirit of the law, to the intelligence of a future day, when a later decision may possibly correct the error into which the dissenting Judge believes the court to have been betrayed.
It is believed that before delivering his dissenting opinion, Justice Khanna had mentioned to his sister: I have prepared my judgment, which is going to cost me the Chief Justice-ship of India." When the central Government is to recommend one of Supreme court Judges for the post of Chief Justice in January 1977,Justice Khanna was superseded despite being the most senior judge at the time and thereby Government broke the convention of appointing only the senior most judge to the position of Chief Justice of India. In fact, it was felt that the other judges may have gone along for this very reason. Justice Khanna remains a legendary figure among the legal fraternity in India for this decision.
The New York Times, wrote of this opinion: "The submission of an independent judiciary to absolutist government is virtually the last step in the destruction of a democratic society; and the Indian Supreme Court's decision appears close to utter surrender."
During the emergency period, the government also passed the 39th amendment, which sought to limit judicial review for the election of the Prime Minister; only a body constituted by Parliament could review this election. The court tamely agreed with this curtailment (1975), despite the earlier Keshavanand decision. Subsequently, the parliament, with most opposition members in jail during the emergency, passed the 42nd Amendment which prevented any court from reviewing any amendment to the constitution with the exception of procedural issues concerning ratification. A few years after the emergency, however, the Supreme court rejected the absoluteness of the 42nd amendment and reaffirmed its power of judicial review in the Minerva Mills case (1980).
As a final act during the emergency, in what Justice V. R. Krishna Iyer has called "a stab on the independence of the High Court", judges were moved helter-skelter across the country, in concurrence with Chief Justice Beg.
Post-1980: an assertive Supreme Court 
Fortunately for Indian jurisprudence, the "brooding spirit of the law" referred to by Justice Khanna was to correct the excesses of the emergency soon enough.
After Indira Gandhi lost elections in 1977, the new government of Morarji Desai, and especially law minister Shanti Bhushan (who had earlier argued for the detenues in the Habeas Corpus case), introduced a number of amendments making it more difficult to declare and sustain an emergency, and reinstated much of the power to the Supreme Court. It is said that the Basic Structure doctrine, created in Kesavananda, was strengthened in Indira Gandhi's case and set in stone in Minerva Mills.
The Supreme Court's creative and expansive interpretations of Article 21 (Life and Personal Liberty), primarily after the Emergency period, have given rise to a new jurisprudence of public interest litigation that has vigorously promoted many important economic and social rights (constitutionally protected but not enforceable) including, but not restricted to, the rights to free education, livelihood, a clean environment, food and many others. Civil and political rights (traditionally protected in the Fundamental Rights chapter of the Indian Constitution) have also been expanded and more fiercely protected. These new interpretations have opened the avenue for litigation on a number of important issues. It is interesting to note that the pioneer of the expanded interpretation of Article 21, Chief Justice P N Bhagwati, was also one of the judges who heard the ADM Jabalpur case, and held that the Right to Life could not be claimed in Emergency
Recent important cases 
Among the important pronouncements of the Supreme Court post 2000 is the Coelho case (I.R. Coelho v. State of Tamil Nadu (Judgment of 11the January 2007). A unanimous Bench of 9 judges reaffirmed the basic structure doctrine. An authority on the Indian Constitution, former Attorney-General Soli Sorabjee commented on the judgment, "The judgment in I.R. Coelho vigorously reaffirms the doctrine of basic structure. Indeed it has gone further and held that a constitutional amendment which entails violation of any fundamental rights which the Court regards as forming part of the basic structure of the Constitution then the same can be struck down depending upon its impact and consequences. The judgment clearly imposes further limitations on the constituent power of Parliament with respect to the principles underlying certain fundamental rights. The judgment in Coelho has in effect restored the decision in Golak Nath regarding non-amendability of the Constitution on account of infraction of fundamental rights, contrary to the judgment in Kesavananda Bharati case.
Another important decision was of the five-judge Bench in Ashoka Kumara Thakur v. Union of India; where the constitutional validity of Central Educational Institutions (Reservations in Admissions) Act, 2006 was upheld, subject to the "creamy layer" criteria. Importantly, the Court refused to follow the 'strict scrutiny' standards of review followed by the United States Supreme Court. At the same time, the Court has applied the strict scrutiny standards in Anuj Garg v. Hotel Association of India (2007) ()
In Aravalli Golf Course and other cases, the Supreme Court (particularly Justice Markandey Katju) has expressed reservations about taking on an increasingly activist role.
2G spectrum scam 
In extraordinary situations where corruption in allotment of mobile licenses has caused an estimated astronomical loss of Rs 1,76,000 crores, a Bench comprising Justices G S Singhvi and A K Ganguly told CBI to inform who the beneficiaries and conspirators in parking funds in foreign bank accounts were.
Black money 
The government refused to disclose details of about 18 Indians holding accounts in LGT Bank, Liechtenstein, evoking a sharp response from a Bench comprising Justices B Sudershan Reddy and S S Nijjar to “Make up your mind whether you can make the disclosure.” The Solicitor General of India replied that it will be done “at the appropriate stage.” Lack of enthusiasm made the court create a special investigative team (SIT).
Minority reservations 
The SC refused to stay the Andhra High Court judgement quashing 4.5% sub-quota for minorities under OBC reservation quota of 27% .
Corruption and misconduct of judges 
The year 2008 has seen the Supreme Court in one controversy after another, from serious allegations of corruption at the highest level of the judiciary, expensive private holidays at the tax payers expense, refusal to divulge details of judges' assets to the public, secrecy in the appointments of judges', to refusal to make information public under the Right to Information Act. The Chief Justice of India K.G.Balakrishnan invited a lot of criticism for his comments on his post not being that of a public servant, but that of a constitutional authority. He later went back on this stand. The judiciary has come in for serious criticisms from both the former Presidents of India Pratibha Patil and APJ Abdul Kalam for failure in handling its duties. The Prime Minister, Dr.Manmohan Singh, has stated that corruption is one of the major challenges facing the judiciary, and suggested that there is an urgent need to eradicate this menace.
The Cabinet Secretary of the Indian Government has recently introduced the Judges Inquiry (Amendment) Bill 2008 in Parliament for setting up of a panel called the National Judicial Council, headed by the Chief Justice of India, that will probe into allegations of corruption and misconduct by High Court and Supreme Court judges. However, even this bill is allegedly a farce, just meant to silence and suppress the public. As per this Bill, a panel of judges themselves will be judging the judges,this inquiry can be initiated against the Chief Justice of India or against retired judges by the order of President,Cabinet Secretary and Parliament then they are suspended.
Senior judges 
- Supreme Court Bench, Justice B N Agrawal, Justice V S Sirpurkar :
"We are not giving the certificate that no judge is corrupt. Black sheep are everywhere. It's only a question of degree."
- Supreme Court Judge, Justice Agarwal:
"What about the character of politicians, lawyers and the society? We come from the same corrupt society and do not descend from heaven. But it seems you have descended from heaven and are, therefore, accusing us."
- Supreme Court Bench, Justice Arijit Pasayat, Justice V S Sirpurkar and Justice G S Singhvi :
"The time has come because people have started categorising some judges as very honest despite it being the foremost qualification of any judge. It is the system. We have to find the mechanism to stem the rot"
"Has the existing mechanism become outdated? Should with some minor modification, the mechanism could still be effective?"
- Supreme Court Bench,
"The rot has set in." The judges appeared to be in agreement with senior advocate Anil Devan and Solicitor General G. E. Vahanvati who, citing the falling standards, questioned the desirability of keeping the immunity judges have from prosecution.
Senior government officials 
- Current President of India and then Minister of External Affairs Pranab Mukherjee:
"Constructive criticism should be encouraged." He joined the chorus on judicial delays that has resulted in people taking law into their own hands. He underlined the need for strengthening judicial infrastructure.
- Former President of India, APJ Abdul Kalam:
"If longevity of cases continued, people would resort to extra-judicial measures."
- Former President of India, Pratibha Patil: At a seminar on judicial reforms
"Judiciary cannot escape blame for delayed justice that is fraught with the risk of promoting the lynch mob phenomenon."
"Time has come when we need to seriously introspect whether our judicial machinery has lived up to its expectations of walking the enlightened way by securing complete justice to all and standing out as (a) beacon of truth, faith and hope."
"Admittedly, the realm of judicial administration is not without its own share of inadequacies and blemishes."
- Former Chief Justice of India, Y. K. Sabharwal:
"The justice delivery system has reached its nadir"
- Speaker of Lok Sabha, Miera Kumar:
"As a citizen of this country and as a lawyer who had practised for many decades, it is a matter of agony if there is even a whisper of an allegation against a judicial officer … But the fact is that allegations against judicial officers are becoming a reality. One Chief Justice has said that only 20 per cent of the judges are corrupt. Another judge has lamented that there are no internal procedures to look into the allegations. Therefore, the necessity of a mechanism is being emphasised by the judges themselves. Then the question arises as to how this mechanism would be brought about and as to who would bring it. The fact of the matter is that the judiciary is the only unique institution that has no accountability to the people in a democracy. In this overall context, it is absolutely essential to involve outside elements in the process of judicial accountability."
- Attorney General of India, G. E. Vahanvati: At a Delhi High Court hearing
"Declaration of assets by judges to the CJI are personal information which cannot be revealed under the present RTI and the same should be amended accordingly."
"It is submitted that the information which is sought (pertaining to judges assets) is purely and simply personal information, the disclosure of which has no relationship to any public activity"
- Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha and former Law Minister Arun Jaitley:
"Pre-retirement judgements are influenced by a desire for a post-retirement job. There are two kinds of judges- those who know the law and those who know the law minister. My suggestion is that for two years after retirement there should be a gap (before appointment), because otherwise the government can directly or indirectly influence the courts and the dream to have a independent, impartial and fair judiciary in the country would never actualise."
Pendency of cases 
A large number of cases pending for adjudication in Supreme Court. According to Supreme Court newsletter, there are 58519 cases pending in the Supreme Court, out of which 37385 are pending for more than a year, at the end of 2011. Excluding connected cases, there are still 33892 pending cases.
Sitting judges of the Supreme Court 
Chief Justice 
|Name||Date of Appointment||Date of Retirement|
|P. Sathasivam||21 August 2007||26 April 2014|
|G.S. Singhvi||12 November 2007||11 December 2013|
|Rajendra Mal Lodha||17 December 2008||27 September 2014|
|H.L. Dattu||17 December 2008||2 December 2015|
|B.S. Chauhan||11 May 2009||1 July 2014|
|A.K. Patnaik||17 November 2009||2 June 2014|
|T.S. Thakur||17 November 2009||3 January 2017|
|K.S. Panicker Radhakrishnan||17 November 2009||14 May 2014|
|S.S. Nijjar||17 November 2009||6 June 2014|
|C.K. Prasad||8 February 2010||14 July 2014|
|H.L. Gokhale||30 April 2010||9 March 2014|
|Gyan Sudha Misra||30 April 2010||27 April 2014|
|Anil R. Dave||30 April 2010||18 November 2016|
|S.J. Mukhopadhaya||13 September 2011||14 March 2015|
|Ranjana P. Desai||13 September 2011||29 October 2014|
|J.S. Khehar||13 September 2011||27 April 2017|
|Dipak Misra||10 October 2011||2 October 2018|
|Jasti Chelameswar||10 October 2011||22 June 2018|
|Fakkir Mohamed Ibrahim Kalifulla||2 April 2012||22 July 2016|
|Ranjan Gogoi||23 April 2012||--|
|Madan B. Lokur||4 June 2012||30 December 2012|
|M.Y.Eqbal||24 December 2012||--|
|V. Gopalagowda||24 December 2012||--|
|Vikramajit Sen||24 December 2012||--|
|Pinaki Chandra Ghose||8 March 2013||--|
|Kurian Joseph||8 March 2013||--|
|Arjan Kumar Sikri||12 April 2013||--|
|Sharad Arvind Bobde||12 April 2013||--|
Past Chief Justices of India 
See also 
- "Constitution of Supreme Court". Supreme Court of India. Retrieved 31 March 2013.
- "Constitution". Supreme Court of India. 28 January 1950. Retrieved 2012-09-18.
- "Supreme Court of India – History". Supreme Court of India. Retrieved 21 June 2012.
- "Section 124, Constitution of India". VakilNo1. Archived from the original on 26 December 2010. Retrieved 27 October 2012.
- Lord Cooke of Thorndon (2000). In B. N. Kirpal. Supreme But Not Infallible (Sixth Impression 2010 ed.). New Delhi, India: Oxford University Press. pp. 97–106. ISBN 9780195672268. Retrieved 15 January 2013.
- Rajagopal, Krishnadas. "The Collegium Controversy". The Indian Express. Retrieved 15 January 2013.
- s:Constitution of India/Part V#Article 125 .7BSalaries, etc., of Judges.7D
- "Minorities can rise to top jobs only in India: Chief Justice of India". The Times of India. 16 August 2012. Retrieved 16 August 2012.
- "Accountability law must not encroach on judicial independence, cautions CJI". The Indian Express. 16 August 2012. Retrieved 16 August 2012.
- "Justice S H Kapadia sworn in as new Chief Justice of India". The Times of India. 12 May 2010. Retrieved 12 May 2010.
- "Supreme Court Reports". Supreme Court of India. Retrieved 30 March 2013.
- Maha minister gets jail for contempt
- "Maharashtra Minister gets one-month jail term". News (Chennai, India). 11 May 2006. Retrieved 30 November 2011.
- "Maha minister gets jail for contempt". News. 11 May 2006. Retrieved 30 November 2011.
- "I. C. Golaknath & Ors. V. State of Punjab & Anrs.(With Connected Petitions)". Openarchive.in. Retrieved 2012-09-18.
- Free Supreme Court Judgements
- V R Krishna Iyer (27 June 2000). "Emergency – Darkest hour in India's judicial history". The Indian Express. Retrieved 16 September 2007.
- Jos. Peter D 'Souza (June 2001). "A.D.M. Jabalpur vs Shukla: When the Supreme Court struck down the Habeas Corpus". PUCL Bulletin. Retrieved 16 September 2007.
- Anil B. Divan (15 March 2004). "Cry Freedom". The Indian Express. Retrieved 16 September 2007.
- Ramachandra Guha. India after Gandhi: The history of the world's largest democracy. Macmillan/Picador, 2007. p. 500.
- "Thrillers in the Supreme Court". Indian Express. 13 February 2011. Retrieved 2012-09-18.
- "Don't let Hasan Ali leave country: SC". The Times of India. 11 February 2011.
- "Pranab Mukherjee refuses to spill names of LGT Bank account-holders". The Times of India. 26 January 2011.
- "Supreme Court: the balancing act". 8 December 2011. Retrieved 25 April 2012.
- "Supreme Court upholds AP court order quashing minority sub-quota". The Hindu. 13 June 2012.
- Ex-chief justice under corruption panel scanner, Hindustan Times, New Delhi, 9 June 2008
- Judicial probe sought in Ghaziabad PF scam, Hindustan Times, New Delhi, 7 July 2008
- Shameful first: CBI to question two HC Judges, IBN Live, 9 September 2008
- Judicial Corruption Fuels Impunity, Corrodes Rule of Law, Transparency International, Press Release, 24 May 2007
- Judicial Accountability, May 2008
- SC evasive on asset declaration by judges, The Times of India, 14 April 2008
- ‘Judges’ wealth info can’t be shared’, Hindustan Times, 6 November 2008
- Judges’ asset declaration before CJI not for public eye: SC to CIC, The Indian Express, 6 November 2008
- The case of judicial injustice, The Indian Express, 31 March 1999
- Political affiliations considered in appointment of judges, RTI India.org, 23 October 2007
- RTI Act does not apply to my office: CJI, The Times of India, 20 April 2008
- Judges accountability under RTI Act "debatable" says CJI, Chennaionline, New Delhi, 10 May 2008
- Is the CJI a public servant?, The Times of India, 22 April 2008
- I am a public servant: CJI, The Times of India, 6 May 2008
- Delayed justice leading to lynching mobs: Pratibha, The Times of India, 24 February 2008
- Manmohan Singh calls for check on corruption in judiciary, Thaindian News, 19 April 2008
- Pass Judges (Inquiry) Bill in next session, panel tells Govt., Zee News, India Edition, 30 September 2008
- Bill for probe panel against errant judges cleared, iGovernment, 10 October 2008
- Black sheep could be in judiciary too, admits Supreme Court, Nerve News India
- Black sheep could be in judiciary too, admits Supreme Court, 6 August 2008
- Lawyer-judge showdown in Supreme Court, Hindustan Times, 7 August 2008
- UP cops want CBI probe against 34 judges, The Times of India, 10 September 2008
- UP cops want CBI probe against 34 judges, 10 September 2008, The Times of India
- Stemming rot: Judges don’t need complete immunity, says CJI, 10 September 2008, The Times of India
- Judiciary should encourage constructive criticism, Thaindian News, 24 February 2008
- Judiciary should encourage fair criticism: Pranab, 25 February 2008
- Speaker expresses surprise over CJI's reported stand on hearing Teesta Setalvad, The Hindu, 25 February 2008
- Supreme Court judges ready to declare assets, but with riders – Politics/Nation-News – The Economic Times
- Supreme Court judges ready to declare assets, but with riders – National News – MSN India – News
- Supreme Court judges ready to declare assets, but with riders, NewKerala – India 's Top Online Newspaper
- "BJP for 'Cooling Period' Before Judges Head Tribunals". Outlook India. 1 October 2012. Retrieved 1 October 2012.
- "Supreme Court Quarterly Newsletter – Oct – Dec 2011". Supreme Court of India. Retrieved 18 September 2012.
- "PROFILE Mr. Justice Altamas Kabir". Supreme Court of India. Retrieved 6 January 2012.
- "CHIEF JUSTICE OF INDIA AND SITTING HON'BLE JUDGES ARRANGED ACCORDING TO DATE OF APPOINTMENT AS ON April 21, 2013". Supreme Court of India. Retrieved 7 May 2013.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Supreme Court of India|
- Official website
- "Supreme Court Rules, 1966"
- Text of all Indian Supreme Court judgments
- Joginder Kumar Vs State Of Up, 1994, Habeas Corpus
- Basic Structure of Constitution
- Latest Supreme Court judgments
- Latest Judgments of Supreme Court and All the High Courts of India
- Judgments of the Supreme Court of India
- OpenJudis – Free Database of Supreme Court cases from 1950
- India Law Articles
- Indian Supreme Court Cases / Judgements / Legislation / Case Law
- Discussion on finality of Supreme Court of India judgements on HindustanTimes
- Justice B.N. Srikrishna, "Skinning a Cat", (2005) 8 SCC (Jour) 3, available at http://www.ebc-india.com/lawyer/articles/2005_8_3.htm (a critique of judicial activism in India).
- Satellite picture by Google Maps
- / Environmental Cases in Supreme Court