Supreme Court is the superior body in the hierarchy of the courts in India. The Supreme Court of India is the highest judicial forum and final court of appeal under the Constitution of India, the highest constitutional court, with the power of constitutional review.

It comprises the Chief Justice of India and 30 other judges. It has originalappellate and advisory jurisdictions.

As the final court of appeal of the country, it takes up appeals primarily against verdicts of the High Courts of various States of the Union and other courts and tribunals.

The Supreme Court has extensive original jurisdiction for the protection of fundamental rights of citizens. It also acts as the court to settle disputes between various governments in the country. As an advisory court, it hears matters which may specifically be referred to it under the Constitution by the President of India. It also may take cognizance of matters on its own (or ‘suo moto’), without anyone drawing its attention. It was first set up in Calcutta for administration of justice.

The law declared by the Supreme Court becomes binding on all courts within India.

In India, there is hierarchy of courts, which means one has to first approach the lower courts for remedy. However, this rule is subjected to the following exceptions:

  1. Violation of Fundamental rights- If an individual’s fundamental rights like Right to Equality, Life, and Freedom of Expression is violated, then she can directly approach the High Court under Article 226 or Supreme Court under Article 32 of the Constitution of India, 1949.
  2. Writs- Writ is a formal command and there are 5 kinds of writ that can be filed directly in the High Court or Supreme Court. These are:
  3. When a person has been arrested on illegal grounds and not produced before the Magistrate within 24 hours- Writ of Habeas Corpus.
  4. When a public official, public body, , inferior court has failed to perform it’s duty, the Higher or the Supreme Court commands such bodies to fulfill it’s obligations- Writ of Mandamus.
  5. cThe Supreme Court and High Courts may prohibit the lower courts from doing something that exceeds their jurisdiction and power- Writ of Prohibition.
  6. dIn order to move a suit from an inferior court to superior court- Writ of Certiorari.
  7. eQuo Warranto-The writ to prevent usurpation of public office by anyone.
  8. The dispute between Central and State governments or between two or more States are directly heard by the Supreme Court.

Supreme Court has both Appellate as well as Original jurisdiction.
Under appellate jurisdiction, the cases come through an appeal from lower courts.
Under original jurisdiction, cases can be directly filed in that court.

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The original jurisdiction of the Supreme court is enshrined in Article 131 of the Constitution of India. The disputes as mentioned in this section shall be directly filed for resolution in the S.C..

  1. A dispute between Government of India and one or more states.
  2. A dispute between more Government of India and any other state/s on one side and other state/s on the other side.
  3. The dispute between two or more states.

Apart from these the Supreme Court has original jurisdiction under Article 32. Where any person can file for a writ against the violation of their fundamental right. However, it is highly unlike that Supreme Court will entertain such request since a similar remedy is provided under article 226 of the constitution in high courts.

Supreme Court can directly be approached only in cases where dispute is between the states or between center and state and between center and some states on one side and some states on the other.

Personal disputes cannot be directly filed at Supreme Court. You can also file a writ petition for protection of your fundamental right directly before the Supreme Court but as per established procedure, if alternative remedy is available, writs are not entertained. As state high courts are also given power to issue writs, Supreme Court can direct you to approach state high court or entertain your writ, depending upon the Question of law involved.

The logic behind this is based upon gravity of the issue involved. In case of dispute between center and states, usually administrative issues are involved and same usually arrive on the basis of difference in interpretation and/or legality of constitution and other laws which define the center-state and states inter sex relationship. As interpretation and legality of constitution and related laws in concerned, there has to be consistency in such interpretation which can only be achieved if same is done by the supreme court as state high court decisions are binding within the state while supreme court decisions are bind the entire nation.

You can directly file the case in Supreme Court if someone has encroached your fundamental rights. Logic behind is that our constitution has given us some fundamental rights which can never be encroached except during emergency. Fundamental rights are given to people to put limitations on government. Hence, justice becomes more important in this case. That’s why we can directly go to court in the case of violation of fundamental rights. Secondly, if dispute arises between centre and state, between two states, centre and some states one side versus states then this issue will be solved by Supreme Court. High court doesn’t hold any jurisdiction in this case.

Supreme Court is the savior for many people for the Country. Supreme Court has independent powers of Judiciary which play a very crucial role in the Interpretation of the Statutes.

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