The Supreme Court is in a series of courts of command in many courts. The Supreme Court is also known as the Court of Last Resort, Supreme Court and High (or Final) Court of Appeal. In general, the decisions of the Supreme Court are not subject to review by any other court. The Supreme Courts commonly functions principally as appellate courts to hear appeals from decisions of lower courts or intermediate level appellate courts. The Supreme Court of India is the last Indian court to exercise its origin and powers of appeal. As per the rules of the Supreme Court, a case can only be presented to the Supreme Court of India by a qualified lawyer.
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The Supreme Court of India has original, appellate and advisory jurisdiction, which is provided under the Articles 131, 133-136 and 143 of the Indian Constitution respectively.
The Supreme Court in India can only be move towards directly under the Original Jurisdiction, not under the appellate or advisory jurisdiction.
Original Jurisdiction of Supreme Court
The exclusive original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court extends to any matter for a particular case, to which the court is approached first. It involves the following matter:
The dispute between the Government of India and one or more states;
The dispute between the Government of India and any state or states on one side and one or more states on the other;
The dispute between two or more states, if and in so far as the dispute involves any question, whether of law or fact on which the existence or extent of a legal right depends.
In addition to the above matters, the Supreme Court in India can be approached directly under Article 32 of the Indian Constitution for the enforcement of the Fundamental right. It is endowed to issue directions, orders or writs, including writs in the nature of Habeas Corpus, Mandamus, Prohibition, Quo Warranto and Certiorari to enforce them.
It may be noted that the Article 32 of the Indian Constitution, which gives the remedy to directly approach the Supreme Court to enforce the Fundamental Rights, is itself a Fundamental Right. This is significant since a Fundamental Right cannot be abridged or revoked even by way of a constitutional amendment, if it is considered to be a basic feature of the Constitution. And, it is relevant to mention that the right under Article 32 has been declared by the Supreme Court as a basic feature of the Constitution.
Now, let’s discuss the writs under which circumstances, the Supreme Court can be approached.
Habeas Corpus literally means “demand to build the body” (whether dead or alive). Issuing a writ means ordering the detained authority or person to physically detain the person appearing in court and to state the reason for the detention. The court can determine its legality or otherwise (although it is not necessary to produce the body of an unlawfully detained person). If it turns out that the detention is illegal, the detained person is free. The aim is not to punish the offender, but to secure the release of the unlawfully detained person. A request for habeas corpus can be made either by the detainee himself or by any other person directly on his behalf before the Supreme Court.
Mandamus means “we order”. Mandamus is an order from a superior court to a lower court or tribunal or to a public authority to fulfill its legal obligation. It is simply a writ issued to an official to do so, which is part of his official duty, but what he has not done so far. It calls for the activity of an authority which has not acted or refused to execute in accordance with its legal obligation. It cannot be claimed as of right. The issue of such a writ is at the discretion of the court. The mandamus must not lie against the discretionary acts of a public authority as opposed to a duty. Nor can he be held against a private person unless he has been assigned a public office. This writ may not be issued against the president and the governors and judges acting in their judicial capacity. The Supreme Court said that if a person colluded with the public authority in certain private circumstances, Mandamus could then lie against him in private circumstances.
The prohibition means termination or suspension and is known as a “suspension order”. It is a writ issued by a superior court to a lower court or to a court refusing to do anything outside its court. After the issue of this writ, the proceedings before the executing court etc. stop. The objective is to keep the lower courts or quasi-judicial bodies within the limits of their respective powers. Thus, no prohibition can be pronounced against a civil servant not invested with judicial or quasi-judicial powers. It is not contrary to legislative or executive functions. It cannot be issued against individuals or associations. The writ can only be issued when the procedure is under way. If the court or tribunal has adopted the final orders, the prohibition will not be valid. The Supreme Court can only issue this writ when a fundamental right is affected.
It is an Order or order of a Supreme Court or a High Court made by a court or lower court to prosecute a case or a case pending before them and not to prosecute a case that does not fall within their jurisdiction. And anyone must end the court order in such a case. If the order of the lower court is found to be incompetent or contrary to the principles of natural justice, it will be set aside.
The issue of the writ of Quo Warranto requires from the High Court of the person to whom it is issued, information about the warrant or the authority by which the said person defends his right to a public office. It is directed against a person claiming office, openness or independence or with respect to whom information has been requested, so that the authority of that person can be determined in the light of the authority or the warrants cited
The Supreme Court of India can be reached directly on certain conditions. It can be approached when the Fundamental Rights of an individual are abridged and when there is a dispute between the Government and one or more states, or Government or states and other states on the either side; or when there is a dispute between the states regarding the question of law.
This Article Written by Yashika Ahuja, Student of FIMT-School of Law, (GGSIPU).