Jurisdiction of Supreme Court: How does it work?

The various jurisdiction the apex court has: Let us understand 

The original jurisdiction of the SC is enshrined in Article 131 of Constitution and relates to a dispute between-

The apex court in our country, the Supreme Court has four kinds of jurisdiction- original, appellate, advisory and writ.

Original Jurisdiction

The original jurisdiction of the SC is enshrined in Article 131 of Constitution and relates to a dispute between-

  1. The Government of India and one or more States; or
  2. The Government of India and any State or States on one side and one or more other States on the other; or
  3. Two or more States

These 3 disputes are the exclusive original jurisdiction of the SC. No other court has jurisdiction over these and they are heard by the SC in the first instance, not through appeal.

Two important points to keep in mind when referring to the exclusive original jurisdiction are-

  1. It must not involve questions of political nature, but the question on which existence or extent of a legal right depends.
  2. It does not entertain suits that are filed by a private citizen against a state or Centre.

The first suit under this jurisdiction was in the year 1961 by west Bengal against the Centre.

Read more: Understanding Indian Agriculture

Appellate Jurisdiction

The appellate jurisdiction of the SC means that it hears case after it has already been heard by the lower courts and then it comes to the SC. It can be classified into-

1. Constitutional Matters- It can be appealed if the HC certifies that a case requires interpretation of the Constitution and substantial question of law.

2. Civil Cases- It can be appealed if the HC certifies that-

 -the case involves a substantial question of law of general importance, and

-the question needs to be decided by the SC

3. Criminal Cases- In criminal cases, the SC can hear appeals if-

– HC has on appeal reversed an order of acquittal of an accused person and sentenced him to death

– HC has taken a case from a subordinate court and convicted the accused and sentenced him to death

The above two do not require a certificate from HC and are a matter of right.

– HC certifies that the case is a fit one for an appeal to the Supreme Court.

4. Special Leave- This is given in Article 136of the Constitution-

– SC can grant special leave to appeal from any judgment, decree, determination, sentence or order in any cause or matter passed or made by any court or tribunal in the territory of India

– This does not apply to a military tribunal

Advisory Jurisdiction

According to Article 143 of the Constitution, the President of the country can seek advice from the Supreme Court on the question of law or fact or any dispute arising from an agreement, engagement etc.

The SC also Writ Jurisdiction, details here- http://www.ownguru.com/blog/writs-in-the-indian-constitution/

For more such informative articles stay tuned to OWN Guru.
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