Supreme Court is the apex court in India which came into existence on 26th January, 1950 and is located on Tilak Marg, New Delhi. It is a Constitutional body which is laid down in Part V of the Chapter V of the Constitution of India from Articles 124 to 147.
The function of Supreme Court is that it is the custodian of the Constitution and is the uppermost court of appeal which listens to the appeals in opposition to the verdicts of the High Court of the Union Territories and States. It consists of Chief justice of India and 30 other Judges designated by the President of India and the retirement age of Supreme Court Judges is 65 years.
1. India’s Supreme Court succeeded the Federal Court of India on 28 January, 1950 which was established by the Government of India Act 1935 and the Privy Council, which was the highest judicial body in the country during British era.
The inaugural sitting of the Supreme Court of India on Jan 28,1950
2. The opening ceremony of Supreme Court of India was organized in the Chamber of Princes in the Parliament premises. Do you know that for a period of 12 years i.e. from 1937-1950 the Chamber of Princes was used as the bench of the Judicature of India and also the Supreme Court up to the time when it obtained its current building in 1958.
3. In its formative years, the apex court met from 10 am to 12 and then from 2 pm to 4 pm for 28 days in a year. But today, it meets for 190 days in a year.
4. On 29 October, 1954 Dr. Rajendra Prasad the first President of India laid the foundation stone of the Supreme Court building.
5. It is built on 17 acres of triangular plot land in Hardinge Avenue just opposite to the Hardinge Bridge and designed in an Indo-British architectural style by the chief architect Ganesh Bhikaji Deolalikar, who was the first Indian to head CPWD.
6. The strange thing is that the building of Supreme Court (SC) is designed and shaped in such a way that it represents the scales of the justice. As, Rajendra Prasad stated that the two pans of the scales of justice have to be held evenly. It is the Central Wing of the SC building that comprises the Chief Justice’s Court and two large courtrooms on either side represents the central beam of the scales of justice.
Source: www.supremecourtofindia.nic.in.com (Inside the Supreme Court of India)
7. The Right and left wings of the building represents two scales. The Right Wing consists of the offices of the Attorney General of India and other law officers, the bar-room and the library whereas the Left Wing consists of the offices of the Court.
8. In 1979 the two wings East and West were added to the structure and the last extension was added in 1994.
9. Another amazing fact is that in the lawn premises of SC a black bronze sculpture was sculpted on 20 Feb 1980 which was designed by the artist Chintamoni Kar having a height of 210 cms. This statue consists of a lady giving shelter to her child, who is holding an open book in his hands. It portrays Mother India as the lady and the child shown like this symbolises that she is protecting the young Republic of India and book represents the laws of land and the balance shown on the book represents equal justice is given to all.
10. Do you know that the first woman Judge and the first woman SC Judge of India were from the literate state Kerala? The first one was Ms. Anna Chandy who joined Law School in 1927 and joined Bar in 1929. She became first Grade Zila Munsif in 1937 and the first District Judge in 1948. Also probably she was the second woman in the world to become a Kerala High Court Judge in 1959. Second one was Fatima Beevi.
11. The first woman judge of SC of India and also in Asia was the Fathima Beevi who was appointed to Supreme Court in 1959.
12. Supreme Court of India since Feb 2009 has the strength of 31 judges including Chief Justice. Important is that the original constitution had fixed the strength at 8 and left it to parliament to increase the number of judges as when needed. In 1960 it increased to 11, in 1968 to 14, in 1978 to 18, in 1986 to 26 and in 2009 to 31.
13. The design of the Court’s seal is reproduced from the wheel that appears on the abacus of the Sarnath Lion capital of Ashoka with 24 spokes.
14. Do you know that how the Judges of Supreme Court are appointed?
Source: www.livelaw.in.com (Supreme Court Judges up to 2022)
Judges of the Supreme Court is appointed by the President after consultation with the judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts in states according to article 124(2).
*Till 1993 the Supreme Court Judges were appointed by the President on the recommendation of CJI but now 5 senior most judges committee recommends the names to the law ministry and after scrutinizing send the paper to the President. Now it depends upon the President to consider the names or return them for reconsideration to the Supreme Court. But if SC sends the same names after reconsideration then President appoints those persons.
15. Now let us see what is the eligibility of becoming a Supreme Court Judge?
- An individual should be a citizen of India.
- He or she should have served as a Judge of a High Court for a period of 5 years or an advocate of the High Court for at least 10 years or in view of the President a distinct Jurist of the country.
- According to the judgement of the President, an eminent legal scholar or expert can also be appointed as a Judge of the SC.
16. Also, what is the tenure of Judges?
The Chief justice of India and the other Judges of the SC hold office until they attain the age of 65 years. (High Court Judges at 62 years).
17. Have you ever thought that how Supreme Court Judges are removed?
Only on the ground of misbehaviour or incapacity the Judge of Supreme Court is removed by the President and the power of investigation is invested in the parliament. In Parliament each house have to pass a resolution which is supported by the 2/3rd of members present and voting and majority of the total membership of the house to remove a judge.
18. Do you have any idea about the salary of the Judges of the Supreme Court?
The salary and the allowances of the Supreme Court judges are:
Chief Justice is Rs 1 Lakh and other Judges is Rs 90,000.
19. What happened when CJI is absent?
According to the Article 126, The President appoints any other judge of the Supreme Court as an Acting Chief Justice when CJI is absent.
20. After retirement Post retirement jobs are there for Judges or not?
Retired judges of SC can’t act as a Judge in any court within the territory of India but Government generally uses the retired higher judiciary judges as heads of various commissions.