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The Supreme Court of India

The Supreme Court is the highest judicial organ in India. Situated in Delhi, it consists of one Chief Justice and Twenty Five other judges. There is no maximum number for judges fixed by the Constitution. The number can be raised by an Act of parliament. The Constitution says that no case involving a substantial question of law as to the interpretation of the Constitution or a reference under Article 143 shall be decided by less than five Judges.

Qualification for Appointment of a Judge

A candidate for the appointment as a Judge of the Supreme Court shall not be qualified unless he is a citizen of India, and (a) has been for at least five years a Judge of a High court or of two or more such courts in succession or (b) has been for at least ten years an advocate of a High Court or of two or more such courts in succession and (c) is in the opinion of the President a distinguished Jurist. Every Judge of the Supreme Court is appointed by the president.

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A Judge holds the office until he attains the age of 65. He may resign from his office. He may be removed from his office after an address for removal is presented to the President by each House of Parliament. Such an address should be supported by a majority of not less than two-thirds of the members of that House present and voting in the same session. Removal can take place only on the ground of misbehavior or incapacity investigated and proved in accordance with the Parliamentary procedure.

Powers of the Supreme Court

Constitution of India, vests the Supreme Court with the original and exclusive jurisdiction in any dispute (a) between the Government of India on one side and one or more States on the other side; or (b) between two or more States which involves a legal right. The Supreme Court is vested with special jurisdiction and responsibility in the matter of enforcement of Fundamental Rights.

The Supreme court is the final appellate tribunal in the country. An appeal can be made in civil, criminal or other proceedings in which a Constitutional question is involved. The Supreme Court has advisory jurisdiction under which the President can refer any question of public importance.

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