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(DAY 164) The Supreme Court of India

· 3 min read
Gaurav Parashar

The Supreme Court of India is the highest judicial body in the country, responsible for interpreting the Constitution and ensuring justice and equity for all citizens. Established in 1950, the court has evolved significantly since its inception, playing a pivotal role in shaping India's legal landscape. The history and evolution of the Supreme Court of India since independence has been very intriguing and interesting.

Evolution of the Supreme Court of India

The establishment of the Supreme Court of India dates back to January 1950, following the enactment of the Indian Constitution. Initially, the court functioned from the Chamber of Princes in the Parliament building before moving to its present location in New Delhi. The court's jurisdiction and powers were outlined under Article 124-147 of the Constitution, defining its role as the guardian of the Constitution and the final interpreter of law.

In the early years, the Supreme Court comprised a Chief Justice and seven other judges. Over time, the number of judges increased to 26 in 1956, and further increased to 31 in 2009 to manage the rising caseload. Today, the Supreme Court consists of the Chief Justice of India and up to 33 other judges, appointed by the President on the advice of the collegium. These judges hold office until they reach the age of 65.

Comparing India's Supreme Court with Other Countries

India is not alone in having a supreme court; many countries have similar judicial systems. Here are a few comparisons with other nations:

1. United States: The Supreme Court of the United States, established in 1789, is the highest federal court in the country. Unlike India, the number of justices is fixed at nine, including one Chief Justice and eight Associate Justices.

2. United Kingdom: The United Kingdom's highest judicial body is the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, established in 2009, replacing the House of Lords as the final court of appeal. It has 12 justices, including the President and Deputy President.

3. Canada: Canada's Supreme Court consists of nine justices, including one Chief Justice and eight Puisne Justices. Unlike India, where appointments are made by the President, in Canada, judges are appointed by the Governor General on the advice of the Prime Minister.

4. Australia: The High Court of Australia is the highest court in the country, comprising one Chief Justice and six Justices. The appointments are made by the Governor-General on the advice of the Federal Executive Council.

5. Germany: The Federal Constitutional Court of Germany has two senates: the First Senate for constitutional matters and the Second Senate for non-constitutional matters. Each Senate has eight justices, making a total of 16.

When compared to other countries, India's Supreme Court stands out due to its larger bench size, catering to the vast and diverse population of the nation. Each country's judicial system is unique, tailored to its specific needs and historical context. As India continues to evolve, so will its Supreme Court, adapting to the ever-changing legal landscape and striving to ensure justice and equality for all.