The Supreme Court

The Supreme Court of India is the highest judicial forum and final court of appeal under the Constitution of India with the power of constitutional review.

It comprises the Chief Justice of India and 30 other judges.

It has original, appellate and advisory jurisdictions.

A Division Bench comprises two to three justices and a Constitutional Bench comprises five or more judges.

Tenure and Qualification and Salary

Judges of Supreme Court are appointed by the President of India, as per the advice of the Union Cabinet.

The qualifications are:– A citizen of India who has been a judge of one high court or more (continuously), for at least five years, or– an advocate there, for at least ten years, or– a distinguished jurist, in the opinion of the President.

Supreme Court judges retire at the age of 65 which is 3 years more than the retirement age of a judge of the High Court. Hence a judge at the Supreme Court who has been elevated from a High Court serves at the Supreme Court for at least more than 3 years.

Article 125 of the Indian Constitution empowers the Indian Parliament to determine the salary, other allowances, of the Supreme Court judges.

However, the Parliament cannot alter any of these privileges and rights to the judge’s disadvantage after his appointment.

T S Thakur is the present Chief Justice of India.


A judge of the Supreme Court can be removed under the Constitution only on grounds of proven misconduct or in capacity and by an order of the President of India, after a notice signed by at least 100 members of the Lok Sabha (House of the People) or 50 members of the Rajya Sabha (Council of the States) is passed by a two-third majority in each House of the Parliament.


Original Jurisdiction Article 131 of the Constitution empowers Original Jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of India.

The Supreme Court has exclusive original jurisdiction on all cases between the Government of India and the States of India or between Government of India and states on one side and one or more states on other side or cases be-tween different states.

In addition, Article 32 of the Constitution of India grants original jurisdiction to the Supreme Court on all cases involving the enforcement of fundamental rights of citizens.

Appellate Jurisdiction: Article 132 deals with Appellate Jurisdiction. The Supreme Court is the highest court of appeal in the country. Constitutional cases, civil cases and criminal cases, fall within this jurisdiction.

The first woman judge of the Supreme Court was Justice Fatima Beebi in 1987.

The second woman justice was Gyan Sudha Mishra in 2010

The first Chief Justice of India was HJ Kania (1950-50)

The shortest tenure so far is of KN Singh (Nov. 25, 1991 – Dec. 12, 1991).

Advisory Jurisdiction

The Supreme Court has special advisory jurisdiction in matters which may specifically be referred to it by the President of India under Article 143 of the Constitution.

The Supreme Court is a court of record (Article 129).

According to Article 139 (A) (inserted by the 44th Amendment, the Supreme Court may transfer from one or more High Court if these questions involve a significant question of law.