India’s Apex Court: Guardian of the Constitution

Exploring Its Constitutional Role, Jurisdictional Powers, and Key Articles Shaping Indian Legal Precedence

While the India’s Supreme Court is the final appellate authority for most cases, it’s crucial to note that the Constitution allows for the review of its decisions in certain situations. However, such reviews have limitations. Despite this, the Supreme Court typically leaves a profound and enduring impact on the legal landscape of the country with its decisions. Moreover, lower courts, including High Courts, are required to follow the precedents set by the Supreme Court. This ensures consistency and uniformity in the interpretation and application of laws.

Constitutional Role

The Supreme Court, established by the Constitution of India, stands as the apex court of the country. Endowed with the highest judicial authority, it serves as the guardian of the Constitution. This pivotal role not only underscores its significance in the legal framework but also highlights its crucial responsibility in upholding constitutional principles.

Appellate Jurisdiction

The Supreme Court exercises jurisdiction in both original and appellate matters. It hears appeals from decisions of all India’s High Courts and other tribunals in civil, criminal, and constitutional matters. Its decisions in such cases are final, except in certain limited circumstances.

Binding Precedent

Supreme Court decisions bind all Indian courts, thereby fostering consistency and uniformity in the interpretation and application of laws. Consequently, this cohesive approach ensures a more streamlined and equitable legal landscape.

Constitutional Interpretation

The Supreme Court holds the authority to interpret the Constitution. Consequently, its interpretations become the India’s law of the land, guiding the application of constitutional principles in various legal matters. This pivotal role ensures a consistent and coherent approach to the application of laws throughout the legal landscape.

Review Jurisdiction

The Supreme Court, under Article 137, can self-review, addressing errors in limited cases. This mechanism ensures judicious error correction, thereby upholding the integrity of the judicial process.

Protection of Fundamental Rights

The Supreme Court plays a crucial role in safeguarding fundamental rights guaranteed by the constitution. Citizens can approach the Supreme Court directly through writ petitions for the enforcement of their fundamental rights.

Complex Legal Issues

The Supreme Court frequently handles complex legal issues, constitutional matters, and cases of national importance. Consequently, it aims to bring legal certainty and resolution to these issues through the finality of its decisions.

Legal Precedence

The concept of legal precedent is vital in the Indian legal system. Thus, Supreme Court decisions set crucial legal precedents, intricately guiding lower court interpretations and applications of the law. This systematic adherence to precedents ensures a cohesive and equitable legal framework.

Exploring Key Constitutional Tenets: An Insight into Select Articles Defining India’s Supreme Court Powers

Exploring India’s Supreme Court, Key Articles Defining Powers and Functions.

Establishment and Composition

Article 124This article establishes the Supreme Court of India and outlines its composition and powers. It specifies the appointment and qualifications of judges.
Article 125Article 125 deals with the payment of salaries and allowances to the judges of the Supreme Court, ensuring financial independence.
Article 126Article 126 empowers the President to appoint an acting Chief Justice of the Supreme Court in case of absence, illness, or any other incapacity of the Chief Justice.
Article 127This article allows the Chief Justice of India to appoint qualified persons as ad hoc judges of the Supreme Court if there is a lack of quorum among the sitting judges.
Article 128Article 128 permits retired judges to attend sittings of the Supreme Court, allowing their expertise to be utilized in the judicial process.
Article 129This article declares the Supreme Court to be a court of record, meaning it has the power to maintain records of its own proceedings and decisions.
Article 130Article 130 designates the seat of the Supreme Court, which is in New Delhi.


Article 131Article 131 grants the Supreme Court original jurisdiction in certain disputes between the Government of India and one or more states or between states.
Article 131AArticle 131A, which granted the Supreme Court executive jurisdiction concerning questions on the constitutional validity of Central laws, has been repealed.
Article 132Article 132 outlines the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court in appeals from High Courts in certain cases, typically involving substantial questions of law.
Article 133Article 133 specifies the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court in appeals from High Courts in civil matters.
Article 134Article 134 outlines the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court in criminal matters.
Article 134AArticle 134A provides for the issuance of a certificate by a High Court, allowing an appeal to the Supreme Court in certain criminal cases.
Article 135Article 135 confers on the Supreme Court the jurisdiction and powers of the Federal Court under existing laws.
Article 136Article 136 grants the Supreme Court the discretionary power to grant special leave to appeal in any matter.
Article 137Article 137 allows the Supreme Court to review its own judgments or orders.
Article 138Article 138 empowers the Parliament to extend the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court with respect to any matter.
Article 139Article 139 authorizes the Supreme Court to issue writs, including writs for the enforcement of fundamental rights.
Article 139ATransfer of certain cases

Powers and Functions

Article 140Article 140 provides the Supreme Court with ancillary powers to carry out its functions.
Article 141Article 141 declares that the law declared by the Supreme Court is binding on all courts within the territory of India.
Article 142Article 142 grants the Supreme Court special powers to enforce its decrees and orders and to pass orders for the purpose of justice.
Article 143The President holds the authority to seek advice from the Supreme Court as per Article 143.


Article 144Civil and judicial authorities are obligated to assist and support the Supreme Court as specified in Article 144.
Article 144ASpecial provisions as to the disposal of questions relating to the constitutional validity of laws {…} — Repealed
Article 145Rules of Court, etc.
Article 146Article 146 pertains to the appointment of officers and servants, as well as the allocation of expenses for the functioning of the Supreme Court.
Article 147Interpretation


In summary, India’s Supreme Court plays a crucial role in shaping the legal landscape. Furthermore, while its decisions have a lasting impact, the constitutional provision for limited reviews emphasizes the significance of each ruling. This reinforces the court’s role as a cornerstone of justice, emphasizing its lasting influence on the legal framework.

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