The Supreme Court of India is the highest judicial forum and final court of appeal under the Constitution of India, the highest constitutional court, with the power of constitutional matter. Combining the Chief Justice of India and a maximum of 30 other judges, it has extensive powers in the form of original, appellate and advisory jurisdictions.
As the final court of appeal of India, it takes up appeals primarily against verdicts of the high courts of various states of the Union and other courts and tribunals. It safeguards the fundamental rights of people and settles disputes between various governments in the country. As an advisory court, it looks matters which may specifically be referred to it under the constitution by President of India. It also may take cognizance of cases on its own (or suo moto), without anyone drawing its attention to them. The law declared by the supreme court becomes applicable to all courts within India and also by the union and state governments. As per Article 142, it is the duty of the president to enforce the decrees of the supreme court.
The design of the Court’s seal is taken from the wheel that appears on the abacus of the Sarnath Lion Capital of Asoka with 24 spokes.
Constitution of the court
The registry of the supreme court is led by the Secretary-General who is assisted by 8 registrars, several additional and deputy registrars, etc., with 1770 employees in all (221 gazetted officers, 805 non-gazetted and 744 Class IV employees) Article 146 of the constitution deals with the appointments of officers and servants of the supreme court registry.
Supreme court advocates
Supreme Court Rules, 2013 gives only those advocates who are registered with the supreme court, called advocates-on-record to appear, act and plead for a party in the court. Those advocates who are designated as ‘senior advocates’ by the supreme court or any of the high courts can appear for clients along with an advocate-on-record. Any other advocate can appear for a party along with or instructions from an advocate-on-record.
Eligibility of a judge of the Supreme Court
A person of India not exceeding 65 years age per Article 124 of the constitution 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, power conferred by clause(2) of article 124 of the Constitution of India is eligible to be recommended for appointment, a judge of the supreme court.