What are the functions of Supreme Court Of India?

The scope of powers of Supreme Court to hear and decide cases is called its jurisdiction. The Supreme Court has three types of jurisdictions namely original, appellate and advisory.

Original Jurisdiction:

There are certain cases which fall within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Supreme Court. It means that all such cases begin or originate in the Supreme Court, only. It also means that such cases cannot be initiated in any other court. The cases or disputes that come under the original jurisdiction are given below:

(i) (a) Disputes between the Government of India on the one side and one or more States on the other side.(b) Disputes between the Government of India and one or more States on one side and one or more States on the other side. (c) Disputes between two or more States.

(ii) The Supreme Court has been invested with special powers in the enforcement of Fundamental Rights. In this connection, it has the power to issue directions or writs.

(iii) Cases under Public Interests Litigation (PIL) can also be heard directly. (This is an extra Constitutional practice; there is no mention of PIL in the Constitution).

Appellate Jurisdiction :
The power of a superior/higher court to hear and decide appeals against the judgment of a lower court is called appellate jurisdiction. The Supreme Court has vast appellate jurisdiction. It hears appeals against the judgment of the High Courts. Thus, it is the highest and the final Court of Appeal. If one of the parties to a dispute is not satisfied with the decision of the High Court, one can go to the Supreme Court and file an appeal. The appeals can be filled in Civil, Criminal and Constitutional cases.

Advisory Jurisdiction :

This power implies Court’s right to give advice, if sought. Under advisory jurisdiction, the President of India may refer any question of law or public importance to Supreme Court for its advice. But the Supreme Court is not bound to give advice. In case, the advice or the opinion of the Court is sent to the President, he may or may not accept it. The advice of the Court is not binding on the President. So far, whenever the Court has given its advice, the President has always accepted it. The Court refused to give its advice on the question whether a temple existed at the spot, where Babri Masjid was built at Ayodhya.

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Its powers: The Supreme Court of India has more powers than any Supreme Courtin any part of the world. It is the interpreter and guardian of the Constitution. It can be moved for the enforcement of the Fundamental Rights. For this purpose, it can issue writs like Habeas Corpus, Mandamus, Quo Warranto, etc. The orders of theSupreme Court are binding on die executive. In an emergency, however, the President has the power to suspend the right to move the Supreme Court. Thus, it is the highest court of justice in India and the citizens of India look to it for justice. Its functions: The Supreme Court is the highest judicial tribunal of India and as such it is armed with extensive powers. It exercises original, appellate and advisory jurisdiction. Original Jurisdiction. It extends to all disputes between the Union Government and one or more States as also disputes arising between the States of the Indian Union. Appellate Jurisdiction, (a) In civil cases, an appeal from the judgement of the High Court can be taken for appeal to the Supreme Court. (b) In criminal cases, appeal from the judgment of the High Court can be taken to theSupreme Court, if the High Court, has on appeal reversed an order of acquittal of an accused person and sentenced him to death, or if the High Court has withdrawn from a lower court a case for trial before itself and has on such trial convicted the accused person and sentenced him to death. An appeal can also .be taken to theSupreme Court if the High Court certifies that the case is a fit one for appeal to theSupreme Court. Advisory Jurisdiction. The President has the power to refer a question of law or fact of public importance for the opinion and report of theSupreme Court.

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