The Indian constitution has established an integrated judicial system with
the supreme court at top and the high court below it. The supreme court of India was inaugurated on 28
January 1950. Article 124 to 147 in part v of the
Indian constitution deal with the organization ,independence ,jurisdiction power
,procedure of supreme court . The parliament also authorized to regulate them.
Appointment of Judges
The judges of the supreme court are appointed by the president . The chief
justice is appointed by the president after consultation with such judges of
supreme court and the other judges are appointed by president after the
consultation with the chief justice and such other judges of the supreme court.
The consultation with the chief justice is obligatory in case of appointment of
a judge other than chief .
Controversy over consultation
The supreme court has given different interpretation of the word consultation.
In first judges case
The court held that consultation does not mean concurrence and it only implies
exchange of view.
Second judges case
the court reversed its earlier ruling and changed the meaning of the word
consultation . Hence ,it ruled that the advice tendered by the chief justice of
India is binding on the president in matters of appointment of the judges of the
supreme court .but , the chief justice would tender his advice on the matter
after consulting two of his senior most colleagues.
Third judges case
The court held that the consultation process to be adopted by the chief justice
of India requires consultation of plurality judges. Sole opinion of chief
justice of India does not constitute the consultation process. He should consult
a collegium of four senior most judges of supreme court and even if two judges
give an adverse opinion ,he should not send the recommendation to the government
the court held that the recommendation made by the chief justice of India
without complying with the norms and requirements of the consultation process
are not binding on the government
- The 99th constitutional amendment act of 2014 and the national judicial
- Act of 2014 have replaced the collegium system of appointing judges to the
supreme court and high
- Court with a new body called the national judicial appointments commission
(najc). however, in
2015 the supreme court has declared both the 99th constitutional amendment as
well as NJAC act as
Unconstitutional and void .consequently ,the earlier collegium system became
operative again. This
Verdict was delivered by the supreme court in the fourth judges case (2015). the
court opined that:
The new system (i.e.,njac) would affect the independence of the judiciary.
A person to be appointed as a judges of the supreme court should have following
- he should be a citizen of India
- he should have been a judge of a high court for five year or he should
have been an advocate of a high court for ten year.
The constitution has not prescribed a minimum age of appointment as a judge of