Supreme Court not a superintendent court according to Constitution: Justice Chelameswar

Henrietta Strickland
January 23, 2018

Referring to "various aspects of the Supreme Court discussed in the book", Justice Chelameswar said: "The Supreme Court of India is not a superintending court over the entire judiciary of this country".

At the launch of the book titled Supreme Court of India, The Beginning, penned by legal scholar George H Gadbois, Jr, Justice Chelameswar replied, "No comments", when the reporters asked questions on the progress of resolving the crisis.

"It should be an ongoing process how exactly an institution is functioning - its achievement and failure", maintained Justice Chelameswar, imploring upon a "constant examination".

Chelameswar, the second senior-most judge in the Supreme Court, had on January 12, along with his three colleagues from the apex court's collegium - Justices Ranjan Gogoi, Madan B Lokur and Kurian Joseph-addressed an unprecedented press conference, in which the judges had raised questions about the manner in which the court was being administered by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra. The judge said that though the Indian Constitution did not provide for the Supreme Court to be a "superintending" court, in practice it supervised the lower courts - particularly in the matter of appointment and transfer of high court judges. At least the text of the Constitution does not provide for such a superintending power.

"A solution must be found if the institution is to remain relevant".

But in practice, the Supreme Court exercises a great deal of superintendence. Here was a need for a solution to clear the backlog of cases in the higher judiciary. "The enormous jurisdiction conferred upon the Supreme Court of India is compounded by its eagerness to do complete justice".

"Whether such a situation would really add to the glory and prestige of the institution - whether it would really serve the objective - is a matter of examination and concern for all those who are connected to this institution". They will sit together and find a solution to their problems. He said that only one sixth of the population, that fights cases in courts, had direct interaction with the judiciary but the top court's order had bearing on every citizen in some or the other way and that a remedy had to be evolved. While stressing the need for a study of the Supreme Court as an institution, he said that the decisions made by the apex court touched the lives of the entire population.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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