Here, you will find summaries, questions, answers, textbook solutions, pdf, extras etc. of (Nagaland Board) NBSE Class 11 Political Science Chapter 15: Judiciary. These solutions, however, should be only treated as references and can be modified/changed.
The judiciary is a cornerstone of democratic governance, playing a pivotal role in interpreting laws, punishing lawbreakers, resolving disputes, and safeguarding citizens’ rights. In India, the judiciary’s independence is paramount, ensuring that it operates without political bias or personal favoritism. This article delves into the structure, jurisdiction, and powers of the Supreme Court and High Courts in India, as well as the qualifications and tenure of judges.
The Supreme Court, the apex judicial body, has a broad jurisdiction encompassing original, appellate, and advisory domains. Its original jurisdiction extends to disputes between the Government of India and one or more states, or between two or more states. The appellate jurisdiction covers constitutional, civil, and criminal cases. The advisory jurisdiction allows the President to seek the Supreme Court’s opinion on legal or factual questions. Importantly, the Supreme Court is the final interpreter of the Constitution, ensuring that all laws and orders align with its provisions.
High Courts, the principal judicial entities at the state level, also have extensive jurisdiction. They handle original jurisdiction cases involving wills, divorce, and enforcement of Fundamental Rights, among others. Their appellate jurisdiction and power of judicial review allow them to examine laws and orders for constitutional compliance.
Judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts are appointed by the President, with the Chief Justice of India consulted in all appointments. A Supreme Court judge can serve until the age of 65, while a High Court judge can serve until 62. Judges can only be removed by the President on grounds of “proved misbehaviour or incapacity,” following a parliamentary process.
The judiciary’s independence is further ensured by provisions that protect judges’ salaries from disadvantageous variations and prohibit discussions about their conduct in Parliament or State Legislature, except during removal considerations.
Textual questions and answers
A. Long answer questions
1. Mention those provisions of the Constitution that ensure independence and impartiality of the Judiciary in India.
Answer: The independence of Judiciary is ensured by the following provisions:
Appointment of Judges: Every Judge of the Supreme Court is appointed by the President. But while appointing a Judge other than the Chief Justice, the Chief Justice of India (CJI) is always consulted. Thus neither ‘political bias’ nor ‘personal favouritism’ would play any part in the appointment of judges.
Security of Tenure: A Supreme Court judge can remain in office till he has attained the age of 65 years. A Judge of the High Court remains in office till he has attained the age of 62 years. The Supreme Court and High Court judges can be removed by the President on ground of “proved misbehaviour or incapacity” on an Address of each House of Parliament.
Salaries, etc. of the Judges cannot be Varied to their Disadvantage: Judges’ salaries, allowances, etc. shall not be varied to their disadvantage during their term of office. Moreover, they are charged on the Consolidated Fund of India and are not subject to Vote of Parliament. The salaries of the judges of High Courts are charged on the Consolidated Fund of the State. The judges’ salaries cannot be reduced except during periods of financial emergency.
No Discussion with Respect to the Conduct of any Judges: No discussion shall take place in Parliament or State Legislature with respect to the conduct of any Judge in the discharge of his duties, except when a motion for his removal is under consideration.
Punishment for the Contempt of Court: The Supreme Court or the High Court has power to punish for contempt of itself.
Discretion of the Executive and that of the Chief Justice of India has been reduced in Appointments and Transfers of Judges: The President can transfer any Judge from one High Court to another. But it requires these conditions to be fulfilled. First, orders for transfer can be issued after consulting the Chief Justice of India. Second, the Chief Justice of India’s recommendation must be made in consultation with four seniormost judges of the Supreme Court. Third, the views of the Chief Justices of the High Courts-one from which the transfer is taking place and another to which the transfer is to be effected must also be obtained.
3. The High Court has an extensive Jurisdiction. In this context discuss the following:
(a) Cases in which it has Original Jurisdiction
Answer: The original jurisdiction extends to those cases which High Court has authority to hear and decide in the first instance. First, the cases regarding wills, divorce, marriage, Admiralty, Company Law and Contempt of Court can be taken up by the High court directly. Second, the Constitutional cases could be taken up under the original jurisdiction of the High Court. Every High Court has the power to interpret the Constitution. Third, the High court has the power to issue Writs for the enforcement of Fundamental Rights. Fourth, before the commencement of the Constitution the High Courts of Bombay (Mumbai) and Madras (Chennai) enjoyed original jurisdiction in all civil and criminal cases related to the Christians and Parsees.
(b) Cases in which it has Appellate Jurisdiction
Answer: Appellate jurisdiction of the High Courts is both civil and criminal. In civil cases the High Courts hear the appeals against the decisions of District Judges. In Criminal cases appellate jurisdiction consists of appeals:
(i) Against the judgement of a Sessions Judge or an Additional Sessions Judge, where the sentence of imprisonment exceeds seven years.
(ii) Against the judgements of Assistant Sessions Judge, the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate or other Judicial Magistrates, where the sentence of imprisonment exceeds four years.
In addition to what has been mentioned above (i) A sentence of death must be confirmed by the High Court before it can be carried out; (ii) Appeals also lie in matters concerning land revenue, and (iii) against orders of the Tribunals, such as the Rent Controller, State Transport Authority and Labour Tribunal.
(c) Its Writ Jurisdiction
Answer: All High Courts have the power to issue Writs to a person or an official. The Writs comprise the Writs of Habeas Corpus, Mandamus, Prohibition, Quo Warranto and Certiorari. These writs are issued to protect the Fundamental Rights or for any other purpose. Here it should be noted that the Writ Jurisdiction of the High Court is wider than that of the Supreme Court. The writ jurisdiction of the Supreme Court is restricted to enforcement of Fundamental Rights. But the words “for any other purpose” allow the High Courts to issue writs for enforcement of all legal rights, whether Fundamental Rights or other rights.
B. Short answer questions
4. Why do we need an Independent Judiciary?
Answer: An independent judiciary is needed to uphold the rule of law and to ensure that laws are interpreted and applied in a fair and impartial manner. It is the judiciary that has the power to examine the laws and orders and regulations to find whether or not they are permitted by the Constitution. The scope of judicial review is very wide. The Court has the power to review all national and state laws and executive orders and to declare them null and void, if they go against the provisions of the Constitution.
5. How are the Chief Justice and other Judges of the Supreme Court appointed in India?
Answer: The Chief Justice of India is appointed by the President of India. As regards other judges, every judge is appointed by the President after consultations with such of the Judges of the Supreme Court and of High Courts as he may deem necessary. But while appointing a Judge other than the Chief Justice, the Chief Justice of India shall always be consulted. In a historic Judgement delivered on October 28, 1998 the Supreme Court held that the Chief Justice of India’s recommendations on appointment of judges were not binding on the Government, if the recommendations were made without consulting four seniormost judges of the Supreme Court. This came to be known as the Collegium System which allows a college of persons (judges) to appoint judges.
9. What is meant by the Advisory function of the Supreme Court?
Answer: The Advisory function of the Supreme Court refers to the power of the President to obtain the opinion of the Supreme Court on a question of law or fact. The Court may give its opinion, but it is not binding on the President.
10. What do we mean when we say that the Supreme Court is a Court of Record?
Answer: When we say that the Supreme Court is a Court of Record, it means that the Supreme Court has the power to enforce its judgments and orders, and its decisions are recorded for perpetual memory and testimony. These records are admitted to be of evidentiary value and cannot be questioned when produced before any court.
11. “Public Interest Litigation (PIL) democratised the Judicial system.” Comment.
Answer: Public Interest Litigation (PIL) has indeed democratised the Judicial system. It has expanded the scope of our rights. The clean air and unpolluted river waters were declared as the new rights that needed to be protected by the State. The Supreme Court has given its considered opinion on the need for a Uniform Civil Code, the incapacity of our government to keep our rivers clean, and cases involving powerful politicians and bureaucrats. The causes responsible for Judicial Activism were the failure of the other two organs of government (legislature and executive) to take hard and unpleasant decisions, and Public Interest Litigation (PIL).
12. Like the Supreme Court of India the High Court is also an Interpreter and Guardian of the Constitution. In this context discuss its power of Judicial Review. (or) How do the High Courts hold the legislative and executive organs in check?
Answer: Like the Supreme Court, the High Court also has the power of Judicial Review. It can examine the laws and orders and regulations to find whether or not they are permitted by the Constitution. The High Court has the power to review all state laws and executive orders and to declare them null and void, if they go against the provisions of the Constitution.
C. Very short answer questions
13. What is meant by Rule of Law?
Answer: The ‘rule of law’ means the absence of arbitrary powers. It means that the citizens are ruled by the law and the law alone. No person can be punished except for violation of the law. Rule of Law also implies “equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws”. The State should not discriminate against any citizen on grounds of religion, caste (advanced or backward castes) and sex (men or women).
14. Name any two Writs issued by the Supreme Court or the High Courts to enforce Fundamental Rights.
Answer: Habeas Corpus and Mandamus.
D. Multiple Choice Questions: Tick (✔) the correct answer.
15. Which among the following is a correct statement about Advisory Jurisdiction of the Supreme Court?
Answer: (b) Opinion of the Supreme Court can be obtained only on a question of law or fact
16. Which among the following is not an essential qualification for being a Judge of the High Court?
Answer: (c) Being a Judicial Officer in India for atleast 10 years
17. Which High Court among the following enjoys jurisdiction over more than one State?
Answer: (b) Guwahati High Court
The Haryana Legislative Assembly enacted an Act that laid down some minimum educational qualifications for those contesting Panchayat elections. A few political analysts are of the opinion that the law shall deprive many persons belonging to weaker sections of society, such as the Dalits and women, from the Fundamental Right to contest election in a democracy. Do you think they are justified in holding such an opinion?
Answer: The concerns raised by the political analysts could be justified from a certain perspective. In a democratic system, it is generally considered important that all citizens have the ability to participate fully, which includes the right to stand for election. If educational qualifications are imposed as a requirement to contest in Panchayat elections, it could potentially exclude those who, due to socio-economic circumstances, were unable to access or complete a certain level of education.
In India, where there are significant disparities in access to education across different social groups, such a requirement could disproportionately affect certain sections of society, including those from economically weaker backgrounds, marginalized communities like Dalits, and women, who have historically had lower literacy rates.
Therefore, while the intention behind such a law might be to ensure that elected representatives have a certain level of educational competence, it’s also crucial to consider the potential implications for democratic representation and inclusivity.
Additional/extra questions and answers
1. What are the specific ways in which the Lok Sabha demonstrates its supremacy over the Rajya Sabha?
Answer: The Lok Sabha holds supremacy over the Rajya Sabha in the following areas:
- Regarding Money Bills: Money Bills can only originate in the Lok Sabha. The Rajya Sabha does not have the power to reject a Money Bill, but can only make suggestions or recommendations, which the Lok Sabha may choose to accept or reject.
- Regarding Ordinary Bills: Though Ordinary Bills can originate in either House, in case of disagreement, the Bill is referred to a joint sitting of both Houses. As the total membership of the Rajya Sabha is less than half of the Lok Sabha, the will of the Lok Sabha usually prevails in a joint sitting.
- Control over the Executive: The Lok Sabha is responsible for the creation of the government or the Ministry. The Council of Ministers is accountable only to the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha does not have the power to pass a motion of No-Confidence in the Council of Ministers.
2. In which matters is the Rajya Sabha put on an equal footing with the Lok Sabha?
Answer: The Rajya Sabha is put on an equal footing with the Lok Sabha in the following matters:
(i) The election and impeachment of the President, (ii) Removal of the Judges of the Supreme Court and the High Courts, (iii) Proclamation of Emergency, (iv) Promulgation of Ordinances, and (v) Constitutional amendments.
3. Why is the Lok Sabha more powerful than the Rajya Sabha?
Answer: The Lok Sabha is more powerful than the Rajya Sabha because it is a directly elected chamber, chosen by the people. Democracy is the “rule by the people”, hence it is logical that the distribution of powers leans in favor of the Lok Sabha, which is a representation of the people’s choice.
4. What is the procedure of enacting laws in the Parliament?
Answer: The procedure of enacting laws involves introducing legislative proposals before the House in the form of a Bill. A Bill is a draft of a legislative proposal, which, when passed by both Houses of Parliament and assented to by the President, becomes an Act. Bills can be introduced by Ministers or Private Members, known as Government Bills and Private Members’ Bills, respectively. Additionally, a Bill can be classified as a Money Bill, an Ordinary Bill, or a Constitution Amendment Bill.
5. What is the difference between a Bill and an Act?
Answer: A Bill is a draft of a legislative proposal. When this Bill is passed by both Houses of Parliament (Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha) and receives assent from the President, it becomes an Act. Therefore, an Act is a law that has received formal approval from the legislative and executive branches of government.
104. What is the High Court’s power of judicial review?
Answer: Like the Supreme Court of India, the High Courts also have the power to exercise judicial review and judge the validity of the laws and orders issued by Executive officials. If a High Court finds that a particular law or an order of the Executive goes beyond the provisions of the Constitution, it can declare them null and void. This function of the High Court establishes it as a Guardian and Interpreter of the Constitution.
1. Where do Money Bills originate in the Indian parliamentary system?
A. President B. Rajya Sabha C. Lok Sabha D. Supreme Court
Answer: C. Lok Sabha
2. Who holds the final decision in case of a dispute regarding whether a Bill is a Money Bill or not?
A. President B. Speaker of Lok Sabha C. Speaker of Rajya Sabha D. Prime Minister
Answer: B. Speaker of Lok Sabha
3. Can the Rajya Sabha reject a Money Bill?
A. Yes B. No C. Sometimes D. Always
Answer: B. No
4. Who forms the government in the Indian parliamentary system?
A. Rajya Sabha B. Lok Sabha C. President D. Judiciary
Answer: B. Lok Sabha
5. Can the Rajya Sabha pass a Motion of No-Confidence in the Council of Ministers?
A. Yes B. No C. Sometimes D. Always
Answer: B. No
6. On what matters is the Rajya Sabha put on an equal footing with Lok Sabha?
A. Money Bills B. Constitutional amendments C. Forming the government D. No-Confidence Motion
Answer: B. Constitutional amendments
146. Do the High Courts have the power of superintendence over all the courts within their territorial jurisdiction?
A. Yes B. No C. Only over some courts D. None of the above
Answer: A. Yes
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