In India, we have single, integrated judiciary independent of Executive and Legislative. Supreme Court is an ultimate interpreter of the Constitution.
Qualification to become Judge of Supreme Court
- Citizen of India
- He/she should be: –
- Judge of High Court for 5 years in succession or
- Advocate of High Court for at least 10 consecutive years.
- He/she should be a distinguished Jurist in opinion of the President.
Composition of Supreme Court
- Currently, the number of judges in Supreme Court is
- 1 Chief Justice of India and 33 more Judges.
- Hence, there can be total 34 Judges.
- Previously, there were 31 judges. At the time of formation, there were only 8 judges.
- Parliament can increase the number of judges at any time.
Appointment of Judges
- The Judges of Supreme Court are appointed by the President.
- The Chief Justice of India is appointed by the President by consultation with the other Judges of Supreme Court.
- At the time of appointing other judges of the Supreme Court, the President can consult the Chief Justice of India.
- Collegium System: –
- Collegium is the body consisting of Chief Justice of India and the four seniormost Judges of the Supreme Court.
- It makes recommendations to the President on the appointment and transfer of judges of the Supreme Court and the High Court.
National Judicial Appointment Commission 99th Amendment Act
- It decided to establish the NJAC for the appointment and transfer of Supreme Court Justices.
- NJAC will consist of: –
- Chief Justice of the India
- Two other senior judges
- Minister of Law
- The other two members nominated by a body consisting of Chief Justice of India, Prime Minister and the Leader of Opposition.
- However, it was declared unconstitutional by Supreme Court on 16th October 2015.
Chief Justice of India and Judges of Supreme Court take oath before the President of India or some other person appointed by him.
Term of office
- Supreme Court judges serve until the age of 65.
- If he/she wants, he/she can resign by writing to the President.
- He/she can be removed by the President on the recommendation of the Parliament.
- A Supreme Court Judge cannot practice after his/her retirement.
Process of removal of Judge of Supreme Court
- A Judge of Supreme Court can be removed by the President on the recommendation of the Parliament on grounds of proven incapacity or misbehavior or misconduct.
- A motion to remove the Judge of Supreme Court can be introduced in any house of the Parliament.
- A motion must be introduced by at least 100 members in Lok Sabha or the 50 members in the Rajya Sabha wherever it is introduced.
- The Speaker or Chairman may reject this proposal or set up a 3 member committee to investigate the matter: –
- Chief Justice of India or Judge of Supreme Court
- Judge of High Court
- A distinguished Jurist
- When the Committee finds him guilty, the motion must be passed by both houses of Parliament by a special majority.
- Then the President gives his approval and the Supreme Court Judge stands removed.