Discuss the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of India.

By | June 3, 2021

Question: Discuss the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of India. [IBJS 2000]

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Answer

The Supreme Court of India is the highest judicial court and the final court of appeal under the Constitution of India. The law declared by the Supreme Court is binding on all courts within the territory of India. Under Part V, from Article 124 to Article 147 of the Indian Constitution deals with the provision for organization, independence, powers, and jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of India

Talking about the Original Jurisdiction, it is the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court which gives it the power to entertain cases originating in the Supreme Court for the first instance. The original jurisdiction of the court extends to the following cases:

  • Adjudication of inter-governmental disputes

It is dealt with under Article 131 of the Constitution. The Supreme Court has original and exclusive jurisdiction in cases between:

  • The government on one hand and one or more states on the other
  • Government and one or more states on one side and other states on the other.
  • Two or more states.

A dispute to be justifiable by the Supreme Court under Article 131 should involve a question, whether of law or fact, on which the existence or extent of a legal right depends. Thus, questions of a political nature not involving any legal aspect are excluded from the Court’s purview. Also, the dispute ought to be one between two governments, and not between one government and a private party or an agency or authority of the other government.

However, the jurisdiction under Article 131 may be excluded by other provisions of the Constitution as the opening words of Article 131 read as “subject to the provisions of this Constitution”. The Constitution excludes the exclusive original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court under Article 131 in the following matters:

  1. According to the proviso to Article 131, as mentioned above, the Court’s jurisdiction does not extend to a “dispute arising out of any treaty, agreement, covenant, engagement, sanad or other similar instruments which having been entered into or executed before the commencement of the Constitution, continues in operation after such commencement or which provides that the said jurisdiction shall not extend to such a dispute.”
  2. Under Article 262(2), Parliament may by law exclude the Supreme Court’s jurisdiction in the adjudication of any dispute or complaint with respect to the use, distribution, or control of the waters in any inter-State river or river valley. 
  • Adjudication of disputes in the election of the president and vice-president

Adjudication of disputes in the election of the president and vice-president   Disputes concerning the election of the President or Vice-President are decided exclusively by the Supreme Court and no other court.

  • Writ jurisdiction

Article 32 of the Constitution gives an extensive original jurisdiction to the Supreme Court in regard to enforcement of Fundamental Rights. A person can file a writ under Article 32 of the Constitution when his fundamental rights are abridged or adversely affected. It is empowered to issue directions, orders, or writs, including writs in the nature of habeas corpus, mandamus, prohibition, quo warranto, and certiorari to enforce the rights. In this regard, the Supreme Court is also known as the guardian of the liberties and Fundamental Rights of citizens.


Important Mains Questions Series  for Judiciary, APO & University Exams

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  2. Constitutional Law Mains Questions Series Part-I
  3. Constitutional Law Mains Questions Series Part-II
  4. Constitutional Law Mains Questions Series Part-IV
  5. Constitutional Law Mains Questions Series Part-V
  6. Constitutional Law Mains Questions Series Part-VI
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  8. Constitutional Law Mains Questions Series Part-VIII
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  10. Constitutional Law Mains Questions Series Part-X

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