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Social and Political Life
46
Unit Three
Rationalised 2023-24
Page 2


Social and Political Life
46
Unit Three
Rationalised 2023-24
47
Teacher’s Note
Students are going to be introduced to the judiciary through these chapters. Yet, aspects of this
system like the police, the courts etc. are probably something that students are already quite
familiar with either through the media or perhaps through personal experience. In this unit, the
effort is to combine some basic knowledge on the judicial system with more hands-on
information on the criminal justice system. Chapter 4 covers topics that will be reinforced in
the higher classes. The effort while teaching this should be to provide students with a sense of
the significant role played by the judiciary in upholding the principles enshrined in the
Constitution.
Before starting Chapter 4 it might be useful to reiterate the discussion on the ‘rule of law’ from
the previous unit. This can then lead to a discussion on the role of the judiciary in upholding the
rule of law.  Five separate though inter-related concepts on the judiciary have been discussed in
Chapter 4. The reason why the independence of the judiciary is key to its functioning is a
complex idea but something that students need to understand. This can be conveyed at a more
basic level using examples of different decision-making processes that the student is familiar
with. The structure has been illustrated through a case and students should be encouraged to
discuss other cases to better understand the working of the judicial process. The last concept of
‘access to justice’ highlights the role of the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in facilitating justice.
It also touches upon the ‘delay’ in providing justice. The student’s growing knowledge of
Fundamental Rights should be used while discussing this section.
The Judiciary
Rationalised 2023-24
Page 3


Social and Political Life
46
Unit Three
Rationalised 2023-24
47
Teacher’s Note
Students are going to be introduced to the judiciary through these chapters. Yet, aspects of this
system like the police, the courts etc. are probably something that students are already quite
familiar with either through the media or perhaps through personal experience. In this unit, the
effort is to combine some basic knowledge on the judicial system with more hands-on
information on the criminal justice system. Chapter 4 covers topics that will be reinforced in
the higher classes. The effort while teaching this should be to provide students with a sense of
the significant role played by the judiciary in upholding the principles enshrined in the
Constitution.
Before starting Chapter 4 it might be useful to reiterate the discussion on the ‘rule of law’ from
the previous unit. This can then lead to a discussion on the role of the judiciary in upholding the
rule of law.  Five separate though inter-related concepts on the judiciary have been discussed in
Chapter 4. The reason why the independence of the judiciary is key to its functioning is a
complex idea but something that students need to understand. This can be conveyed at a more
basic level using examples of different decision-making processes that the student is familiar
with. The structure has been illustrated through a case and students should be encouraged to
discuss other cases to better understand the working of the judicial process. The last concept of
‘access to justice’ highlights the role of the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in facilitating justice.
It also touches upon the ‘delay’ in providing justice. The student’s growing knowledge of
Fundamental Rights should be used while discussing this section.
The Judiciary
Rationalised 2023-24
Social and Political Life
48
Chapter 4
A glance at the newspaper provides you a glimpse of
the range of work done by the courts in this country.
But can you think of why we need these courts? As
you have read in Unit 2, in India we have the rule of
law. What this means is that laws apply equally to
all persons and that a certain set of fixed procedures
need to be followed when a law is violated. To enforce
this rule of law, we have a judicial system that
consists of the mechanism of courts that a citizen
can approach when a law is violated. As an organ of
government, the judiciary plays a crucial role in the
functioning of India’s democracy. It can play this
role only because it is independent. What does an
‘independent judiciary’ mean? Is there any connection
between the court in your area and the Supreme
Court in New Delhi? In this chapter, you will find
answers to these questions.
Judiciary
Rationalised 2023-24
Page 4


Social and Political Life
46
Unit Three
Rationalised 2023-24
47
Teacher’s Note
Students are going to be introduced to the judiciary through these chapters. Yet, aspects of this
system like the police, the courts etc. are probably something that students are already quite
familiar with either through the media or perhaps through personal experience. In this unit, the
effort is to combine some basic knowledge on the judicial system with more hands-on
information on the criminal justice system. Chapter 4 covers topics that will be reinforced in
the higher classes. The effort while teaching this should be to provide students with a sense of
the significant role played by the judiciary in upholding the principles enshrined in the
Constitution.
Before starting Chapter 4 it might be useful to reiterate the discussion on the ‘rule of law’ from
the previous unit. This can then lead to a discussion on the role of the judiciary in upholding the
rule of law.  Five separate though inter-related concepts on the judiciary have been discussed in
Chapter 4. The reason why the independence of the judiciary is key to its functioning is a
complex idea but something that students need to understand. This can be conveyed at a more
basic level using examples of different decision-making processes that the student is familiar
with. The structure has been illustrated through a case and students should be encouraged to
discuss other cases to better understand the working of the judicial process. The last concept of
‘access to justice’ highlights the role of the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in facilitating justice.
It also touches upon the ‘delay’ in providing justice. The student’s growing knowledge of
Fundamental Rights should be used while discussing this section.
The Judiciary
Rationalised 2023-24
Social and Political Life
48
Chapter 4
A glance at the newspaper provides you a glimpse of
the range of work done by the courts in this country.
But can you think of why we need these courts? As
you have read in Unit 2, in India we have the rule of
law. What this means is that laws apply equally to
all persons and that a certain set of fixed procedures
need to be followed when a law is violated. To enforce
this rule of law, we have a judicial system that
consists of the mechanism of courts that a citizen
can approach when a law is violated. As an organ of
government, the judiciary plays a crucial role in the
functioning of India’s democracy. It can play this
role only because it is independent. What does an
‘independent judiciary’ mean? Is there any connection
between the court in your area and the Supreme
Court in New Delhi? In this chapter, you will find
answers to these questions.
Judiciary
Rationalised 2023-24
49
Judiciary
The Supreme Court was established on
26 January 1950, the day India became a
Republic. Like its predecessor, the Federal Court
of India (1937–1949), it was earlier located in
the Chamber of Princes in the Parliament House.
It moved to its present building on Mathura Road
in New Delhi in 1958.
Courts take decisions on a very large number of issues.
They can decide that no teacher can beat a student, or about
the sharing of river waters between states, or they can punish
people for particular crimes. Broadly speaking, the work
that the judiciary does can be divided into the following:
Dispute Resolution: The judicial system provides a mechanism
for resolving disputes between citizens, between citizens and
the government, between two state governments and between
the centre and state governments.
Judicial Review: As the final interpreter of the Constitution,
the judiciary also has the power to strike down particular laws
passed by the Parliament if it believes that these are a violation
of the basic structure of the Constitution. This is called judicial
review .
Upholding the Law and Enforcing Fundamental Rights:
Every citizen of India can approach the Supreme Court or the
High Court if they believe that their Fundamental Rights have
been violated.
What is the Role of the Judiciary?
Chapter 4: Judiciary
Supreme Court of India
https://www.sci.gov.in
Rationalised 2023-24
Page 5


Social and Political Life
46
Unit Three
Rationalised 2023-24
47
Teacher’s Note
Students are going to be introduced to the judiciary through these chapters. Yet, aspects of this
system like the police, the courts etc. are probably something that students are already quite
familiar with either through the media or perhaps through personal experience. In this unit, the
effort is to combine some basic knowledge on the judicial system with more hands-on
information on the criminal justice system. Chapter 4 covers topics that will be reinforced in
the higher classes. The effort while teaching this should be to provide students with a sense of
the significant role played by the judiciary in upholding the principles enshrined in the
Constitution.
Before starting Chapter 4 it might be useful to reiterate the discussion on the ‘rule of law’ from
the previous unit. This can then lead to a discussion on the role of the judiciary in upholding the
rule of law.  Five separate though inter-related concepts on the judiciary have been discussed in
Chapter 4. The reason why the independence of the judiciary is key to its functioning is a
complex idea but something that students need to understand. This can be conveyed at a more
basic level using examples of different decision-making processes that the student is familiar
with. The structure has been illustrated through a case and students should be encouraged to
discuss other cases to better understand the working of the judicial process. The last concept of
‘access to justice’ highlights the role of the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in facilitating justice.
It also touches upon the ‘delay’ in providing justice. The student’s growing knowledge of
Fundamental Rights should be used while discussing this section.
The Judiciary
Rationalised 2023-24
Social and Political Life
48
Chapter 4
A glance at the newspaper provides you a glimpse of
the range of work done by the courts in this country.
But can you think of why we need these courts? As
you have read in Unit 2, in India we have the rule of
law. What this means is that laws apply equally to
all persons and that a certain set of fixed procedures
need to be followed when a law is violated. To enforce
this rule of law, we have a judicial system that
consists of the mechanism of courts that a citizen
can approach when a law is violated. As an organ of
government, the judiciary plays a crucial role in the
functioning of India’s democracy. It can play this
role only because it is independent. What does an
‘independent judiciary’ mean? Is there any connection
between the court in your area and the Supreme
Court in New Delhi? In this chapter, you will find
answers to these questions.
Judiciary
Rationalised 2023-24
49
Judiciary
The Supreme Court was established on
26 January 1950, the day India became a
Republic. Like its predecessor, the Federal Court
of India (1937–1949), it was earlier located in
the Chamber of Princes in the Parliament House.
It moved to its present building on Mathura Road
in New Delhi in 1958.
Courts take decisions on a very large number of issues.
They can decide that no teacher can beat a student, or about
the sharing of river waters between states, or they can punish
people for particular crimes. Broadly speaking, the work
that the judiciary does can be divided into the following:
Dispute Resolution: The judicial system provides a mechanism
for resolving disputes between citizens, between citizens and
the government, between two state governments and between
the centre and state governments.
Judicial Review: As the final interpreter of the Constitution,
the judiciary also has the power to strike down particular laws
passed by the Parliament if it believes that these are a violation
of the basic structure of the Constitution. This is called judicial
review .
Upholding the Law and Enforcing Fundamental Rights:
Every citizen of India can approach the Supreme Court or the
High Court if they believe that their Fundamental Rights have
been violated.
What is the Role of the Judiciary?
Chapter 4: Judiciary
Supreme Court of India
https://www.sci.gov.in
Rationalised 2023-24
Social and Political Life
50
What is an Independent Judiciary?
Imagine a situation in which a powerful politician has
encroached on land belonging to your family. Within this
judicial system, the politician has the power to appoint and
dismiss a judge from his office. When you take this case to
court, the judge is clearly partial to the politician.
The control that the politician holds over the judge does not
allow for the judge to take an independent decision. This lack
of independence would force the judge to make all judgments
in favour of the politician. Although we often hear of rich and
powerful people in India trying to influence the judicial process,
the Indian Constitution protects against this kind of situation
by providing for the independence of the judiciary.
One aspect of this independence is the ‘separation of powers’.
This, as you read in Chapter 1, is a key feature of the
Constitution. What this means here is that other branches
of government – the legislature and the executive – cannot
interfere in the work of the judiciary. The courts are not under
the government and do not act on their behalf.
For the above separation to work well, it is also crucial that all
judges in the High Court as well as the Supreme Court are
appointed with very little interference from these other branches
of government. Once appointed to this office, it is also very
difficult to remove a judge.
Do you think that any ordinary
citizen stands a chance against
a politician in this kind of
judicial system? Why not?
With the help of your teacher, fill in the blank spaces in the table below.
Q
Type of Dispute Example
Dispute between centre and the state
Dispute between two states
Dispute between two citizens
Laws that are in violation of the Constitution
Rationalised 2023-24
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FAQs on NCERT Textbook: Judiciary - Indian Polity for UPSC CSE

1. What is the role of the Judiciary in a democracy?
Ans. The Judiciary in a democracy acts as the protector of the Constitution and ensures that the laws made by the government are in conformity with the Constitution. It is responsible for resolving disputes between citizens, between citizens and the government, and between states and the central government. The Judiciary also safeguards the fundamental rights of citizens and ensures that justice is delivered impartially.
2. How are judges appointed in India?
Ans. In India, judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts are appointed by the President on the advice of the Prime Minister and in consultation with the Chief Justice of India. The Chief Justice of India also plays a critical role in the appointment of judges in the higher judiciary. The appointment process involves the formation of a collegium consisting of the Chief Justice of India and four senior-most judges of the Supreme Court.
3. What is the difference between civil and criminal cases?
Ans. Civil cases are disputes between two individuals or entities over matters such as property, contracts, or personal injury. In contrast, criminal cases are brought by the state or federal government against individuals accused of committing a crime, such as murder, theft, or fraud. In civil cases, the plaintiff seeks compensation or damages, while in criminal cases, the accused faces punishment if found guilty.
4. What is the hierarchy of courts in India?
Ans. The hierarchy of courts in India is as follows: at the top is the Supreme Court, which is the highest judicial forum in the country. Below the Supreme Court are the High Courts, which are the highest courts at the state or union territory level. Below the High Courts are the District Courts, which are the trial courts for civil and criminal cases. Additionally, there are various other specialized courts and tribunals in India.
5. What is the significance of the Right to Constitutional Remedies?
Ans. The Right to Constitutional Remedies is a fundamental right guaranteed by the Indian Constitution. It allows citizens to approach the Supreme Court or High Courts for the enforcement of their fundamental rights. This right ensures that citizens have access to justice and can seek legal redressal if their rights are violated. The Right to Constitutional Remedies plays a crucial role in upholding the rule of law and ensuring that the government and its agencies act within the bounds of the Constitution.
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