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Important Questions & Answers: Judiciary Notes | Study Legal Studies for Class 12 - Humanities/Arts

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Q.1. With reference to the powers and functions of the High Court, explain briefly the meaning and scope of the following:
(i) Judicial Review.

Judicial review is the power of a high court to examine the constitutionality of legislative enactments and executive orders of both the Central and state governments. On examination, if they are found to be violative of the Constitution (ultra-vires), they can be declared as illegal, unconstitutional and invalid (null and void) by the high court. Consequently, they cannot be enforced by the government. Though the phrase ‘judicial review’ has nowhere been used in the Constitution, the provisions of Articles 13 and 226 explicitly confer the power of judicial review on a high court.


Q.2. Explain the term judicial review.

The Supreme Court can declare a law 'ultra vires' or null and void, if it is against the letter and spirit of the Constitution or contravenes any provision of the Consitution. This power is referred to as the power of judicial review.


Q.3. You read that one of the main functions of the judiciary is upholding the law and Enforcing Fundamental Rights. Why do you think an independent judiciary is necessary to carry out this important function?

The independence of the judiciary allows the courts to play a central role in ‘upholding the law and Enforcing Fundamental Rights’ as it ensures that there is no misuse of power by the legislature and the executive. Anyone can approach the courts if they believe that their rights have been violated and Politicians or other socially powerful people cannot use their power to change any judgment.


Q.4. Name the courts that are empowered to issue writs for the enforcement of Fundamental Rights.

(i) Supreme Court
(ii) High Court


Q.5. What are the advantages of having a single unified judicial system in the country?

If a citizen is dissatisfied with the judgment given in any lower court he or she can appeal to a higher court. If a fundamental right is violated, the citizen can appeal either to the High Court or to the Supreme Court and the courts can issue writs to safeguard and enforce the fundamental rights.


Q.6. What is meant by the judiciary? Describe its composition. What powers does the Supreme Court exercise?

All the courts at different levels in a country put together are called the judiciary. The Indian judiciary consists of a Supreme Court for the entire nation, High Courts in the States, District Courts and the courts at local level.
India has an integrated judiciary. It means the Supreme Court controls the judicial administration in the country.' Its decisions are binding on all other courts of the country. It can take up any dispute
(i) between citizens of the country;
(ii) between two or more state governments; and
(iii) between governments at the union and state level.
It is the highest court of appeal in civil and criminal cases. It can hear appeals against the decisions of the High Courts.


Q.7. Why is the High Court also known as a Court of Record?

Because: 
(i) Judgments and orders of the High Court are preserved as the record.
(ii) If a person commits a contempt of High Court, the court has the authority to punish him.


Q.8. What is meant by a 'Single Integrated Judicial System' as provided in the Indian Constitution?

We have a single unified judiciary which means all the courts interpret and enforce the State Laws as well as the Laws made by the Union Parliament. The law declared by the Supreme Court shall be binding on all courts within the territory of India.


Q.9.  What is meant by the term 'Judicial Review' of the High Court?

The High Court has the power of Judicial Review. If any law, executive order or any ordinance passed by the State Legislature or any other authority infringes the Fundamental Rights or contravenes any provision of the Constitution, the High Court can declare it 'null and void'.


Q.10. Our Judicial system has a Supreme Court as its Apex, followed by the High Court and other subordinate Courts.In the light of this statement, explain the following:
Any three ways by which the Constitution ensures the Independence of the Judiciary.

The three ways by which the Constitution ensures the Independence of the Judiciary are;
(i) By Separating of Judiciary from the Executive and Legislature thus providing it full autonomy in its working.
(ii) The process of appointment of judges of supreme court and high court involves consultation with Chief Justice of India
(iii) The Judges in India enjoy good security of service. No judge can be removed from the office except by a very difficult process of impeachment.


Q.11. With reference to our Judiciary, discuss the following:
Why is the judiciary kept independent of the control of the executive and the legislature?

The judiciary is kept independent from the executive and the legislature so that in the matter of its judgements it is not influenced in any manner by these other two pillars of our democracy.


Q.12. How can you say that the judiciary in India is one of the most powerful in the world?

(i) The judiciary in India is independent. It means it is not under the control of the legislature or the executive. The Supreme Court and the High Courts have the power to interpret the Constitution of the country.
(ii) They can declare invalid any law of the legislature or the actions of the executive, whether at the Union level or at the state level, if they find such a law or action is against the Constitution.
(iii) Thus, they can determine the constitutional validity of any legislation or action of the executive in the country, when it is challenged before them. This is known as the judicial review.
(iv) The Supreme Court of India has also ruled that the core or basic principles of the Constitution cannot be changed by the Parliament.
(v) The powers and the independence of the Indian judiciary allow it to act as the guardian of the Fundamental Rights. The citizens have a right to approach the courts to seek remedy in case of any violation of their rights. The courts intervene to prevent the misuse of the government's power to make decisions. They check malpractices on the part of public officials.


Q.13. Name the Writs that the High Courts are empowered to issue. What is meant by the Advisory Jurisdiction of the High Court?

(i) The writs are - Habeas Corpus, Mandamus, Prohibition, Quo Warranto, and Certiorari.
(ii) The High Courts can advise any government department, legislature or the Governor if they seek it, on constitutional as well as on other matters of law. Their advice is not binding on the agency seeking such advice.


Q.14. Write the functions of the High Court Judge. 

The High Court is the Apex Court in the state judicial system. The judges of the High court are appointed by the President after consulting with the Chief Justice of India and Governor of the Concerned state. The Judge holds office until he attains the age of 65 years. The High court judge has the power to adjudicate the civil, criminal matter in original or appellate jurisdiction. The High court judges perform the function of superintendence over the subordinate court and consult in the appointment of District Judge. The Judges form the bench in the High court based on the numbers and transfer cases to supreme court.


Q.15. After reading the example of the reservation order, three students had different reactions about the role of the judiciary. Which view, according to you, is a correct reading of the role of judiciary?
(i) Srinivas argues that since the Supreme Court agreed with the government, it is not independent.
(ii) Anjaiah says that judiciary is independent because it could have given a verdict against the government order. The Supreme Court did direct the government to modify it.
(iii) Vijaya thinks that the judiciary is neither independent nor conformist, but acts as a mediator between opposing parties. The court struck a good balance between those who supported and those who opposed the order.

The view of Anjaiah is the correct regarding of the role of the judiciary. It has to act independently and will not mediate between parties.

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