Court of Record: The Constitution makes the Supreme Court a Court of Record. A Court of Records is a Court whose judicial decisions can be cited as judicial precedents before other Courts. The truth of these decisions cannot be questioned in any court. They are binding upon other Courts. The acts and proceedings of a Court of Record are recorded for perpetual memory and testimony. As a Court of Record, the Supreme Court has the power to punish for contempt of its authority.
Functions of the Supreme Court
- As stated above, the Supreme Court has original jurisdiction to settle disputes which arise between the central government and various state governments. It also has original jurisdiction over cases which deal with the interpretation of the Constitution and enforcement of fundamental rights.
- The Supreme Court decides cases on appeals which are made to it in respect of original jurisdiction.
- Under appellate jurisdiction, any cases pending in the High Courts or lower courts can be brought before the Supreme Court if it involves the interpretation of the Constitution in civil and criminal cases.
- An important function of the Supreme Court is that it can allow leave to appeal against the judgement of any court of India. This power can be exercised by the Supreme Court only when the civil cases involve the law dealing with the interest of the public. This power can be exercised in criminal cases when the interpretation of laws arises and when it is readily realized that grave injustice has been done.
- Any citizen whose fundamental rights have been violated can directly approach the Supreme Court and the latter can issue writs such as habeas corpus, mandamus, quo warranto etc. for the enforcement of fundamental rights.
- The Supreme Court can declare any law made by the Government as null and void if it violates the fundamental rights of any individual.
- The Supreme Court of India is the guardian of the Constitution and of democratic principles.
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