Ans. The legal system in India is divided into two branches: Criminal Law and Civil Law.
Ans. Law is a system of rules that are created and enforced through social or governmental institutions to regulate behavior.
Ans. The judiciary is the branch of authority in a country which is concerned with law and the legal system.
Ans. This means that a person can appeal to a higher court if they believe that the judgment passed by the lower court is not just.
Ans. The work that the judiciary does can be divided into the following:
i. Dispute Resolution
ii. Judicial Review
iii. Upholding the Law and Enforcing Fundamental Rights
Ans. Supreme Court acts as a guardian of fundamental rights as it ensures that people are able to practice their rights in the required manner. Every citizen of India can approach the Supreme Court or the High Court if they believe that their Fundamental Rights have been violated.
Ans. Indian judiciary is considered an independent institution because:
i. The other branches of government – the legislature and the executive – cannot interfere in the work of the judiciary.
ii. The courts are not under the government and do not act on their behalf.
Ans. In India, we have an integrated judicial system, meaning that the decisions made by higher courts are binding on the lower courts. Another way to understand this integration is through the appellate system that exists in India. This means that a person can appeal to a higher court if they believe that the judgment passed by the lower court is not just.
Ans. Lower Court (Trial Court): Laxman, his mother Shakuntala and his brother-in-law Subhash Chandra were sentenced to death
High Court: Laxman, Shakuntala and Subhash Chandra were acquitted.
Supreme Court: Laxman, Shakuntala were given life imprisonment while Subhash Chandra was acquitted for lack of sufficient evidence.
Ans. The Supreme Court in the early 1980s devised a mechanism of Public Interest Litigation or PIL to increase access to justice. It allowed any individual or organisation to file a PIL in the High Court or the Supreme Court on behalf of those whose rights were being violated. The legal process was greatly simplified and even a letter or telegram addressed to the Supreme Court or the High Court could be treated as a PIL.
Ans. Independent judiciary is essential to democracy because
i. It allows the courts to work independently, without being under the influence of the rich and powerful people or other branches of the state like – the legislature and the executive.
ii. The court can play a crucial role in protecting the Fundamental Rights of the citizens as well as enforce the rule of law.
Ans. One aspect of this independence is the ‘separation of powers’. 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. 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.
Download to practice offline.