Topic outline

    • Judiciary

      Q13. Keeping the Sudha Goel case in mind, tick the sentences that are true and correct the ones that are false.
      (a) The accused took the case to the High Court because they were unhappy with the decision of the Trial Court.
      (b) They went to the High Court after the Supreme Court had given its decision.
      (c) If they do not like the Supreme Court verdict, the accused can go back again to the Trial Court.

      Ans. (a) True

      (b) They went to the High Court after the Trial Court had given its decision.

      (c) If they do not like the Supreme Court verdict, the accused cannot go back again to the Trial Court since the Supreme Court is at the highest rung of the judiciary pyramid.

      Q14. What is the structure of the judicial system of India?
      What is the Structure of Courts in India?
      Explain the judiciary system existing in India.

      Ans. There are three different levels of courts in our country. There are several courts at the lower level while there is only one at the apex level. The courts that most people interact with are what are called subordinate or district courts. These are usually at the district or Tehsil level or in towns and they hear many kinds of cases. Each state is divided into districts that are presided over by a District Judge. Each state has a High Court which is the highest court of that state. At the top is the Supreme Court that is located in New Delhi and is presided over by the Chief Justice of India. The decisions made by the Supreme Court are binding on all other courts in India.


      Q15. What is the Role of the Judiciary?

      Ans. 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.

      Q16. Differentiate between Criminal Law and Civil Law.

      Ans. Difference between Criminal Law and Civil Law

      Criminal Law

      Civil Law

      1. Deals with conduct or acts that the law defines as offences. For example, theft, harassing a woman to bring more dowry, murder.

      1. Deals with any harm or injury to rights of individuals. For example, disputes relating to sale of land, purchase of goods, rent matters, divorce cases.

      2. It usually begins with the lodging of an First Information Report (FIR) with the police who investigate the crime after which a case is filed in the court.

      2. A petition has to be filed before the relevant court by the affected party only. In a rent matter, either the landlord or tenant can file a case.

      3. If found guilty, the accused can be sent to jail and also fined.

      3. The court gives the specific relief asked for. For instance, in a case between a landlord and a tenant, the court can order the flat to be vacated and pending rent to be paid.


      Q17. Re-read the list of Fundamental Rights provided in Chapter 1. How do you think the Right to Constitutional Remedies connects to the idea of judicial review?

      Ans. The Right to Constitutional Remedies connects to the idea of judicial review in its capacity of protecting the rights of an individual against the working of the State legislature or executive. The Right to Constitutional Remedies allows citizens to move the court if they think that any of their Fundamental Rights are being violated by the State administration. Judicial review implies invalidation of legislative or executive action if it is seen to violate Fundamental Rights. Hence, the Right to Constitutional Remedies and judicial review are inter-connected because the latter is practiced when a Fundamental Right is violated by the State. In this case, a higher court can repeal the judgments of a lower court based on its own investigation.

      Q18. Re-read excerpts from the judgment on the Olga Tellis vs Bombay Municipal Corporation case. Now write in your own words what the judges meant when they said that the Right to Livelihood was part of the Right to Life.

      Ans. In Olga Tellis vs. Bombay Municipal Corporation case, the judges said that the Right to Livelihood was part of the Right to Life. They stated that life does not merely imply an animal existence; it cannot be lived without a means of living, that is, “the means of livelihood”. The judges conferred that eviction from a pavement or slum is deprivation of means of livelihood for the poor who cannot afford to live anywhere else. They take up small jobs in surrounding areas and to lose their pavement or slum would lead to loss of a job resulting in loss of a means of livelihood. Consequently, leading to “deprivation of life”. This is how the judges connected Right to Livelihood to the Right to Life.


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