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Our clients acknowledge and recognize HSA for the professionalism and commercial perspective that we bring to transactions, our strong commercial acumen, our ability to manage transactions in an efficient and cost effective manner and our ability to address and resolve demanding transactional and legal issues. HSA’s strong commitment to providing superior client services is reflected in the way we selectively and efficiently staff our assignments. At the core of this client-focused staffing is the belief in cultivating project teams that possess the requisite skills and sector specific experience. Our understanding of the regulatory and commercial risks and nuances of the underlying sector is what distinguishes the quality of our services.

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Indian Judicial System

The Indian Judicial System is one of the oldest legal systems in the world today. It is part of the inheritance India received from the British after more than 200 years of their Colonial rule, and the same is obvious from the many similarities the Indian legal system shares with the English Legal System. The frame work of the current legal system has been laid down by the Indian Constitution and the judicial system derives its powers from it.

The Constitution of India is the supreme law of the country, the fountain source of law in India. It came into effect on 26 January 1950 and is the world’s longest written constitution.

It not only laid the framework of Indian judicial system, but has also laid out the powers, duties, procedures and structure of the various branches of the Government at the Union and State levels. Moreover, it also has defined the fundamental rights & duties of the people and the directive principles which are the duties of the State.

Inspite of India adopting the features of a federal system of government, the Constitution has provided for the setting up of a single integrated system of courts to administer both Union and State laws. The Supreme Court is the apex court of India, followed by the various High Courts at the state level which cater to one or more number of states. Below the High Courts exist the subordinate courts comprising of the District Courts at the district level and other lower courts.

An important feature of the Indian Judicial System, is that it’s a ‘common law system’. In a common law system, law is developed by the judges through their decisions, orders, or judgments. These are also referred to as precedents. Unlike the British legal system which is entirely based on the common law system, where it had originated from, the Indian system incorporates the common law system along with the statutory law and the regulatory law.

Another important feature of the Indian Judicial system is that our system has been designed on the pattern of the adversarial system. This is to be expected since courts based on the common law system tend to follow the adversarial system of conducting proceedings instead of the inquisitorial system. In an adversarial system, there are two sides in every case and each side presents its arguments to a neutral judge who would then give an order or a judgment based upon the merits of the case.

Indian judicial system has adopted features of other legal systems in such a way that they do not conflict with each other while benefitting the nation and the people. For example, the Supreme Court and the High Courts have the power of judicial review. This is a concept prevalent in the American legal system. According to the concept of judicial review, the legislative and executive actions are subject to the scrutiny of the judiciary and the judiciary can invalidate such actions if they are ultra vires of the Constitutional provisions. In other words, the laws made by the legislative and the rules made by the executive need to be in conformity with the Constitution of India.

Jurisdiction & Powers of the Courts

Supreme Court Of India
High Courts Of India
Subordinate Courts

Supreme Court of India

One of the most important powers of the Supreme Court of India is that any law declared or order/judgment passed by it is binding on all the courts within the territory of India.

The jurisdiction and powers of the Supreme Court (SC) are defined under Articles 131 to 142 of the Indian Constitution. The jurisdiction includes original, writ, and appellate jurisdiction.

Original Jurisdiction refers to the power of the court to hear disputes when they arise for the first time. By exercising its power of Original jurisdiction the Supreme Court can hear disputes between,

  • Government of India (GoI) and one or more States, or
  • GoI & any State or States on one side and one or more States on the other, or
  • Two or more States, if it involves a question – of law or fact – on which depends the existence or extent of a legal right.

The Supreme Court has also been conferred the power to issue directions or order or writs under Article 32 of the Constitution for the enforcement of any of the rights provided under Part III of the Constitution, including the Fundamental Rights. This is referred to as the Writ jurisdiction of the Supreme Court. The writ jurisdiction of the Apex court under Article 32 is part of its original jurisdiction.

[For more details on Original jurisdiction kindly refer to Articles 32&131 of the Indian Constitution.]

Appellate jurisdiction refers to the power of the Apex court to hear appeals against any judgment, decree or final order (or sentence) of a High Court in a constitutional, civil or criminal case, where exists a substantial question of interpretation of

  • the constitution, or
  • a law of general importance

in case of a death sentence awarded in criminal matters.

However, an additional requirement is that the concerned High Court (HC) under Article 134A has to certify that the case in question is fit for an appeal to the SC.

The jurisdiction of SC also encompasses matters which fell within the jurisdiction of the Federal Court under any law just before the commencement of the Indian Constitution.

The Supreme Court can also grant special leave to appeal against any judgment, decree, determination, sentence or order passed by any court or tribunal in the territory of India in any matter. The exception to this rule is the orders, judgments etc passed by any court or tribunal constituted by or under any law relating to the Armed Forces.

[The Appellate jurisdiction of SC can be read in more detail under Articles 132 – 136.]

Apart from the original, appellate and writ jurisdiction, the Supreme Court also has special advisory jurisdiction regarding matters referred to it by the President if India under Article 143 of the Constitution.

The Apex court also has the power and authority to review any order or judgment passed by it as well as transfer cases from one High Court to another or from the District Court of one state to the District Court of another State.