Introduction to the topic: –

The Supreme Court, also sometimes referred to as the apex court, is the highest Judicial body of India. The motto of the Supreme court of India is ‘where there is Dharma there will be victory’. It is the guardian of the Indian constitution and the rights conferred to the citizens by the Indian constitution. It protects and guards the constitution and keeps a check on compliance of laws with the constitution framed by the Indian parliament to be within the ambit of guidelines provided under the constitution. In Kesavananda Bharati v. the State of Kerala the supreme court laid down the basic structure of the Indian constitution which cannot be compromised or amended in any condition and any law doing so will be unconstitutional. 

Technicalities of last deciding justice authority: –

The Supreme Court is the court of last resort. It is the final pedestal of justice however the convict in criminal cases who is granted capital punishment by the supreme court can file a mercy petition to the president of India for pardon or reduce the intensity of punishment to life imprisonment subject to provisions provided under Article 72 of the Indian constitution. The president must make decisions based on the recommendations of the central government. There are many instances where after the supreme court’s decision a mercy plea is filed to the president of India on behalf of a convict, Like in the case of Md. Ajmal Amir Kasab v. the State of Maharashtra (2012) and in Mukesh and Anr State for NCT of Delhi and Ors (2017). 

Technically the admission rate of granting mercy is low and usually, the petitions are dismissed by the president so it can be said that the supreme court is the final deciding authority.

 Apart from this, many other features make the supreme court the last authority on deciding and doing justice. The Supreme Court is the last court of hearing and no other place the case can be heard thereon. Under the president, only a mercy petition is filed but no hearing of the case takes place; the president acts on the aid and advice of the cabinet. Few mercy petitions are allowed, it is further filtered and very few are granted. As far as the legality of an act goes, the supreme court is the last deciding body on legality, and a mercy petition is a mere consideration of mercy for an act committed. 

The Supreme court’s decisions are binding on all the lower courts within its jurisdiction i.e., the territory of India which hints towards its supreme judicial authority exercised by the supreme court. And for these very reasons the supreme court employs seasoned, most experienced judges and the system of the constitutional bench. One can always file for review or curative petition if there is any violation or ignorance on the part of the Supreme court.        

Why is the Supreme Court the final pedestal of Justice?

The Supreme Court exercises all applicable laws and remedies present under the law in the country to bring justice to the aggrieved party. And in absence of law or precedent on matters, it applies principles of natural justice to bring justice. 

It is committed to bringing justice with utmost fairness between the parties. Judicial decisions are to be measured by their consequences then careful attention needs to be given to the process of accessing and estimating those consequences. There are relatively fewer chances of biases in the decisions given by the judges of the supreme court as they do not decide cases on their own bias and justify it, instead, they decide about the law whether an act is right or wrong. 

The Supreme court is chosen as a last resort because a case must be settled at some point in time and should not be disturbed once settled, this is also the basis of precedents (previously decided cases) and stare decisis (stand by the given decision). In Reynolds v. the United States wherein the United States, Supreme court established the principle that while legislative fiat may not control private opinions and believes it may, nonetheless, control actions “in violation of social duties or subversive of good order” further control facilitated by the supreme court. 

The Supreme Court being the final pedestal of justice decides justice in the first place and then works on the execution of justice. Which would serve justice among the parties not opposed to public policy. The court doesn’t serve justice based just on the facts put up by parties in front of it but also looks into possible impact decisions might create or what possible impact it will have in the society to maintain the status quo.

Ability to serve justice: –

Justice is subjective, what may be just for one may be destructive for others. An equilibrium cannot be reached to attain justice and beyond that courts also have to decide the impact it will have on the society considering this justice is served and wrong is established.

 Civil justice is different from social justice. Aristotle’s commutative justice involves the enforcement of property claims recognized by law. Social justice involves transfers of property interests, through regulation or taxation, utilizing law operating posterior to the formation of property. The one can be converted into other by bending logic and constitutional authority done by Supreme courts. 

The theory of redressive justice governs the enforcement of rights by a wronged party against the party which committed the wrong. This is formed based on corrective justice theory by John Gardner which states the type of justice concerning norms of allocating back. 

The concept of justice by the Supreme Court can be summarized as granting fair trials leading to justice under the law.      

The article is written by Aakarsh Chandranahu, from Alliance School of Law.

The article is edited by Shubham Yadav, pursuing LL.B. (4th Year) from Banasthali Vidyapith.                    

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