the judiciary is multi-tier system with the Supreme Court at the top

The Judiciary is multi-tier system with the Supreme Court at the top: The Supreme Court is at the apex of the Indian judicial system, followed by the High Courts at state level, the District Courts at district level and a number of local courts below them. The judiciary of India is independent of the legislative and the executive so that it can safeguard the interests of the people. It also ensures that any legislation that violates the Constitution is struck down. However, these aren’t the only roles it performs.

Role of Judiciary in India

Several functions and roles that don’t fall under the purview of the Criminal or Civil codes are also enacted by the judiciary. Some of these roles and responsibilities are:

  • Making New Laws – By virtue of its position as the interpreter of the Constitution and existing laws, the judiciary can create new laws. This is done by setting precedents and then following those precedents in later cases. The judiciary also has the power to overrule precedents that may violate the Constitution.
  • Preventing the Violation of Law – When someone is accused of violating the law, a lawsuit is brought against them. A judge then listens to both parties and determines whether the law has indeed been violated and, if so, how the accused should be punished.

  • Deciding on Constitutional Questions – Constitutional questions are usually decided by the Supreme Court. These can include Constitutional disputes between states or between a state and the Union. When such cases are brought in front of the Supreme Court, it decides how the Constitution should be interpreted with regards to the dispute.
  • Administrating – Apart from judicial duties, judges also perform certain functions related to administration. These functions include appointing officers, maintaining records, administering staff or superintending over lower courts.
  • Advising – There are times when the executive or the legislature turns to the judiciary to get clarity on constitutional points. In such cases, the judiciary acts as an advisory body.
  • Protecting Fundamental Rights – The fundamental rights given to Indian citizens by the Constitution and the law of the land are under the protection of the judiciary. If a court believes that a new law will violate these rights, it has the power to declare such a law invalid.


It is clear that the role of the judiciary is a crucial one. There have to be checks and balances on those in power. The judiciary takes on that role. It also acts as arbiter and advisor to the Union and the states, to the legislature and the executive. These roles and functions become critical to upholding a democracy.

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UPDATED DATE : June 13, 2019  3:11 PM

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