This chapter explores how the jurisdiction of the Indian Supreme Court has evolved as an appellate court, a constitutional court, and a ‘final’ court. It begins by reviewing the four kinds of appeal that may be heard by the Supreme Court as specified in the Indian Constitution: civil, criminal, questions of constitutional interpretation, and appeals by special leave of the Court. It then considers the uncertainty and expansion in the Supreme Court’s appellate jurisdiction, with particular emphasis on the imbalance in jurisdictional reforms, the absence of guidelines for the exercise of discretion, and inconsistency in implementing constitutional provisions. It also discusses the Court’s advisory jurisdiction, adjudication of federal disputes, and jurisdiction to interpret the Constitution, along with its power to enforce justice and its claim to inherent powers. The chapter concludes by outlining some of the challenges faced by the Court today.
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