Supreme Court - Advisory jurisdiction and Court of record

Q.  Which of the following are true?

1) Article 143 deals with Presidential reference to Supreme Court.
2) Advice given by Supreme Court under article 143 is not binding on the President.
3) Supreme Court cannot punish for contempt of tribunals.

- Published on 03 Mar 17

a. 1, 2
b. 1
c. 2, 3
d. All of the above

ANSWER: 1, 2
    Advisory Jurisdiction -

    Article 143 - The president can seek opinion of the Supreme Court -

    1. On any question of law or fact of public importance which has arisen or which is likely to arise.

    2. On any dispute arising out of any pre-constitution treaty, agreement, covenant, engagement, sanad etc.

  • The Supreme Court in the first scenario may give or may refuse to give its opinion to the president.

  • However, the Supreme Court has to give its opinion in the second case.

  • The advices given in both the cases is not binding.

  • However, it helps the government to have a legal opinion on the matter.

  • Recently the reference was made in case of 2G spectrum case verdict and the mandatory auctioning of natural resources across all sectors in 2012.

  • A Court of Record -

    As a Court of Record, the Supreme Court has 2 powers -

    1. The judgements, proceedings and acts of the Supreme Court are recorded for perpetual memory and testimony.

    2. These can be used as references and cannot be questioned when produced in any court.

    3. It can punish for contempt of court. The Supreme Court can punish for contempt not only of itself but also of high courts, subordinate courts and tribunals functioning in the entire country. Punishment can be fine or imprisonment or both.

  • Civil contempt of court means willful disobedience to anyjudgement, order, writ, undertaking etc.

  • Criminal contempt of court means the publication of any matter or doing an act which -

    (a) lowers authority of a court;

    (b) interferes with the judicial proceeding;

    (c) prejudices judgment of judiciary; and

    (d) interferes with administration of justice in any other manner.

    Following are not considered as contempt of court -

    (a) innocent publication and distribution of some matter;

    (b) fair and accurate report of judicial proceedings;

    (c) fair and reasonable criticism of judicial acts; and

    (d) comment on the administrative side of the judiciary etc.

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