Q1. What is the role of the judiciary?
Ans: Courts take decisions on a very large number of issues. The work that the judiciary does can be divided into the following:
I) Dispute Resolution:
The judicial system provides a mechanism for resolving disputes between citizens, between citizens and the government, between two state governments and between the centre and state governments.
II) Judicial Review:
As the final interpreter of the Constitution, the judiciary also has the power to strike down particular laws passed by the Parliament if it believes that these are a violation of the basic structure of the Constitution. This is called judicial review.
III) Upholding the Law and Enforcing Fundamental Rights:
Every citizen of India can approach the Supreme Court or the High Court if they believe that their Fundamental Rights have been violated.
Q2. What is independent judiciary?
Ans: The separation of powers is a fundamental guarantee of the independence of the judiciary. In the decision-making process, judges should have freedom to decide cases impartially, in accordance with their interpretation of the law and the facts. They should be able to act without any restriction or improper influence.
Q3. Do you think separation of power is essential for independent judiciary? — explain your views.
Ans: Yes, this is important because, the Indian Constitution protectsagainst this kind of situation by providing for the independence of the judiciary.
One aspect of this independence is the ‘separation of powers’. Here other branches of the State-like the legislature and the executive – cannotinterfere in the work of the judiciary. The courts are notunder the government and do not act on their behalf.
Q4. What is the Structure of Courts in India
Ans: There are three different levels of courts in our country. There are several courts at the lower level while there is only one at the apex level.
I) District Judge:
Each state is divided into districts that are presided over by a District Judge.
II) High Courts:
Each state has a High Court which is the highest court of that state.
III) Supreme Court:
At the top is the Supreme Court that is located in New Delhi and is presided over by the Chief Justice of India.
The decisions made by the Supreme Court are binding on all other courts in India.
Q5. Write a short note on integrated judiciary system in India. Or Do you think that different levels of courts in india are connected to each other? – explain.
Ans: Yes, they are. In India, we have an integrated judicial system, meaning that the decisions made by higher courts are binding on the lower courts. Another way to understand this integration is through the appellate system that exists in India. This means that a person can appeal to a higher court if they believe that the judgment passed by the lower court is not just.
Q6. What problems were faced by Laxman Kumar in Delhi?
Ans: In February 1980, Laxman Kumar married 20-year-old Sudha Goel and they lived in a flat in Delhi with Laxman’s brothers and their families. On 2 December 1980 Sudha died in hospital due to burns. Her family filed a case in court. On the basis of some evidences, the Trial Court convicted Laxman, his mother Shakuntala and his brother-in-law Subash Chandra and sentenced all three of them to death.
Q7. How Laxman Kumar’s family in Delhi Acquitted before the law?
Ans: When Laxman’s case was heard in the Trial Court, the Trial Court convicted Laxman, his mother Shakuntala and his brother-in-law Subash Chandra and sentenced all three of them to death. But, Laxnan went to the High Court to appeal against this verdict of the Trial Court.
The High Court, after hearing the arguments of all the lawyers, decided that Sudha had died due to an accidental fire caused by the kerosene stove. Laxman, Shakuntala and Subash Chandra were acquitted.
The Supreme Court heard the arguments of the lawyers and reached a decision that was different from that of the High Court. Supreme court found Laxman and his mother guilty but acquitted the brother-in-law Subash because they did not have enough evidence against him. The Supreme Court decided to send the accused to prison for life.
Q8. Differentiate between criminal law and civil law.
| Criminal law
1. Deals with conduct or acts that the law defines as offences. For example, theft, harassing a woman to bring more dowry, murder.
2. It usually begins with the lodging of an First Information Report (FIR) with the police who investigate the crime after which a case is filed in the court.
3. If found guilty, the accused can be sent to jail and also fined.
| Civil law
1. Deals with any harm or injury to rights of individual. For example, disputes relating to sale of land, purchase of goods, rent matters, divorce cases.
2. A petition has to be filed before the relevant court by the affected party only. In a rent matter, either the landlord or tenant can file a case.
3. The court gives the specific relief asked for. For instance, in a case between a landlord and a tenant, the court can order the flat to be vacated and pending to be paid.
Q9. Do you think that everyone have the access to the courts? – explain.
Ans: Yes, In principle, all citizens of India can access the courts in this country. This implies that every citizen has a right to justice through the courts.
If any citizen believes that their rights are being violated, then they can approach the court for justice to be done.
While the courts are available for all, in reality access to courts has always been difficult for a vast majority of the poor in India.
Q10. Why access of courts becomes very difficult to the common people?
Ans: Legal procedures involve a lot of money and paperwork as well as take up a lot of time. For a poor person who cannot read and whose family depends on a daily wage, the idea of going to court to get justice often seems remote.
Q11. How did out judiciary system try to ensure access to justice for all?
Ans: The introduction of Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in the 1980s is a significant step in ensuring access to justice for all because it also keeps in mind the interests of the illiterate and poor who are not educated enough or cannot afford to access the Indian legal system for justice against exploitation or violation of their basic human and fundamental rights.