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Which jurisdiction of the Supreme Court authorizes the President to seek opinion on any dispute arising out of pre-constitutional treaty?

  By GK Planet Team      
Q. Which jurisdiction of the Supreme Court authorizes the  President to seek opinion on any dispute arising out of the pre-constitutional treaty?
  1. Appellate Jurisdiction
  2. Advisory Jurisdiction
  3. Original Jurisdiction
  4. Power of Judicial Review
Answer: Advisory Jurisdiction

Articles 124 to 147 of the Constitution of India lay down the composition and jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of India. The Jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of India can broadly be categorized into three parts:
  1. Appellate Jurisdiction
  2. Original Jurisdiction
  3. Advisory Jurisdiction
The Supreme Court has special advisory jurisdiction in matters which may specifically be referred to it by the President of India under Article 143 of the Constitution.
  • Article 143 of the Constitution of India confers upon the Supreme Court advisory jurisdiction.

Article 143 in The Constitution Of India 1949

143. Power of President to consult Supreme Court
( 1 ) If at any time it appears to the President that a question of law or fact has arisen, or is likely to arise, which is of such a nature and of such public importance that it is expedient to obtain the opinion of the Supreme Court upon it, he may refer the question to that Court for consideration and the Court may, after such hearing as it thinks fit, report to the President its opinion thereon
(2) The President may, notwithstanding anything in the proviso to Article 131, refer a dispute of the kind mentioned in the said proviso to the Supreme Court for opinion and the Supreme Court shall, after such hearing as it thinks fit, report to the President its opinion thereon

Advisory jurisdiction of the Supreme Court 
The Advisory jurisdiction of the Supreme Court in the Constitution of India is sourced from the Government of India Act, 1935 wherein the provision of Section 213(1) of the Government of India Act, 1935 conferred an advisory function upon the Federal Court. First Draft Constitution, the Constitutional makers reproduced the provision of the 1935 Act after substituting “President’ for ‘Governor-General’ and ‘Supreme Court’ for ‘Federal Court’.

Article 119 of the Draft Constitution prepared by Drafting Committee (21 February, 1948), replaced clause (2) of the Constitutional Advisor’s draft. On 27 May, 1949 when the draft article came up for discussion in the Constituent Assembly, H.V.Kamath moved an amendment to the effect that in clause (2) for the word ‘decision’ the word ‘opinion’ and for the words ‘decide the same and report the fact to the president’ the words ‘submit its opinion and report to the President’ be substituted. At the revision stage, draft Article 119 was renumbered as Article 143 of the Constitution.


Q. Consider the following statements.
The Supreme Court of India tenders advice to the President of India on matters of law or fact:
  1. on its own initiative (on any matter of larger public interest).
  2. if he seeks such an advice.
  3. only if the matters relate to the Fundamental Rights of the citizens.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. 3 only
  4. 1 and 2
Answer: 2 only

Under Article 143 of the Constitution the President is authorized to seek the opinion of the Supreme Court on the following matters:
  1. Any question of law or fact of public importance
  2. Any dispute arising out of any pre constitution treaty, agreement, covenant, agreement etc
The supreme court may give or refuse to give it's opinion in the first case whereas it must give its advisory opinion in the second case. The advice so given is not binding on the President. The minimum number of judges to sit on the Constitutional Bench or on Bench which gives its advisory opinion on the reference by the President must be one half of the total strength of the Supreme Court.
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