Judiciary in India – What are its Key Functions?

functions of judiciary in india

The judiciary is one of the main organs of the Government. It is not just an organ but a very important organ which has many functions from guarding the fundamental and constitutional rights and protects against the possible excesses of the Legislature and the Executive.

What Are The Functions of Judiciary in India?[1]

The judiciary is an Independent organ, which means it is free from any legislative or executive control and therefore, it plays a huge role in maintaining stability in the society in many ways.

  • The Judiciary in India provides Justice to the people –

Perhaps, this is the most important function of the judiciary in India. It gives justice to the people whenever they may approach the court of law. It awards punishments to the people who commit crimes. The aggrieved or the innocent can approach before the court to seek redress for the injury or the loss caused to them. Article 32 and Article 226 of the Constitution of India empowers citizens whose fundamental rights have been violated to approach the Supreme Court and High Courts to issue writs of Habeas Corpus, Mandamus, Quo-warranto, Certiorari, and Prohibition and seek a remedy.

  • The Judiciary in India Interprets and Applies the laws –

The judiciary is regarded as the interpreter of laws. The judiciary interprets and applies the laws to specific cases because each case is unique and proper interpretation is required for the same.

  • The Judiciary in India plays a role in making laws –

The judiciary also plays an important role in law-making. Though the legislature is the body which makes the law, the decisions of the court determine the meaning, nature, and scope of the laws passed by the legislature. Moreover, the judgments passed by higher courts are binding upon the lower courts. This is known as the doctrine of ‘stare decisis.’ For example, the judgment passed by the Supreme Court will be binding upon all lower courts whether High Courts or courts of subordinate jurisdiction.

  • The Judiciary in India Protects Rights of the citizens –

People in a democratic country have certain rights, and the courts protect them. A citizen has the right to approach before the court of law in case his/her rights have been violated or threatened to be violated by the government or fellow citizens. The onus then comes on the judiciary to protect the rights of the citizens of India. It guards civil liberty and prevents arbitrary action by the government.

  • The Judiciary in India is the guardian of the Constitution of India –

The judiciary is known as the guardian of the Constitution of India. The Constitution of India is the supreme law, and it is the judiciary which interprets and protects it. The judiciary for this purpose has the power of ‘judicial review’ wherein the Supreme Court can strike down any law passed by the legislature if it finds it ultra vires (unconstitutional). It not only protects the constitution of India but also modifies in light of societal conditions through its judgments.

  • The Judiciary in India also plays a Federal role – 

In a federal system such as ours, the judiciary has the responsibility to settle disputes between the Centre and the states. It acts as the independent and impartial mediator between the Central and the state governments as well among state governments.

  • The Judiciary in India is responsible for efficient management of the judicial administration – 

The judiciary is not a department under the government of India. It has an independent stature, and it decides the nature of the judicial organization in the State of India. This includes recruitment and working of the magistrates and other staffs working in the courts. It frames the rules and also enforces them for the smooth running of the judicial administration.

  • The Judiciary in India has advisory functions – 

The judiciary also has advisory jurisdiction under Article 143 of the Constitution of India. The President of India has the power to refer to the Supreme Court for any case where there is a substantial question of law.

  • The Judiciary in India conducts judicial inquiries – 

The judiciary has the authority to set up inquiry commissions to inquire into some serious matters which results from failure on the part of the government or public servants.


During the lifetime of the people, access to courts is at least needed by individuals at least one. The people of India imposes a lot of confidence and faith upon the judiciary. The judiciary is a source of power, confidence, and trust. Without the shield of the judiciary, people can’t enjoy rights and freedom independently in society. They respect the judiciary more than the legislature and the executive. Therefore, for the citizens of India, the judiciary is perhaps the most important organ of the government since it performs multi-disciplinary functions.

In the words of Prof. Garner, “A society without legislature is conceivable, and indeed, legislative organs did not make their appearance in the state until modern times, but a civilized state without a judicial organ and machinery is hardly conceivable.”

Justice is the soul of the State, and it must remain outside the purview of political interference.

[1] Judiciary: Functions, Importance and an Essential Quality of Judiciary, Your Article Library(2014),

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