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Glossary

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Adjourn

A postponement of proceedings for a period.

Concurring Judgment

When one or more judges agree with the majority judgment but wish to write separate reasons for why they agree, they are said to write a concurring judgment.

Constitutional Bench

A bench of the Supreme Court consisting of five or more judges. The term originates from Article 145(3) of the Constitution which states that "any case involving a substantial question of law as to the interpretation of [the] Constitution" must be decided by a bench of a minimum of five judges.

Dissenting Judgment

When one or more judges disagree with the majority judgment, they may record their reasons for their disagreement. Such a judgment cannot be enforced.

Habeas Corpus

A Special kind of Writ which challenges the wrongful arrest or detention of a person.

Majority Judgment

The opinion of the numerical majority of the judges in a case is known as a majority judgment. This judgment becomes part of the law of India.

Miscellaneous Day

A day on which the Supreme Court hears fresh matters. Currently, Mondays and Fridays are Miscellaneous Days.

Notice

A formal letter of summons given to a person to present their arguments before a court.

Petitioner

A person who brings a dispute to the Supreme Court. For example, in Subramanian Swamy v. Union of India, Subramanian Swamy was the Petitioner.

Respondent

All parties to a case who are not the petitioner are referred to as respondents. It is important to note that Respondents are not necessarily opposed to the Petitioner(s). For instance, in Subramanian Swamy v. Union of India, various free speech organisations were listed as Respondents even though they supported the Petitioner in the case.

Special Leave Petition (SLP)

A Special Leave Petition is an extraordinary power granted to the Supreme Court of India under Article 136 of the Constitution. This Article grants the Court the power to hear an appeal against any order passed by any court in any part of India. The vast majority of the cases before the Supreme Court are Special Leave Petitions

Writ

A formal order by a court commanding an authority to do or not to do something.

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