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Influence of suo motu in Indian Judiciary System Influence of suo motu in Indian Judiciary System

Bronze medal Reporter adv.John Posted 12 Jul 2017
Influence of suo motu in Indian Judiciary System

Influence of suo motu in Indian Judiciary System


suo motu: means on its own motion is a Latin legal term. The term used where a government agency acts on its own cognizance, as in the Commission took suo motu control over the matter. This term generally used in Indian legal parlance. A court takes suo moto action means it starts a legal process on its own. 


In Indian law Article 32 of the Indian constitution, contains a tool which directly joins the public with the judiciary. A PIL may be introduced in a court of law by the court itself (suo motu) rather than the aggrieved party or another third party.


The court can take suo moto anytime nothing specified. But so far it has been practised in the following manner,


  • Contempt of court

This is the offence of being disobedient towards the court of law. Also officers in the form of behaviour that opposes justice and dignity of the court.


For example, Supreme Court takes suo motu cognisance of ink attack on Subrata Roy, the Supreme Court took suo motu cognisance of the incident of throwing ink on Sahara chief Subrata Roy in the court complex. The bench has asked him to explain why he should not be punished for the contempt of court for throwing ink on Roy.


  • Reopening old case

If case was closed decision was given but out of no where some new concrete evidences have been brought in light by anyone to court any bench of supreme court can take suo motto and update their decision.


  • No complain or no case

If any bench or panel of supreme court feels that justice was not done and the event can repeat on a case. Which was never even lodged in the police station, the court can order any level of the probe by any institute, police, CBI, etc.


The suo motu cases are very important in Indian courts. Based on this many orders were passed. The duty of the Court is to provide a forum to resolve disputes and to test and enforce laws in a fair and rational manner.  In many cases, the court takes up a case or action based on media reporting or a letter addressed to it. Court decisions are based on what the law says and what the evidence proves, there is no place in the courts for suspicion or favouritism.


Indian Constitution Article 32 and Article 226 are the provisions enabled the Supreme Court and High Courts respectively to issue any directions or refrain from doing an act. By virtue of these two Articles and also the emergence of Public Interest Litigation paved way for taken up suo motu cases by these courts.


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