About Us
The Project
In 2016, the Centre for Law and Policy Research set the Supreme Court Observer. This is a non-partisan journalistic effort to make the work of the Supreme Court intelligible to any person interested in Indian public affairs. The aim of SC Observer is to communicate the relevance and importance of the Supreme Court’s work in a constitutional democracy without embellishment or outrage and focus public attention on issues of great public significance.The emphasis of the project is accessibility and simple presentation to ensure maximum public engagement. The Observer owes its inspiration to the SCOTUSblog which provides a similar service for the Supreme Court of the United States.
Phase 1

 

The Supreme Court Observer (SCO) tracks certain high impact cases from inception to completion before the Court. The primary criterion for the selection of cases will be their potential to affect ordinary lives.

All tracked cases contain the following:

  1. A calendar tracking the day-to-day progress of the case
  2. Copies of all important documents associated with the case including but not limited to pleadings, a summary of arguments and judgments.
  3. A plain English explanation of the issues involved and the potential impact of the case.

 

To improve accessibility, the Observer provides plain English descriptions of:

  1. The jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.
  2. The procedure of the Court.
  3. A glossary of legal terms used.
  4. Flow charts detailing the progress of cases before the Court.
Phase II

The Phase II of the Supreme Court Observer (SCO ) is a revamped site, with new pages added to it. The core of the Project remains tracking of significant cases of the  Supreme Court from a non-partisan viewpoint.

 

I.Home Page – This is a user-friendly, navigable interface to Supreme Court Observer.

 

  • Sliders – This curates most recent or contemporary content across the site.

 

  • Calendar – This lists the filing, hearing and judgments date on a monthly basis. It is an easy way of keeping track of important cases.

 

  • Cases – This provides links to three recent cases which are being tracked by us.

 

  • Featured  - This showcases the content which we think are useful and relevant for the users.

 

  • Popular Posts – The three most read posts are shown under this.

 

Sample Page :Home Page

 

 

The menu lists  6 pages – Cases, Judges, Court Explained, Beyond the Court, Court In Review, Court By Numbers.

 

II. Cases – From 2016 to mid-2018, the Supreme Court Observer team has tracked 27 cases.

 

The new ‘Case Page’ aims to provider better navigability experience with respect to a case. The various features of the  Case Page are:-

 

  • Case Description – gives a brief background of the legal dispute while also listing specific ‘legal issues’ before the Supreme Court.

 

  • Case Timeline - on the right side allows for calendar accounting of Case Documents and Case Reports.

 

  • Case Documents includes all important documents associated with the case including but not limited to petitions, written submissions by counsels, pleadings and judgment.

 

  • Case Report covers the summary of oral arguments advanced in a case. Case Reports are very useful resource for understanding, how the case was argued in the court. It is an effort to democratise the judicial process by promoting public engagements beyond outcomes and judgment.

 

  • Plain English Judgment -  Plain English analysis of the judgment involves explaining the judgment and its potential impact in a lucid manner.

 

Sample Page - Constitutionality of Aadhaar Case 

 

 

 

III. Judges – This page provides a short but detailed judicial biography of both sitting and retired Judges of the Supreme Court.

 

Under each Judge, the team traces the trajectory of their elevation to the Supreme Court, maps various landmark judgments delivered during their tenure and lists tracked cases where they are part of the bench.

 

Sample Page – Chief Justice Dipak Misra

 

 

IV. Court Explained – This page has three subsections – Court Overview, Legal Glossary and Court Procedure.

 

  • Court Overview - explains the origin and brief history of the Supreme Court

 

  • Legal Glossary - explains the legal terms for a lay audience.

 

  • Court Procedure – aims to be a guide for understanding the practice and procedural steps of the Supreme Court through use of simple flowcharts and infographics. Among other things, this page will include types of  Jurisdiction, bench and petitions in the Supreme Court.

 

Sample Page: Court Procedure

 

 

V. Beyond The Court – Curation of interesting readings on the cases and Institution of Supreme Court. This section weighs in the views of various stakeholders and public intellectuals on the happenings of the Court.

 

The page branches into three subsections:-

 

  • Press – We curate short opinion pieces on contemporary issues surrounding the Supreme Court.

 

  • Research – We curate long research articles, empirical pieces on contemporary legal issues.

 

  • Engagement – Engagement is fostered via Podcasts, Videos, Interviews to better understand the cases and the functioning of the Supreme Court.

 

SamplePage: Beyond the Court 

 

 

VI. Court in Review  -  this section is an attempt to understand the origins and evolution of key underlying ‘concepts’ in the Constitution. The evolution of specific concept is explained through reliance on historical constitutional documents and multiple case laws in a chronological manner.

 

Sample: Right to Privacy  -This is explained through multi-layered navigation. First, is the simple explanation of concept; second is showcasing the evolution of the concept and third-page links to specific judgments or the debates in the Constituent Assembly.

 

 

VII Court By Numbers – This page captures Supreme Court through use of easy statistical tools – like graphs, bar charts, pie diagram. This is a quantitative exercise which helps in engagement beyond the specificity of individual cases, hearings and judgments. The focus is on looking and understanding Supreme Courts through statistical tools.

Sample Page : Court By Numbers 

The Team
Sudhir Krishnaswamy
sudhir.krishnaswamy@clpr.org.in
Satya Prasoon
satya.prasoon@clpr.org.in
Ashwini Tallur
ashwini.tallur@clpr.org.in
Kruthika R
kruthika.r@clpr.org.in