Constitution of India

Article 138 – Enlargement of the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.

The Constitution of India is the fountainhead from which all our laws derive their authority and force. This is next Article in the series on constitutional provisions in order to aid our readers in understanding them.


138. “Enlargement of the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.—(1) The Supreme Court shall have such further jurisdiction and powers with respect to any of the matters in the Union List as Parliament may by law confer.

(2) The Supreme Court shall have such further jurisdiction and powers with respect to any matter as the Government of India and the Government of any State may by special agreement confer, if Parliament by law provides for the exercise of such jurisdiction and powers by the Supreme Court.


A provision for the enlargement of the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court can be traced back to clause 96 of the Draft Constitution prepared by the Constitutional Adviser (October 1947) and Article 114 of the Draft Constitution of the Drafting Committee (February 1948). Draft Article 114 came for discussion in the Constituent Assembly on 6th June, 1949. Notice of only one amendment was tabled but even that was not moved. There was practically no discussion on this Article in the Assembly. Draft Article was adopted to be added to the Constitution in the form in which it now appears as Article 138 of the Constitution except that at the revision stage while re-numbering it as Article 138, the Drafting Committee added the words “the Government” before the words “of any State” in clause (2) of Article 138.

The Supreme Court (Enlargement of Criminal Appellate Jurisdiction) Act, 1970 was passed by the Parliament to enlarge the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court in criminal cases to cover cases where the High Court had reversed a lower court order of acquittal of the accused and sentenced him to imprisonment to life or ten years or where it had withdrawn a case from a lower court for trial before itself.

Source: Dr Subhash C Kashyap, Constitutional Law of India

1 Comment

  • What about article 132 (2) . Is any difference between article 134 (2) and article 138 ? Please explain both articles

Leave a Comment