What is Judicial Review?
One of the core principles embedded in our constitution itself is that there’s no other law in the land superior to the Constitution of India.
The framers of the Indian constitution made a logical separation of powers amongst three heads i.e the running of the country can be broadly categorized into three functions namely:
The Legislative i.e the rulemaking body
The Executive i.e the rule implementing body.
The Judiciary i.e the rule interpreting body.
These funtions under the Constitution are independent of each other to ensure that there’s no concentration of power in any one hand.
Now, Judicial Review is a way of safeguarding the constitution against the hands who want to overturn the constitution for their own advantage. In simpler terms, the judicial review helps strike down any law, order, or activity of the legislature, executive, or for that matter any administrative body that is unconstitutional in the view of the judiciary.
Features of Judicial Review in India
The power of judicial review rest with the Supreme Court and High Courts. The review by the high court can be improved or deleted by the supreme court. The final power rests with the Supreme Court.
Judicial Review can be conducted overall central and state laws including amendments to constitutional law.
The Courts do not have the power to take cognizance of matters for judicial Review on its own that is no power to suo moto cognizance. It has to be directly challenged or through the course of a hearing.
If through judicial review the court finds that law is invalid on the grounds of it being unconstitutional, it has the power to struck down the law as a whole or only remove the invalid power if the remaining part is able to give force to the legislature’s intent. (Read: Doctrine of Severability)
The judgments are in effect from the date of it is passed under Judicial review.
The principle of Judicial Review falls within an Integral part of the Constitution of India. [R. Coelho v. State of Tamil Nadu]However, one limitation is that no judicial review can be done on matters enlisted on the 9th schedule of the constitution. The 9th schedule to the Indian Constitution currently lists 284 such central and state laws that are out of the purview of the judicial review
Why was there a need for Judicial Review?
India has a written constitution and words can have different meanings. The problems of interpretation are bound to arise.
In a big democratic country like India, even a minor body of the government has to take decisions on a regular basis. It is important that these decisions are taken in the best interest of the citizens of the country and which are abided by the constitution. Judicial Review by the courts work as a check on these decisions.
To protect the right of the citizens, the court have to be the protector of the rights of the citizens. It is the core function of the judiciary and tools such as these help in the process
INTERN NAME – SAMIKSHA SEN