Author: S P Sathe
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN/UPC (if available): 0195655435
This study examines judicial review and its role in democracy, with special reference to India. It traces the evolution of the Supreme Court of India from a passive, positivist court into an activist one, articulating counter-majoritarian checks on democracy.
'Judicial Activism in India’ is an examination of judicial review and its role in democracy, with special reference to India. It traces the evolution of the Supreme Court of India from a passive, positivist court into an activist one, articulating counter-majoritarian checks on democracy.
Tracing the role of the Supreme Court from the making of the constitution, S P Sathe analyses the functioning of the Court and crucial changes in its mandate. In particular, he probes the post-Emergency period, when the Court liberally interpreted the Constitution in expanding the rights of the people and facilitating access for the common man. This was an attempt to regain the social legitimacy the judiciary had lost during the Emergency.
Over the past few decades, the Court has become more accessible, participatory and even legislative. It has also begun to lay down rules of governance. By traditional standards, the Court has clearly gone beyond its constitutional limits. Although there can be serious objections to this expanded role from the standpoint of separation of powers, neither the other organs of government, nor the people have addressed the issue.
Professor Sathe discusses the processes through which the Court’s new avatar has been legitimized, and highlights what the Court must do to sustain this legitimacy. In this solidly documented and insightful exploration of the part played by the Supreme Court in India’s democracy, Professor Sathe raises important questions regarding the relationship between democracy, governance, the constitution and the judiciary.
‘Judicial Activism in India’ addresses this crucial issue of our times. With a preface by Upendra Baxi, it is essential reading for graduate and post-graduate students of constitutional law, lawyers, judges, political scientists, sociologists, activists and other concerned about the role of India’s judiciary and its impact on our democracy.
List of Cases
II Judicial Activism: Historical Perspective
III Judicial Activism: Imposing Restrictions on the Constituent Power
IV Post-Emergency Judicial Activism: Liberty and Good Governance
V Secularism and Judicial Activism
VI Growth of Public Interest Litigation:
Access and Democratization of the Judicial Process
VII Legitimacy of Judicial Activism