10 Questions MCQ Test Indian Polity for UPSC CSE - Laxmikanth Test: Judicial Review & Judicial Activism- 2
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The power of judicial review ensures the constitutionality of laws.
The Constitution has made the supreme court the guarantor and guardian of fundamental rights. Article 13 of the Indian Constitution provides for invalidity of laws that are inconsistent with Fundamental Rights. The supreme court has the power to review legislative and administrative actions and declare them ultra vires(outside the scope of law) if they are inconsistent with the constitution.
Article 13 declares that all inconsistent laws with or derogation of any of the fundamental rights shall be void. In other words, it expressly provides for the doctrine of judicial review.
This power has been conferred on the Supreme Court (Article 32) and the High Courts (Article 226) that can declare a law unconstitutional and invalid on the ground of contravention of any of the Fundamental Rights.
The judiciary in India is immensely powerful. Barring a few cases, it has the right to review most acts/rules and regulations. Decisions taken by regulatory authorities like the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) are although subjected to Appellate Tribunals' scrutiny. They can also be challenged in the High courts and Supreme Court.
This means that if a dispute arises regarding the meaning of specific provisions of the constitution, the court gives the final version of the meaning of those specific provisions, for example, the Right to Life under Article 21 of the constitution.
It is the power of judicial review. Under judicial review powers, the judiciary can strike down laws, administrative acts, and even constitutional amendments if they violate the constitution or the constitution's basic premises.
Judicial activism has had a manifold impact on the political system.
It has democratised the judicial system by giving to individuals and groups access to the courts.
It has forced executive accountability. It has also attempted to make the electoral system much more free and fair. The court asked candidates contesting elections to file affidavits indicating their assets and income and educational qualifications so that the people could elect their representatives based on accurate knowledge.
It was introduced by Justice P.N. Bhagwati of the Supreme Court.
It was not mentioned in the constitution of India nor any law enacted by Parliament. It is a result of Judicial activism.
An individual or group of people directly files public Interest Litigation in the supreme court.
It was felt that the government undermines its interests. In such a situation, the court directly accepts the public good. It is a new legal horizon in which the court of law can initiate and enforce action to serve and secure significant Public Interest.
Public-Interest Litigation is litigation for the protection of the public interest. 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 moto), rather than the aggrieved party or another third party. For the exercise of the court's jurisdiction, the victim doesn't need to violate his or her rights to approach the court personally.
In a PIL, the right to file suit is given to a public member by the courts through judicial activism. The public member may be Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), an institution or an individual.
Kesavananda Bharati v. the State of Kerala: This was a writ petition under A32 of the constitution. The idea of PIL did not exist in India then.
Vishaka v. State of Rajasthan: This case was against sexual harassment at workplace, brought by Bhanwari Devi to stop the marriage of a one-year-old girl in rural Rajasthan. Five men raped her. She faced numerous problems when she attempted to seek justice. Naina Kapur decided to initiate a PIL to challenge sexual harassment at the workplace in this supreme court.
M. C. Mehta v. Union of India: In this case, the court passed three landmark judgements and several orders against polluting industries which were more than 50,000 in the Ganga basin. The court shut down numerous industries and allowed them to reopen only after controlled pollution. In the end, millions of people escaped air and water pollution in the Ganga basin, including eight states in India.
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