[Answered] “Judicial review is an essential aspect of the a constitutional democracy especially India”. Critically examine. Discuss its importance in keeping executive in check.a

Demand of the question
Introduction.Contextual introduction.
Body.Importance of judicial review.
Conclusion.Way forward.

Judicial review is a process under which executive and (in some countries) legislative actions are subject to review by the judiciary. A court with judicial review power may invalidate laws and decisions that are incompatible with a higher authority; an executive decision may be invalidated for being unlawful or a statute may be invalidated for violating the terms of a written constitution. Judicial review is one of the checks and balances in the separation of powers: the power of the judiciary to supervise the legislative and executive branches when the latter exceed their authority.

Judicial review- An essential aspect of constitutional democracy ensuring check on executive:

  1. Essential for maintaining the supremacy of the Constitution– The Constitution of India is the supreme law of the land. The Supreme Court of India has the supreme responsibility of interpreting and protecting it.
  2. Essential for checking the possible misuse of power by the legislature and executive-Supreme Court exercises the power of determining the constitutional validity of all laws. It has the power to reject any law or any of its part which is found to be un­constitutional under the Judicial Review power.  State High Courts also exercise this power but their judgements can be rejected or modified or upheld by the Supreme Court. A court with authority for judicial review may invalidate laws acts and governmental actions that are incompatible with a higher authority: an executive decision may be invalidated for being unlawful or a statute may be invalidated for violating the terms of a constitution.
  3. Protecting the rights of the people– Supreme Court acts as the guardianprotector of the Fundamental Rights of the people.Article 13 declares that the states must not make any laws inconsistent with part III of the constitution violating Fundamental Rights or that take away or abridge Fundamental Rights. Thus, the article provides a judicial review of the pre-constitutional and post constitutional laws providing a synchronizing approach to the provisions of the constitution.
  4. Maintaining the federal balance-Judicial review is a strong tool to keep a check on public bodies and rendering their accountability if their decisions or policies go outside the powers that have been specified in the Constitution. It maintains effective checks and balances by controlling unriddled, arbitrary or unjust acts taken on behalf of the Executive and the Legislature.
  5. Essential for securing the independence of judiciary– Judicial review secure independence of judiciary. It enable judiciary to act and protect the constitution enabling limitation on executive and legislature.
  6. Prevent tyranny of executive– Judicial review enable judiciary to prevent any tyranny of the executive and ensure democracy. Any attempt to supersede constitution is limited by judiciary through judicial review.

Effective functioning of executive, judiciary and legislature is important for healthy state of democracy. Maintaining the dignity and respecting the sovereignty of each other would determine the progress of Indian democracy. Discrete incidences in India or in USA are unlikely to jeopardise the authority of judicial review in both the countries.

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