|Demand of the question
Introduction. Contextual introduction.
Body. Discuss the role of Supreme Court as the final interpreter and guardian of the Indian Constitution?
Conclusion. Way forward.
The Supreme Court has been assigned a very significant role in the Indian political system and is the final interpreter of the constitution. Under the constitution of India, the Supreme Court is provided with the scope of judicial review. The judicial review allows the Supreme Court to safeguard fundamental rights and struck down legislations which are violative of Constitutional provisions. Under Article 13, 32, 131-136, 143, 226 and 246 Supreme Court can review any law.
Supreme Court- as the final interpreter of the Indian Constitution:
- Constitutional values: Supreme Court under judicial review can examine the constitutionality of legislation and executive orders of both the Central and state governments. On examination, if they are found to be violative of the Constitutional values, they can be declared as unconstitutional and invalid by the Supreme Court. In K.Gopalan v/s State of Madras the court upheld that it is the constitution that is supreme and a statute law to be valid, must in all cases be in conformity with the constitutional requirements.
- Protection of fundamental rights: Article 13 declares that all laws that are inconsistent with or in derogation of the Fundamental Rights shall be null and void. Article 32 guarantees the right to move the Supreme Court for the enforcement of the Fundamental Rights and empowers the Supreme Court to issue directions or orders or writs for that purpose. For example, in Navtej singh Johar case, Supreme Court has upheld that section 377 of IPC is unconstitutional.
- Check on executive action: Every state action is to be tested on the ground of rule of law. Indian Constitution is federal in nature and it is the constitutional duty of the Supreme Court to interpret the constitution. Under its original jurisdiction, the Supreme Court keeps the government within their limits by judicial interpretations.
- Check on tyrannical tendencies: Supreme Court protects citizens against legislative excesses and executive arbitrariness. It protects our country from tyranny of executive and legislature through judicial review. In absence of judicial review and judicial activism, various legislation or executive actions might undermine the very spirit of democracy.
- Reviewing own decisions: Article 137 of the constitution of India empower the Supreme Court to review its own order or judgment. This power of correction makes the judiciary correct its own mistakes. As per the change in circumstances and conditions and coming into existence of new facts and laws the Supreme Court and High Court overrule and set aside their own judgments and orders. Supreme Court has done this many times, for example in Kesavananda Bharati case. This case upheld the changes in 24th amendment in Article 368 and Article 13 of Indian Constitution by overruling Golaknath Judgment of 1967.
Judiciary has been playing a remarkable role by the way of judicial review for maintaining the supremacy of the constitution. The judiciary is the main aspect which safeguard the democracy and ensures peace, justice and good order. The constitution has provided judiciary with independence a and enough powers to keep executive in check making Supreme Court as the final judge of the constitution.