Judicial Review in India : An Overview
America was the first country to use the term Judicial Review in 1803. On the other hand, in the Indian constitution, there is no phrase that goes like Judicial Review in India; however, several articles have covered the basic idea behind the judicial review, article 13, article 32, and article 131, for instance.
The constitution of India explicitly gives the Indian judiciary (Supreme Court and High Court) the power to review cases that go against the Indian Constitution. Judicial Review in India is so important that it cannot get altered or changed even by an amendment.
Meaning of Indian Judicial Review
The Indian Constitution gives the High Court and Supreme Court of India the power to review constitutional amendments, parliament legislation, state legislation, subordinate legislations, and the administrative actions of the State and Union. If the Supreme court or the High Court finds that any case is against and damages the Indian constitution, they can use their power and declare it null and void.
The Golaknath case, the Privy Purses Abolition Case, the Bank Nationalism Case, Minerva Mills Case, Kesavnanda Bharti Case are examples of where the Supreme Court has used its power to declare them null and void. Null and Void cases are cases that are unconstitutional and illegal in the eyes of the Indian Constitution.
Why Judicial Review in India is Important
There are reasons why a Judicial Review in India is Important. Let us see them one after another.
- India is a democratic country where every individual enjoys the seven fundamental rights, which give them equality and freedom. In case they find their fundamental rights are averted, they can ask for a Judicial review. India’s supreme justice must protect those rights and create a healthy nationalism in each Indian.
- The second reason is to establish a sense that no one is above the constitution of India. The judiciary system of India ensures the supremity of the Indian constitution and decides what is in favor or what is against the constitution. There happened a case in India in 2005 when Supreme Court found the 99th Constitutional Amendment and National Judicial Appointments Commission act against the constitution. As a result of which, it declared both cases null and void.
- To create a balance between State Government and Union Government.
Articles that Cover the Concept of Judicial Review
There are at least sixteen articles that explain the idea of Judicial Review. Let us see what those articles are.
According to article 13 of the Indian constitution, if any law or case is found violating or against fundamental rights, then the case is unconstitutional and should immediately be declared null and void.
According to article 32, every individual has the right to move to the Supreme court if their fundamental rights are averted. It also enables the Supreme Court to take strict actions against that.
According to article 131, the judgment of the Supreme Court shall be considered in case of inter-state or center-state disputes.
Article 132, Article 133, and Article 134
In the case of constitutional cases, civil cases, and criminal cases, Supreme Court has the right to grant leave to the appeal respectively.
In order to take special leave from Supreme Court, a guilty has to produce an appeal certificate to the Supreme Court from the High Court.
It gives the Supreme Court the right to exercise the Federal Court’s powers under any preconstitutional law.
Supreme Court is free to give special leave to appeal from any lower courts: however, Court Martial or Military Tribunal is not on the list.
It gives the President of India the freedom to ask for the Supreme Court’s opinion on any constitutional or legal matter.
Allow the High Court to issue orders for the enforcement of Fundamental Rights.
It gives the High Court power over all other courts and tribunals in the respective jurisdiction. The High Court judgment will be the last judgment inside a territory.
Article 251 and Article 254
According to these two articles, whenever there is a conflict between central and state law, the first would get priority while the latter would be null.
The founding fathers of the Indian Constitution were wise enough to introduce the idea of Judicial Review in India so as to ensure that everyone enjoys equal rights, liberty, and freedom. Only the Judiciary System (Supreme Court and High Court) can use this power to declare any case null and void.