Judicial Review 


Judicial Review

Judicial review is the power bestowed upon the judiciary by the constitution, by virtue of which the judiciary can examine legislative enactments and executive orders of the governments, be it state or central. This doctrine traces its origin to the United States of America where it was put forward in the case of Marbury Vs Madison.

The then Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court, John Marshall, was the progenitor of the idea. However, as mentioned above, it is the Constitution of India itself that grants such power to the judiciary. The right to judicial review is possessed by both the supreme courts and the high courts of the country.

The courts also have the power to declare any law passed by the legislature as null and void if the law goes against the constitution upon which the law cannot be imposed by the government.

What is the importance of judicial review?

  • Judicial review is necessary to uphold the principle of supremacy of the constitution.
  • The provision of judicial review prevents the misuse of power by the legislature and executive.
  • It maintains the equilibrium between the centre and state, thereby maintaining federal equilibrium.
  • The provision protects the fundamental rights of the citizens.
  • This provision ensures the principle of the independence of the judiciary.

Scope of judicial review

Judicial review isn’t absolute as some conditions need to be met to challenge any law in the supreme court or the high courts, i.e., a law can be challenged only if:

  • The said law infringes upon the fundamental rights guaranteed by the constitution.
  • The said law goes against the provisions listed in the constitution.
  • The law that has been enacted goes beyond the competency of the authority that has framed it.

Types of judicial review

The provision of judicial review in India has been famously divided into three broad categories by Justice Syed Shah Mohamed Quadri.

  • Judicial review of constitutional amendments.
  • Judicial review of legislation by the parliament and state legislatures expands to subordinate legislation.
  • Judicial review of administrative actions of the union and state expanding up to authorities under the state.
Difference between Interpretation and Construction

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