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Judicial Review


Judicial Review, in the most widely accepted definition, refers to the courts' authority to consider the constitutionality of acts by government organs (the executive and legislature) and declare them null and void if they violate or are inconsistent with the Constitution's fundamental principles. Although the Indian Constitution makes no explicit provision for judicial review, it is an integral part of our Constitution.

The Theory of Judicial Review's primary objectives are as follows:

  • To determine the unconstitutionality of Legislative Acts;

  • to preserve the supremacy of Constitutional Law;

  • to Safeguard Fundamental Rights; to preserve a federal balance between the Centre and the States; and

  • to rein in arbitrariness, unjust harassment, and unconstitutional laws.

The procedure established by law: primacy to procedure (Narrow)

This means that a law that has been duly enacted by the legislature or other appropriate body is valid if the procedure was followed correctly. Following this doctrine means that if Parliament passes a law, a person's life or personal liberty may be taken away in accordance with the provisions and procedures of that law. This doctrine contains a significant flaw. What exactly is it? It makes no inquiry into whether the laws passed by Parliament are just, fair, or arbitrary.

"Procedure established by law" means that a law that has been duly enacted is valid even if it violates fundamental justice and equity principles. Strict adherence to legal procedures may increase the risk of individuals' lives and personal liberty being jeopardised as a result of unjust laws enacted by legislative authorities.

To avert this situation, the SC emphasised the critical nature of the due process of law.

Due process of law: primacy to justness

The due process of law doctrine examines not only whether a law exists to deprive a person of his or her life and personal liberty, but also whether the law is fair, just, and not arbitrary. If the SC determines that a law is unjust, it will declare it null and void. This doctrine ensures that individual rights are treated more fairly.

Under due process, it is the legal requirement that the state must respect all of the legal rights that are owed to a person and laws that states enact must conform to the laws of the land like – fairness, fundamental rights, liberty etc. Additionally, it enables the judiciary to review any legislation's fundamental fairness, justice, and liberty.


When the Legislature, Executive, and Judiciary undermine constitutional values and deny Indian inhabitants the rights guaranteed by the Indian Constitution. In such circumstances, judicial review plays a critical role as a protector of individuals' rights. In the country, judicial review is regarded as a necessary feature.

The requirement for a broad judicial review The purpose of jurisdiction is to advance the cause of justice, human rights, reasonableness, tolerance, and fundamental moral and ethical principles, all of which constitute the true meaning of democracy, by excluding only those choices that are ex-ante unreasonable and inconsistent with democracy. It contributes to the rule of law.

It is sometimes seen as undermining the authority of the legislature, it's a good check to prevent arbitrariness of the parliament. Secondly, the judiciary being the interpreter of the Constitution is more equipped to ensure that any new law of the land is inconsistent with the spirit of the constitution. Though without a doubt it gives immense powers to the courts and leaves scope for abuse of power; prudence and restraint on the part of the judiciary are very imperative, if not it can result in chaos.


While the Court's jurisdiction as a soldier tasked with defending and advancing fundamental rights deserves unequivocal affirmation, the Court should not be interpreted as dismissive or contemptuous of democratic governance processes.

The Supreme Court has also recognised the presumption that the legislature understands its peoples' needs and that its discrimination and classifications are justified.

Thus, the challenge is to strike a delicate balance between the three organs that nurture and revitalise institutions dedicated to advancing the ideals of a true democracy.


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