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Doctrine of Judicial Review in Indian Constitution

The ability of a nation's courts to investigate and assess whether the legislative, executive, and administrative departments of government are acting in accordance with the Constitution is known as judicial review. Decisions that are deemed incongruous are deemed to be unconstitutional and, as a result, void. At the judges' disposal, it is an extremely powerful tool. It includes the ability of a court to declare any law or order that is based on a law or another action taken by a public authority that is at odds with the fundamental law of the country to be unconstitutional and unenforceable.

The USA is where the judicial review doctrine first emerged. It was initially put forth by John Marshall, the US Chief Justice at the time, in the famous Marbury v. Madison case. He noted that the court has the responsibility to define the law and that the Constitution is supreme. This is the fundamental responsibility of judges. Why else does the Constitution require judges to swear allegiance to it?

The idea of Basic Structure originated in India when the Supreme Court used the judicial review theory in the famous Keshavananda Bharti Case ruling. The Supreme Court formally said in Raj Narain v. Indira Gandhi that the Judicial Review is an essential component of the Basic Structure concept and cannot be eliminated through amendment. The Supreme Court noted in the Minerva Mills Case that the Constitution established an independent judiciary with the authority to conduct judicial reviews to ascertain the legitimacy of laws and the constitutionality of administrative acts. According to the Constitution, the judiciary's exclusive responsibility is to use its judicial review authority as a sentinel of qui vive to ensure that the several branches of government remain within the bounds of the authority granted to them.

The Place of Judicial Review in Indian Constitution
After the legislative, executive branch, and court violate constitutional principles and deny rights, judicial review becomes a crucial defender of such rights. One important aspect of the nation is considered to be the judicial evaluation. India has a parliamentary democracy in which all segments of the population participate in higher order political and cognitive processes. It is true that upholding the rule of law is the court's primary responsibility and that it forms the foundation for social equality.

The rule of law that the courts are tasked with upholding cannot be altered by physical force under the new powers granted to Parliament. Everyone present performing official duties has an accountability. They are required to operate within the democratic parameters set forth in the Indian Constitution. Judicial review is the idea of the separation of powers and the rule of law. Under Articles 32 and 136 of the Indian Constitution for the review and Articles 226 and 227 simply in case of court, the influence of judicial assessment has been said farewell.

It was vital to include certain "judicial review" provisions in post-independence India in order to give effect to the individual and collective rights specified in the Constitution. The clause in question was referred to as the "heart of the Constitution" by Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, who oversaw the drafting committee of our Constituent Assembly. According to Article 13(2) of the Indian Constitution, neither the Union nor the States may enact laws that restrict or deny any of the fundamental rights. Any legislation enacted in disagreement with this mandate will be invalid to the degree of the disagreement.

The common law doctrines of "proportionality," "legitimate expectation," "reasonableness," and natural justice principles have shaped the evolution of body action review. Consequently, the Supreme Court of India and several High Courts have the authority to rule on the constitutionality of legislative actions as well as body actions intended to protect and uphold the fundamental rights guaranteed by Part III of the Constitution. Since Article 246 of the Constitution, which scans with the seventh schedule, envisions a clear demarcation yet as a zone of intersection between the law-making powers of the Union Parliament and consequently the numerous State Legislatures, the High Courts are also asked to rule on questions of legislative competency. These cases are typically brought before them in the context of Center-State relations.

Therefore, the scope of review before Indian courts has developed in three dimensions: first, to ensure body action justice; second, to protect voters' constitutionally guaranteed basic rights; and third, to make decisions regarding legislative competency between the federal government and the states. Article 32 of the Constitution gives the Supreme Court of India the authority to uphold these fundamental rights.

Milestones of PIL in India
Hussainara Khatoon v. State of Bihar is one of the first cases of public interest litigation that has been documented. This case featured a number of articles that highlighted the predicament of undertrial prisoners in the state of Bihar and were published in the Indian Express, a well-known daily. An counsel brought the Court's attention to the appalling conditions of these inmates through a writ petition. Many of them had served jail terms that exceeded the maximum amount of time that could be imposed for the offenses they were accused of.

The writ petition was allowed to be maintained by an advocate after the Supreme Court recognized the dilution of locus standi. After then, the Court issued rulings in a number of cases that established the "right to a speedy trial" as a fundamental component of the defense of life and personal freedom. Shortly afterward, two eminent legal scholars submitted writ petitions to the Supreme Court, drawing attention to a number of legal irregularities that they claimed violated Article 21 of the Constitution.

These included, among other things, the deplorable conditions that prevailed in protective homes, the protracted pendingness of legal proceedings, the trafficking of women, the immigration of minors for homosexual purposes, and the failure to pay wages to bonded laborers. The Supreme Court acknowledged their right to speak for the oppressed masses and issued rulings and directives that significantly improved their lot in life.

In a different case, journalist Ms. Sheela Barse focused on the predicament of female inmates housed in Bombay's police jails. The Court took notice of the situation and gave the Director of the College of Social Work, Bombay, instructions to go to the Bombay Central Jail and speak with a variety of female inmates to find out if they had been tortured or otherwise mistreated. Based on his conclusions, the Court issued directives that stipulated that accused women could only be questioned in the presence of a female police official and that female inmates could only be held in specially designated female lock-ups under the supervision of female constables.

The ruling in Vishaka v. State of Rajasthan was a significant milestone in the field of gender justice. The grassroots social worker's gang rape served as the catalyst for the petition in that particular case. In that ruling, the Court cited the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and established standards for the creation of procedures for addressing workplace sexual harassment of women.

The ruling was heavily criticized for infringing on the legislative branch's authority. It is important to keep in mind that significant social change necessitates long-term involvement, just like any other persistent alteration. Litigation is a critical first step toward systemic improvements, even in cases when a specific petition fails to obtain relief in a way that is beneficial or moves slowly through the system.

The Indian Constitution's fundamental framework, the Doctrine of Judicial Review, is not supported in questions of policy. On the other hand, it is acceptable in policy considerations if the policy is capricious, unfair, or violates fundamental rights. The Supreme Court ruled in Kerala Bar Hotels Association v. State of Kerala that judges should be reluctant to evaluate state policy since it needs time to develop. In the event that a policy turns out to be foolish, repressive, or stupid, the people have been eager to point this out to the government. Thus, the imposition of judicial limitation on government legislative, executive, and judicial actions is known as the Doctrine of Judicial Review.Written By: Akanksha

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