Judicial Activism – Indian Judicial System


The judiciary is one of the important pillars of democracy. It has more onerous responsibilities than two other important estates, the executive and the legislature. It is the judiciary and the institution of justice that helps the orderly functioning of parliamentary democracy and the exercise of powers by the various wings of administrative

“Judicial activism” is inspired by the public, who knock the doors of justice and thus judicial activism is basically citizens activism. By exercising the right to freedom of expression and assuring the representation of the common citizen, the press has raised same particular issues, conducted risky investigation and exposed serious omissions, sometimes going to court with public interest litigation. The lions share of citizens activism is that of the press, the fourth estate. When the administration fails to respond the citizen looks to the press for communication and turn to the judiciary for a remedy.

Since the judiciary is part and parcel of the society as a whole and the persons who man the administration of justice are none other than the same persons from the community, it is difficult to imagine better standards and higher moral values only in the judiciary. The people as a whole should therefore have overall control, in accordance with democratic principles. Hence an enlightened and conscious citizen should ponder over the need to reform every system, including the judiciary, to be more useful to the public in general and the democratic institutions in particular.

The delayed dispensation of justice is one of the main maladies confronting the fabric of our republic. If by delay justice is denied, it is conversely burried if hurried. With its defective structure and unquestionable power devoid of any accountability, the judiciary as for that matter, any system can play havoc with the setup. Our constitutional
frame work provides for a fairly good amount of independence to the judiciary to act as watchdog, over the other two estates. To retain such independence the judiciary is rightly enjoying an enormous amount of power too.

The Supreme Court in India unlike in the U.S.A has vast powers in controlling administrative discretion. Judicial activism, particularly on public interest litigation, has revolutionised constitutional jurisprudence. Persons belonging to the executive and legislative have criticiced the judiciary for weakening those wings and making them feel insecure. They described the situation as judicial tyranny and judicial grabbing or judiciacracy.

Various phenomena reflect the denigration of justice system. Charges of corruption, links between some advocates and some judges, the brokerage system, chasing litigation, bias, political appointments of public prosecutors and government pleaders are some of them.

As the purview of the judicial review is expanding by leaps and bounds, every action of the two estates is coming in for judicial scrutiny. In a way, this situation is helping to increase the powers of the judiciary. Citizens should be enlightened about the defects of the judiciary and the media should play the role of catalyst in reforming the administration of justice, to make it more useful to society and for judicial activism to help the development of law.

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