Introduction of Judiciary

  • The bedrock of our democracy is the rule of law and that means we have to have an independent judiciary, judges who can make decisions independent of the political winds that are blowing. – Caroline Kennedy
  • The judiciary is considered the watchdog of democracy, and also the guardian of the Constitution. For democracy to function effectively, it is imperative to have an impartial and independent judiciary.

Envisaged Role:

  • Effectuating the Spirit of Constitutionalism
    • Constitutionalism is the doctrine often associated with the political theories of John Locke. It says that government powers should be legally limited, and its authority or legitimacy depends on observing these limitations.
    • Judiciary plays an important role in improving the law-making process and securing democratic ideals.
    • It is done by enforcing the text and spirit of the constitutional provisions governing legislative procedures.
  • Acts as Guardian of the Constitution
    • The Supreme Court, The highest court in India, acts as the guardian of the Constitution. 
    • Any law or executive order which violates any provision of the constitution is dealt with by the judiciary and declared unconstitutional or null and void by the judiciary. 
  • Using the Power of Judicial Review
    • It is the power of the Judiciary to review any act or order of Legislative and Executive wings and to pronounce upon the constitutional validity when challenged by the affected person. 
    • The power of Judicial Review comes from the Constitution of India itself (Articles 13, 32, 136, 142 and 147 of the Constitution).
    • It is generally considered as a basic structure of independent judiciary (Indira Gandhi vs. Raj Narain case).
  • Special Role in Federation
    • The judiciary also performs the important task of settling disputes between the centre and states in a federation like India.
    • It also acts as an arbiter of disputes between states.
  • Creation of judge-case law 
    • In some cases, it becomes difficult for judges to select the appropriate law for application.
    • In such cases, the judges decide what the appropriate law is on the basis of their wisdom and common sense. In doing so, judges have built up a great body of ‘judge-made law’ or ‘case law.’ 
    • As per the doctrine of ‘stare decisis’, the previous decisions of judges are generally regarded as binding on later judges in similar cases.
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