The Supreme Court of India is all-powerful in the sense that it is the government’s least hazardous branch, second only to the Executive and the Legislature. It is the supreme guardian of the Constitution of India. It is the protector of the rights and fundamental freedom of the people of India. It survives all the strife and turbulences under the sphere of judicial review, even if the Legislature and the Executive try to undermine it. The fundamental framework of the Indian Constitution is judicial scrutiny, which cannot be weakened even by a constitutional change. The duty of the judiciary in a country like India is not limited to technical interpretation of the law. It is a dynamic organisation that plays an important role in bringing about socio-economic and political changes. Because change in civil society must be brought about by law, and this law must be correctly applied and interpreted. The best legislation has sunk in the shoals of administrative indifference or insensitivity, as well as judicial indifference or insensitivity. It is one of the most essential functions of Indian Judiciary to ensure that the benefits of legislation actually reach the public.
Furthermore, the judiciary is the bastion of the Rule of Law, ensuring that the Rule of Law becomes the Rule of Life, restraining abuse of power and binding the Executive and the Legislature to carry out the Constitution’s mission. It is the judiciary’s dynamic role that has been correcting administrative deviance and making it more sensitive to the current challenges devoid of bias and coupled with fairness.
As things stand, a sense of despair is inevitable in any individual unfortunate enough to be entangled in litigation. It makes little sense to have a judicial system that, in most situations, provides unreliable justice after twenty-five or thirty years of travel from trial court to the Apex Court. The true position and role of an Apex Court is not to deal with every single matter that comes before it because the council has decided to file it. The Apex Court’s role is to lay down the law for the entire country in order to achieve consistency and to decide on constitutional matters and important legal questions.
The Supreme Court of India’s dynamic function has enabled innovative ‘access justice,’ i.e., the court’s doors are not closed to individuals who are unable to enter the court due to economic or other restraints. Denial of legal aid is tantamount to denial of the right to life and personal liberty guaranteed by Article 21 of the Indian Constitution. Similarly, through the use of public interest litigation or social action litigation, the impoverished, crime victims, underprivileged, disadvantaged, under-trial inmates, and others can gain access to justice. The PIL/SAL is a dynamic judicial procedure that has increased the scope of locus standi jurisdiction while also relaxing the rule of locus standi. Bandua Mukti Morcha, Salal Hydroelectric Project, Asiad’82, Agra Protective Home, Sheila Barse, Francis Mullein, Hussainara Khatoon, M.C. Mehta, and others are pointer in this perspective. The Supreme Court in M.C. Mehta v. Kamal Nath, (1997) 1SCC 388 has rules that encroachment of forest land by private owners is illegal and unconstitutional. It established the idea of ‘Public Trustee,’ arguing that the State is the trustee of all natural resources
– lakes, streams, forests, and so on – and that it cannot abdicate this responsibility and convert natural resources to private ownership. The concept of a “Public Trustee” imposed a duty on the government to safeguard the environment from deterioration.
Another example of the dynamic role of the Supreme Court is in the famous case of S.R. Bommai v. Union of India, AIR 1994 SC 1918 where the question of invoking Article 356 has been threadbare discussed. The Supreme Court has considered the various facets of imposing President’s authority in a State under Article 356, holding that secularism is a core structure of the Constitution insofar as to invoke Article 356 if a State administration fails to safeguard and protect secularism, among other difficulties.
In another area of Administrative, the judiciary has been dynamic. In Maneka Gandhi v. Union of India, AIR 1978 SC 597, The Supreme Court established the notion of “post decisional” hearings which means that parties should not put up with an unfair trial and instead instead wait for a fair appeal.
A number of cases including the Antulay case, AIR 1987 SC 1140, Indira Gandhi Assassination case, Bhopal Gas Leakage case, etc., demonstrate the Indian Supreme Court’s dynamic tendencies that uncontrolled jurisdiction is never in the interests of justice or democracy. Apart from its dynamic role, India’s higher judiciary has been unable to establish any method for filtering cases, and as a result, the current state of anarchy in the courts is a self-inflicted wound.
I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.
If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.
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We are also running a series Inspirational Women from January 2021 to March 31,2021, featuring around 1000 stories about Indian Women, who changed the world. #choosetochallenge