Judicial Review

If judicial review means anything, it is that judicial restraint does not allow everything.
Don Willet

Many claim judicial review originally came into existence from the Americans. But officially the existence of judicial review came from the case of Madison v. Marbury. This case was during the days when Federalist Adam was the President for his last few days. He lost his presidential election against Anti- Federalist Jefferson. Jefferson was supposed to be the next president. In the US the new President holds his office not right after winning the election but after tenure. Until then the old President held the office. While Adam was holding his office for the last few days he ensured a way so that the Federalist Party members could also rule and exist alongside. So before leaving his office he made judges from the Federalist parties.

They were called the midnight judges who were also approved by the congress and the legislature. While Jefferson came into holding his office he wasn’t happy with this. The Secretary of State Madison was asked by Jefferson to not send the appointment letter to the judges. Federalist Marbury was waiting for his letter but didn’t receive it and later got to know that on Jefferson’s request Madison failed to send any of the appointment letters of the Judges. Writ of Mandamus was issued against Madison which was rejected stating “telling politicians to do their job was not among the duties given to the court in the Constitution. Hence Judiciary act 1789, which gave the right to issue mandamus was in fact unconstitutional”. Thus the court avoided interfering with the orders of the President and the legislative action was claimed unconstitutional for the 1st time. This gave birth to a new method known as Judicial Review. Following this principle if any law made by the legislature was unconstitutional it was declared null and void.
In India unlike the US the factor of judicial review is mentioned in the Constitution itself both for the Supreme Court and the High Court. The apex court of India also declared Judicial Review as the basic structure thus it cannot be curtailed.

According to “The Doctrine of Judicial Review” the term judicial review means the authority given to the ‘Judiciary’ to examine and scrutinize whether the actions of the Legislature or Executive are constitutional. It is the power of the judiciary to examine the constitutionality of the enactments of the legislature and guidelines of the Executive of both the Centre and the State.


This doctrine affirms that no law in the land is more superior to the Constitution. Consequently the existence of any such law that shall contravene the Constitution shall be invalid. Judicial Review gives the court the supremacy to command for the purpose of enquiry on any law, rule or order given by the executive or any other legislative body or such official actions which violates any of the articles mentioned in the Constitution of India. This authority permits the Court to announce any action of the legislature is null and unacceptable if it finds it unconstitutional.


Judicial Review in its usual form means the power to rewind any order or decree from the subordinate Court. It functions with the support of appeals and revision set as guide by the Adjective Law of a state regardless of the political scenario pre-dominating. Judicial Review has a huge importance in countries with a written Constitution and their governmental law. In those countries the Court has the authority to test and check the lawfulness of the legislative or any other government’s conduct.


Judicial review upholds the supremacy of our constitution. It maintains federal balances and protects our fundamental rights. Unlike the US that follows due process of law, the Indian Judicial review ranges from procedure established by law.


Judicial Review is an efficient method to ensure check and balances in the State. Our study so far has made it clear that each body, the executive, legislative and judiciary, are given separate powers. None is entitled with complete power to prevent dominance of one body over the other. Another important reason for distribution of power is to maintain harmonious existence. But certain situations may supervene when one or the other body misuses their powers. Instances of when one body extends its authority beyond its limits may eventuate. Then the role of the Judiciary and its judicial review comes into play. This mainly keeps a balance between all administrations and executive bodies to use their powers correctly and in the apt manner. Also when there is infringement of fundamental rights the judicial review comes to play a vital role in fixing it. It acts as the right of every person in the nation to seek fairness and justice. The judicial review itself can scatter its powers to ensure no executive or administrative body is conveying such rules that are against the principles of Natural Justice or Rule of Law.


Ergo, we can confirm in all ways that judicial review is a part of the basic structure of the Indian constitution. It is also the birth right of every human when their fundamental rights are infringed. And it maintains a clear cut verified equilibrium in the nation. It stands as an upholding bridge to maintain the stability of Natural Justice and fairness in the existence of Rule of Law.

Aishwarya Says:

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.

Do follow me on FacebookTwitter  Youtube and Instagram.

The copyright of this Article belongs exclusively to Ms. Aishwarya Sandeep. Reproduction of the same, without permission will amount to Copyright Infringement. Appropriate Legal Action under the Indian Laws will be taken.

If you would also like to contribute to my website, then do share your articles or poems at adv.aishwaryasandeep@gmail.com

We also have a Facebook Group Restarter Moms for Mothers or Women who would like to rejoin their careers post a career break or women who are enterpreneurs.

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


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