The power of judicial review has been modeled on the lines of American constitution in India. Parliament is not supreme in India, but the constitution is. Hence, the Supreme court has the power to preserve the constitution through the power of judicial review.
The power to declare any law void is provided explicitly by Article 13 of the constitution. Additionally, article 32 also enables this provision by declaring Supreme Court as the protector of the constitution.
The Supreme court of India has declared judicial review as one of the basic features of the Indian constitution. This was declared so by the Maneka Gandhi v Union of India in 1978 when the court ruled that any fundamental rights and laws of the Parliament are subject to judicial review by the Supreme Court.
Why judicial review is important?
Firstly, judicial review enables a citizen to seek remedies from the court in case he or she has been wronged by any unjust legislation.
Secondly, judicial review provides a check and balance to the powers of the Parliament to legislate indiscriminately. This is supported by the Maneka Gandhi ruling in which the Supreme Court has clearly opined that a law cannot only be procedurally fair but it must also be naturally fair.
Thirdly, judicial review ensures that the most pertinent social, environmental, economic, political and ethical issues are not ignored by the legislature and duly and fairly addresses.
Lastly, it helps preserve the constitution and the ideals of equality, liberty and fraternity.
- Judicial review provides almost unchecked power to the judiciary to strike down anything it pleases. This can create power struggle between judiciary and the executive.
- Judicial review can increase the instances of court cases, thereby burdening judiciary.
- Judicial review can also be misused to strike down desirable laws.