Discuss the meaning and significance of the power of Judicial Review.

Q. Discuss the meaning and significance of the power of Judicial Review.

Judicial review means the reconsideration of a degree or sentence of a Court by judiciary itself, but these days the concept has undergone great changes and not restricted to its literal meaning. In broader sense, Judicial review is the power of the judiciary to examine the constitutionality of legislative enactments and executive orders of both the Central and State governments and if they are found to be volatile of the Constitution (ultra virus), they can be declared as illegal, unconstitutional and invalid (null and void) by the judiciary.

  1. Judicial Review envisages checks and balances and putting the powers of the legislatures and the executives under some restraints and not making them uncontrolled and arbitrary.
  2. India does not only have constitution but also constitutionalism and Judicial Review is the cornerstone of Constitutionalism which implies limited Government.
  3. Judicial Review has two prime functions: that of imprinting Governmental action with the stamp of legitimacy, and that of checking the political branches of Government, when these organs encroaches the forbidden ground as interpreted by the court.
  4. In the process of Judicial Review regarding the constitutionality of any legislative Act, the legislature receives great inspiration, and arouses alertness and caution to rectify mistakes. By Judicial Review the legislature realizes its lapses and becomes alert against future lapses.
  5. In a federal State, judicial arbitration is inevitable in order to maintain balance between the Centre and the State. For the purpose of resolving disputes between centre and state, the power is given to the Courts and they are vested with the power of judicial review, as to the validity of laws made by the legislature.
  6. Judicial review gives every aggrieved citizen a right to challenge a legislative act on the ground of Constitutional violation.
  7. Supreme Court act as guardian of the constitution and guarantor of the fundamental rights, it cannot deliver on these roles without the power of judicial review.

The judiciary is the interpreter of the Constitution and to the judiciary is assigned the delicate task to determine what is the power conferred on each branch of government, whether it is limited, and if so, what are the limits and whether any action of that branch transgresses such limits. It is for the judiciary to uphold the constitutional values and to enforce the constitutional limitations. That is the essence of Judicial Review.

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