Judicial Activism

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The term judicial activism is explained in Black’s law Dictionary, Sixty edition, thus,”judicial philosophy which motives judges to depart from strict adherence to judicial precedent in favour of progressive and new social policies, which are not always consistent with the restraint expected of appellate judges. It is commonly marked by decisions calling for social engineering and occasionally these decisions represent intrusions in the legislative and executive matters.” Considering the scope and extent of Article 32(2) of the constitution of India, the Supreme court, in clear terms, has observed that the court has power under Article 32(2) to issue whatever direction, Order or Writ that may be appropriate in a given case for the purpose…show more content…
The justices of the Indian supreme court, therefore, functioned in a very technocratic manner ,hesitant (like their British counterparts) “to assume wider powers for the court”. Most members of the court during the 1950s and 1960s believed that the Nehru government needed time and latitude to enact its economic, political, and social agenda. Between 1950 and 1965, the Supreme Court refused to challenge the parliament’s power in most other areas. Between 1977 and 1998, the court handed down a series of rulings that increased its prominence as a legal as well as a political institution. During this period the court engaged in heavy judicial activism. The growth of public interest litigation in the Supreme Court and the other court’s activism over the past two decades has translated into increased legitimacy for the institution. The supreme court has attempted to provide greater access for people to use the legal process. For example, the court has interpreted the constitution’s provisions regarding “writs” to mean the petitions may be filed directly in a state High Court, where the state government is accused of violating a statutorily or constitutionally protected right. Additionally, where the central Government is charged with infringing upon the fundamental rights of individual, writs may…show more content…
Judicial activism has virtually been constitutionalised in South Africa, where the court is constitutionally expected to enforce socio-economic rights such as the right to food, clothing and housing. In the celebrated treatment Action Campaign (TAC) opinion, the Constitutional Court of South Africa ensured that life-saving anti-retroviral drugs would be made available to South African citizens in need. In similar vein, the Indian Supreme Court has enforced socio-economic rights, though they are not considered enforceable by the Constitution. During the last five decades, the Judiciary has emerged as the most powerful institution of the state. It has assumed the power to strike down amendments to the constitution on the anvil of the innovative theory of ‘basic structure’. Problems relating to environment pollution and natural resources of the nation, which ought to have been tackled on a priority by the executive and the legislature are brought up through PIL to be handled by the Supreme Court and the High Courts. Lack of proper governance, non-governance and miss-governance are, probably, more responsible for increasing judicial

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