Question: What is meant by judicial review? Explain its role in upholding constitutionalism.
Answer: Judicial review is a method of scrutiny in which actions taken by legislature or executive are reviewed by judiciary to check for its validity.
Power of judicial review is not explicitly mentioned in constitution but there are indirect references to power of court to review laws. The provisions include Article 32 and Article 13.
Conditions for judicial review
- Violation of fundamental rights
A particular law or provisions should honour fundamental rights. Those laws that may clamp fundamental rights are reviewed.
- Violation of due procedure
Laws have to be formed after due process is followed. Any law which is made without following procedure can be cancelled.
- Violation of basic structure
Basic structure of constitution has to be upheld in all conditions. Any law that goes against the basic structure can be suitably reviewed.
Importance of judicial review
- Check on legislative powers
The judicial review puts restrictions on unlimited power of the legislature to make law. This will ensure that political ideology do not affect basic rights.
- Constitutional supremacy
In Indian polity, the constitution is the supreme entity. Any action or law that challenges this notion does not stand judicial review.
- Uphold federalism
Federalism is one of the major features of Indian polity. Any provision that destructs federal features can be prevented from becoming law.
Thus, judicial review is indeed a mechanism to check unlimited power of the legislature. It gives power to judiciary to maintain balance.