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Judicial Activism in India | Comparison with Judicial Restraint and affect on Separation of Power

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Judicial Activism in India | Comparison with Judicial Restraint and affect on Separation of Power
20 Apr 2022

An active role is played by the judiciary through judicial activism when the executive and legislature become insensitive to serve the needs of the people.

It is a recent phenomenon in India. Although in our Constitution, there is separation of power under Article 49 and checks, and balances among the three organs of the state namely, Executive, Legislature and Judiciary.

In recent past it was realized that the legislature and the executive are not doing their duties properly and honestly, by exercising Judicial Activism, the Supreme Court instructed the executive and the legislature to implement or even to make laws for the benefit of the society at large, for example, the deployment of CNG vehicles on Delhi roads, protection of ridge areas, Yamuna cleaning, closure of pollutant industries in Delhi and shifting it to the outskirts of Delhi.

Judicial Activism is a welcome step in the short run in order to inject the feeling of constitutional obligations and duties in the minds of insensitive legislation and executive.

However, in the long run, it is harmful because, it may disrupt the principle of separation of power if the Judiciary becomes more powerful than other organs of the government while exercising Judicial Activism.

Judges should also take proper caution and restraint. Reckless use of Judicial Activism is wrong and bad for the society and democratic set up. The former Chief Justice of Supreme Court, J.S. Burna also criticized certain actions of the judges while exercising powers of Judicial Activism, such as when the judge of Patna High Court gave an order to military to arrest Lalu Prasad after the famous fodder scam and the manner in which Delhi High Court Judge handled the appointment of the Director of CBI, after the retirement of Joginder Singh.