The Role of Judiciary in India


In a democratic country like India, the role of judiciary is significant. Judiciary administers justice according to law. It is required to promote justice in adjudicatory process. Credibility of judicial process ultimately depends on the manner of doing administration of justice. Judiciary can promote social justice through its judgments. Otherwise common man will suffer a lot.


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The Role of Judiciary in India

In a democracy, the role of judiciary is crucial.  Judiciary is a faithful keeper of the constitutional assurances. An independent and impartial judiciary can make the legal system vibrant. Our Indian judiciary can be regarded as a creative judiciary. Credibility of judicial process ultimately depends on the manner of doing administration of justice. Justice K. Subba Rao explains the function of the judiciary as thus

  • It is a balancing wheel of the federation;
  • It keeps equilibrium between fundamental rights and social justice;
  • It forms all forms of authorities within the bounds;
  • It controls the Administrative Tribunals.

Justice – Social, economic and political is clearly laid down in the preamble as the guiding principle of the constitution. Social justice is the main concept on which our constitution is built. Part III and IV of Indian constitution are significant in the direction of Social Justice and economic development of the citizens. Judiciary can promote social justice through its judgments. In other sense, they are under an obligation to do so. While applying judicial discretion in adjudication, judiciary should be so cautious. And prime importance should be to promote social justice.


Supreme Court had itself suggested in one of the early and landmark case (Bandhu Mukti Morcha v Union of India 1984) I SCC 161, 234) that

There is a great merit in the court proceedings to decide an issue on the basis of strict legal principle and avoiding carefully the influence of purely emotional appeal.  For that alone gives the decision of the court a direction which is certain and unfaltering, and that especial permanence in legal jurisprudence which makes it a base for the next step forward in the further progress of the law.  Indeed both certainty of substance and certainty of direction are indispensable requirement in the development of the law and invest it with credibility which commands public confidence in its legitimacy.

The Court must take care to see that it does not overstep the limits of its judicial function and trespass into areas which are reserved to the executive and the legislature by the constitution.  Clear violation of constitutional or statutory provision must be interfered by the apex judiciary.  If a considered policy decision has been taken which is not in conflict with any law or is not malafide, it will not be in Public Interest to require the court to go into and investigate those areas which are the function of the executive.  When two or more options or views are possible and after considering them the government takes a policy decision it is then not the function of the court to go into the matter a fresh and in a way, sit in appeal over such a policy decision (Balco v. Union of India (2002) 2 SCC 333) .whatever method adopted by judiciary in adjudication, it must be the procedure known to the judicial tenets. .

It is proper to conclude with the note adopted by Justice Ranganatha Misra in the case of Dr. P. Nalla Thampy Thera v.Union of India as follows


“We think it proper to conclude our decision by remembering the famous saying of Herry Peter Broughan with certain adaptations:

“It was the boast of Augustus that he found Rome of bricks and left it of Marble

“But how noble will be the boast of the citizens of free India of today when they shall have it to say that they found law dear and left it cheaper; found it sealed book and left it a living letter; found it the patrimony of the rich and left if the inheritance of the poor; found it the two edged sword of craft and oppression and left it the staff of honesty and the shield of innocence.

“It is only in a country of that order that the common man will have his voice heard”.


Author: Adv. Shinsy p.s.

Final year LL.M Student

Govt. Law College, Thrissur


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