The Supreme Court as a Constitutional Watchdog
Tarunabh Khaitan, ‘The Supreme Court as a Constitutional Watchdog’ (2019) 721 Seminar 22-28
7 Pages Posted: 26 Sep 2019
Date Written: September 26, 2019
In this paper, I argue that as an apex court, the Supreme Court of India has adopted a skewed approach to its appellate and constitutional functions, spending a far greater proportion of its institutional resources on its appellate function and far less time and judicial energy in performing its constitutional defence role. Furthermore, as a judicial body, it adopts a largely cavalier attitude to reason-giving, which makes the law uncertain and therefore exacerbates the problem of pendency. Far greater judicial discipline and fidelity to the law is necessary to address its growing crisis of legitimacy. The paper outlines detailed policy suggestions to fix some of the systemic issues concerning the Supreme Court, including the division of the Court into separate constitutional and appellate divisions, and lists of criteria to govern the exercise of its special leave and constitutional jurisdictions.
Keywords: Indian Supreme Court, Special Leave Petition, Constitutional Law, Constitutional Court, Appellate Jurisdiction
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