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

See all articles by Tarunabh Khaitan

Tarunabh Khaitan

University of Oxford - Faculty of Law; University of Melbourne - Law School; University of California, Berkeley - Berkeley Center on Comparative Equality & Anti-Discrimination Law

Date Written: September 26, 2019

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Khaitan, Tarunabh, The Supreme Court as a Constitutional Watchdog (September 26, 2019). Tarunabh Khaitan, ‘The Supreme Court as a Constitutional Watchdog’ (2019) 721 Seminar 22-28. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3459834

Tarunabh Khaitan (Contact Author)

University of Oxford - Faculty of Law ( email )

St. Cross Building
St. Cross Road
Oxford, OX1 3UJ
United Kingdom

University of Melbourne - Law School ( email )

University Square
185 Pelham Street, Carlton
Victoria, Victoria 3010
Australia

University of California, Berkeley - Berkeley Center on Comparative Equality & Anti-Discrimination Law

Boalt Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720-7200
United States

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