Judicial Review of Central Banks: An Indian Perspective

Indian Law Review (Forthcoming)

40 Pages Posted: 21 Dec 2022

See all articles by Pratik Datta

Pratik Datta

Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co.

Date Written: October 12, 2022


Central banks are unique institutions of profound economic significance. Judicial review of central bank actions raises concerns regarding the appropriate zone of judicial deference. Over the last decade, the frequency of judicial review challenges before the Supreme Court of India involving the Reserve Bank of India (‘RBI’) appears to have substantially increased. I attempt to contextualise this trend against the evolving nature of judicial deference towards the RBI. From 1960s to late 1990s, the Court was extremely deferential towards the RBI. With the turn of the century, several exogenous factors compelled the RBI to act beyond its uncontested traditional functions, affecting stakeholders beyond its immediate jurisdiction. This explains the increase in judicial review challenges involving the RBI since 2015. This trend also provides evidence of the eroding judicial deference towards the Central Bank at least on the regulatory (process) aspects, if not as much on the substantive economic policies themselves.

Keywords: judicial review, judicial deference, central bank, Reserve Bank of India

Suggested Citation

Datta, Pratik, Judicial Review of Central Banks: An Indian Perspective (October 12, 2022). Indian Law Review (Forthcoming) , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4295988 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4295988

Pratik Datta (Contact Author)

Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co. ( email )

216 Okhla Industrial Estate
Phase III
New Delhi, 110020

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