- Research/Scholar Paper name – “STUDY OF INSTANCES OF OVERREACHING OF JUDICIAL ACTIVISM“
- Author: Pooja Umashankar
- Institution: LLM, CMR School Of Legal Studies
- Affiliation: Centre for Study of Contemporary Legal Issues
- Date of Publication: 18/05/2022
Black’s Law Dictionary explains the term judicial activism as: “Judicial activism is judicial philosophy which motivates judges to depart from strict adherence to judicial precedent in favour of progressive and new social policies which are not always consistent with the restraint expected of the appellate judges. It is commonly marked by decisions calling for social engineering and occasionally these decisions represent intrusions in the legislative and executive matters.” Courts today are not passive. They do not merely perform the job of striking down an Act or a law. The new attitude of the judiciary is more of positive actions. It has adopted an activistic approach.
There is separation of powers among the three organs of the state: Legislature, executive and judiciary. Each organ must perform its functions without transgressing its limits. However the activist approach taken by the Indian judiciary can create friction and tension with the other two organs of the state. This excessive judicial interference with the laws and executive actions is called judicial overreach. A look into the major High Court and Supreme Court decisions in recent times show that the judiciary has clearly transcended the limits and has undertaken the functions that fall within the domain of either the legislature or the executive. This research paper attempts to analyse the judicial overreach by studying and analysing various cases. It tries to bring out the problems to democracy and the spirit of the constitution due to the excessive activist behaviour of the judiciary. The paper will also attempt to bring out certain suggestions that may help to curb the overreaching behaviour of the judiciary.