Obstructing Judicial Overreach in Respect of Legislative Supremacy in India: A Study of Supreme Court Judgments


Shibam Talukdar* & Ashish Shukla**


Published on January 29, 2022 | Manuscript Number: 2022/LWLR/29001 | Page Numbers: 1-14

Abstract: One of the principal tenets of the doctrine of separation of powers postulates that none of the three organs of the government may usurp the powers of another organ. The autonomy, independence, and exclusivity of the three organs in their respective domains, enable stable governance in a country. The power of judicial review is exercised by the courts of India to determine the constitutionality of any executive, legislative, or judicial action or decision. It is a possibility that in the course of exercising this power, the courts may transgress the limitations placed upon them by the Constitution of India, and pronounce judgments or prescribe directions that encroach upon the powers of the executive and/or the legislature, thereby deviating from, and ergo, defeating the object of the doctrine of separation of powers. In order to prevent an overreach of such nature, the Supreme Court of India has recognized the constitutional fetters on the power of judicial review as regards executive and/or legislative actions. The opening tenet implicates the corollary that no court may direct an executive authority to frame rules or a legislative entity to enact laws, for that would amount to a clear transgression of the constitutional limitations on part of the judiciary. A multitude of judgments on the subject, pronounced by the Supreme Court, has been studied from the aforesaid standpoint, to understand the nuances of the stance of the apex court of the country on the immediate issue. In rendering the judgments, the Supreme Court often referred to and thereupon championed the concept of legislative supremacy, the doctrine of separation of powers, and the fetters imposed upon the power of judicial review by the Constitution of India. A collective analysis of the said judgments reveals the contribution of the Supreme Court in construing judicial overreach, and consequently, obstructing the same through the application of judicial restraint.

Keywords: Legislative Supremacy, Executive Rulemaking, Judicial Overreach, Judicial Restraint, Separation of Powers.

*Jnanadabhiram Barooah Law College, Guwahati

**High Court of Madhya Pradesh, Gwalior Bench, Gwalior

Cite as: Shibam Talukdar & Ashish Shukla, Obstructing Judicial Overreach in Respect of Legislative Supremacy in India: A Study of Supreme Court Judgments (2022) 1(3) LKO. L. REV. 1