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2) “Judges have an important role to play in strengthening our democracy. But they will have to exercise great discretion and resist the intoxication which comes from the view that judges are the last, best hope of the republic”. Critically examine in light of SC judgement on SC/ST Atrocities Act.

Topic: Functioning of judiciary

2) “Judges have an important role to play in strengthening our democracy. But they will have to exercise great discretion and resist the intoxication which comes from the view that judges are the last, best hope of the republic”. Critically examine in light of SC judgement on SC/ST Atrocities Act.  (250 Words)

The Indian Express

First Post

Why this question

The protests over SC Judgement in Subash Kashinath Mahajan Case has raised certain questions over the role of judiciary in reinterpreting provisions of the criminal laws and adding provisions other than those already specified in CrPC. The age old debate of Judicial Activism vs Judicial Overreach, whether India is a judicial democracy, role of judiciary in a democracy in general and India in particular have come to the fore. Moreover, the gravity of the current protests, and the potential ramifications of the protest make it imperative for us to study the issue from all possible angles.

Key demand of the question

Following are the debates which we have to critically examine in the question

  • Judicial Activism vs Judicial Overreach
  • Judiciary vs Legislature
  • Whether Judiciary is representative or elitist
  • Whether India has become a case of Judicial Democracy

Directive word

Critically Examine –  You have to give arguments present both the thesis and the antithesis (accoerding to you) ans write a fair and balanced synthesis.

Structure of the answer

Introduction- In the introduction, start with elucidating why this debate has come up and what implications it has.

Body

  • Analyze role of SC
    • Envisaged by constitution makers – SC as protector of the constitution
    • Mentioned in the Constitution – Article 142 debate
    • Role wrt Leg and Exec
    • Role of SC in unique Indian scenario
  • Broader debate of what constitutes Judicial Activism and Judicial Overreach
  • Unique Indian situation where judicial intervention is even desired
  • Way forward
    • Reforms in judiciary – Ceaser’s wife should be above suspicion
    • Necessity of maintaining balance of power

While writing the answer, focus should be on highlighting SC’s role in this particular case and relating it to the systemic and legal issues at hand.