Judicial Review is the power of Courts to pronounce upon the constitutionality of legislative and executive acts of the government which fall within their normal jurisdiction. It has the origin in the theory of limited government and in the theory of two laws, viz.. an ordinary law and a supreme law i.e ConstitutionAny act of the ordinary law making bodies which contravenes the provisions of the supreme law must be void and there must be some organ which is to possess the power or authority to pronounce such legislative acts void. In Fundamental Rights Case Justice Khanna said that judicial review has became an integral part of our constitution and a power has been vested in the High Courts and the Supreme Court to decide about the constitutional validity of the provisions of statutes. If the provisions of the statutes are found to be voilative of any of the articles of the constitution which is the touchstone for the validity of all laws the Supreme Court and the High Courts are empowered to strike down the said provision.”

When the Legislature, Executive and Judiciary have harmed the constitutional values and deny the rights, which have been definite under the Indian Constitution to the Indian inhabitants. In such circumstances the judicial review plays very important role as protector for safeguarding the rights of people. It is the long back journey, where we are right now. However, judiciary has faced burden of many technocrats, lawyers, politicians and academicians.

  1. MARBURY V. MADISON[5 U.S 137(1803)]

The doctrine of judicial review was for the first time formulated by the supreme court of America in this case. In this case the chief justice marshall observed that the constitution is the paramount law of the nation and every act of the legislature which is repugnant the constitution is void. The Indian constitution contains a express provision article 13 for judicial review. The power of judicial review is exercised by the supreme court and high court in India.


This case was seen from KeshvanandBharti case in which the cases like Chandra Kumar v. Union of India and others (1997)WamanRao and others v. Union of India and others (1981), Minerva Mills Ltd. and others v. Union of India (1980) Indira Nehru Gandhi v. Raj Narnia (1975), where judicial review was considered as essential and integral Part of the Constitution of India.


The supreme court or the high court in exercise of its power of judicial review can declare law passed by parliament or the state lagislature as invalid on only two grounds- first it is not within the competence of legislature which passed the law and second it is in contravention of any of fundamental rights stipulated in part 3 of the constitution or any other right or provision of constitution . No grounds is available to invalidate any Pierce of legislation.  A law cannot be invalidated on the grounds  that the legislature did not apply its mind or it was prompted by some improper motive or it was arbitrary or unreasonable.

  1. P.U.C.L v. U. O. I[2003]

The Indian Supreme Court, in its historical verdict stated that to disregard or disobey the decision given by the court, the lawmakers of India have no power to ask for the instrumentality, if the legislature has influence over the subject matter.


The Supreme Court of India has struck down Section 303 of Indian Penal Code, 1860. This section had made death sentence mandatory. In case Article twenty-one of the Indian Constitution was illustrated by the S.C.I. complete its frequent pronouncement.

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