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  • Writer's pictureRitik Agrawal

The Role Of The Supreme Court In Protecting Fundamental Rights

Nabiha Khan,

Ziauddin University

Introduction:

The Executive, Legislature, Media and Judiciary are the four pillars of democracy in the country. In all countries these four pillars works together in a coalition with each other for the betterment and prosperity of their country. However judiciary is the most crucial pillar of any country, because it has to provide justice and has to ensure all of the rights which are provided in the constitution of a state. These rights are also known as constitutional rights that are granted in a constitution to the people. 

Historical Background:

After independence in 1947, the state of India had faced challenges to establish the country. But India proved it by providing equality, freedom, liberty, peace and justice to the people of India by building a secular state where several languages, are spoken, where several different religion followers has been living together. It can be said that India has a largest democracy in the world.

The Supreme Court of India is a final court of the land, or apex court of appeal of the land , same as United States of America. It has a great power to provide justice and equality to the population of India by exercising not just only its appellant jurisdiction ,but also its writ jurisdiction in protecting fundamental rights which are provided in the constitution of India. The Article 32 of the constitution has provide the jurisdiction or powers to the Supreme Court to issue writs where the fundamental rights of the people are infringing. The Article 226 of the constitution, that empowers high courts to issue writs, where the fundamental rights of the people are violated. In a democratic country , one of the core aim of the judiciary is to protect and ensure the fundamental rights of the citizens. By doing judicial review, judiciary work as a watch dog over the executive and legislature.[i] 

There is case example where the Supreme Court overruled its own decision. In Golakhnath v. State of Punjab, The Supreme Court over ruled its earlier decision. The Apex  Court of the land decided  that no authority including the parliament can amend the Fundamental Rights.2 

The Indian Supreme Court had played a vital role during COVID-19 pandemic situation which affects the economic conditions of the country globally. At the time of pandemic when COVID cases were significantly increased, the lockdown was imposed in the India by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.[ii] Due to this courts had also stopped to do proceedings in this situation. But the e-committee of the Indian Supreme Court did not stop to provide justice. They decided to hear the cases through telephones , via video links meeting and online hearing system was initiated by the court. It shows that the Indian judiciary is very keen to provide justice in pandemic situation.

One of the important ways to upheld human rights is by preserving the present role of the judiciary. There are certain standards which have developed by the judiciary. These standards have played a vital role in promoting justice, peace and equality in the country. These standards by the Supreme Court are enhanced for the betterment of people lives. It increases the understanding among state, institutions and people.[iii] 

CONCLUSION:

The main role of the Indian Supreme Court is the guardian of the constitution and to ensure the expeditious justice to the people of the state in those matters which are related to their daily lives. Moreover the judiciary of India is very careful to upheld the rule of law and separation of powers among all four pillars of the country. The role of Supreme Court of India is to overview the activities of executive and legislature. It has been done by the Supreme Court, to ensure that executive and legislature are not infringing the rights of the people. It is also know as checks and balance system within their jurisdiction.

REFERENCES

[i] Why is judiciary called ‘The guardian of fundamental rights’? (no date) byju. Available at: https://byjus.com/questionanswer/why-is-judiciary-called-the-guardian-of-fundamental-rights-because-it-has-the-power-to/ (Accessed: 18 April 2024).  

2 Admin (2024) What is the Golaknath case? [UPSC notes for polity], BYJUS. Available at: https://byjus.com/free-iasprep/golaknath-case/ (Accessed: 18 April 2024). 

[ii] (No date) “role of the Supreme Court in protecting fundamental … Available at: https://www.livelaw.in/pdf_upload/newchallenges-and-shared-interests-between-us-and-india-396586.pdf (Accessed: 17 April 2024). 

[iii] Ahmad, S.H. (2018) Role of judiciary, The Nation. Available at: https://www.nation.com.pk/18-Apr2018/role-of-judiciary (Accessed: 18 April 2024). 

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