Who started Judicial Activism in India?

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 9th, 2023

Justice V.R. Krishna Iyer, Justice O.Chinnappa Reddy, Justice P.N Bhagwati, and Justice D.A Desai started judicial activism in India. Judicial activism is the use of the courts’ authority to investigate state actions. Articles 32 and Article 226 of the Indian Constitution grant the higher judiciary the authority to declare any legislative, executive, or administrative action unconstitutional and void if it does so.

Founder of Judicial Activism

Judicial activism means the judiciary’s proactive role in protecting citizens’ rights. In the USA, its practice was first originated and developed.

  • In India, the High Courts and Supreme Court have the authority to review the constitutionality of laws.
  • A law can be declared unconstitutional if it contradicts the provisions of the Constitution.
  • It should be noted that subordinate courts lack the authority to examine the constitutionality of laws.

Judicial Activism

Judicial activism leads to controversy over supremacy between the Supreme Court and Parliament. It can violate the delicate principle of power separation, checks, and balances.

Judicial Restraint

Judicial restraint is the polar opposite of judicial activism. It is a judicial interpretation theory that encourages judges to limit the exercise of power.

  • In other words, courts must interpret the law while remaining neutral in policymaking.
  • Judges should always try to decide cases based on the original intent of those who designed the Constitution, precedent – decisions made in previous cases, and the court should also delegate policymaking to others.
  • In establishing new policies, the courts are “restricted” by their decisions.


Who started Judicial Activism in India?

Justice O.Chinnappa Reddy, Justice V.R. Krishna Iyer, Justice P.N Bhagwati, and Justice D.A Desai established judicial activism in India. In India, judicial activism implies that the Supreme Court and the high courts, but not the lower courts, have the authority to declare the regulations unconstitutional.

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