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Mains Answer Writing

One of the key components of these exams is the written test, which consists of a number of essay and comprehension questions. Candidates are expected to write clear and well-structured answers that demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of the topics being tested.


Q1) What do you understand by judicial review in the Indian context? How does it help in maintaining the constitutionality of the nation?

Judicial review refers to the power of the judiciary to examine the constitutionality of the legislative enactments and executive orders at the central and state levels. If they are found violative of the constitutional provisions then they can be declared as illegal, unconstitutional, and invalid by the courts.

Maintaining the constitutionality of the nation:

Although the term ‘judicial review’ has not been mentioned in the constitution, the provisions of several Articles confer power of judicial review on the Supreme Court and High Courts, which has been important in maintaining the constitutionality of the nation, such as:

  • Supremacy of constitution: Judicial review establishes the supremacy of the constitution as the fundamental law of the land.
  • Basic structure mechanism: Judicial review helps in maintaining the basic structure of the constitution by holding the laws, orders unconstitutional which are not in line with the original philosophy of the constitution such as secularism, socialism etc in the country.
  • Independence of Judiciary: Judicial review helps in maintaining the independence of judiciary, thus bringing intactness to one of the pillars of democracy e.g. 99th Amendment Act providing for National Judicial Appointment Commission was held unconstitutional by judicial review.
  • Federalism: Judicial review has helped in promotion of federalism of the constitution, by helping in resolving disputes between center-state and interstate, thus promoting cooperating and competitive federalism respectively. e.g. provisions of 97th Amendment Act were held unconstitutional for violation of the federal provisions.
  • Due process of law: The power of judicial review is an apparatus to ensure that the due process of law is followed while enacting laws and thus also promotes rule of law. E.g. Judicial review of Aadhar Act, 2016.
  • Fundamental rights: Judicial review ensures that the laws, policies are not in violation of the fundamental rights of citizens, e.g. Section 377 of IPC decriminalized recently.
  • Limited powers of Parliament: Judicial review ensures that the powers of the Parliament to amend the constitution are limited to the constitution, e.g., 9th Schedule of constitution is under the judicial review (IR Coelho case).
  • Rectifying Machinery: It is severely helpful in rectifying the errors made by legislative or administrative bodies via laws, thus perpetuating social equilibrium of society.


Thus, judicial review is an important tool to enforce the checks and balances provided in the constitution and to ensure that the constitution remains the highest law of the land where every organ of the state complement and supplement each other.

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