What is judicial review in simple words?

  • Judicial Review means the power of the Supreme Court (or High Courts) to examine the constitutionality of any law if the Court arrives at the conclusion that the law is inconsistent with the provisions of the Constitution, such a law is declared as unconstitutional and inapplicable. 
  • In other words, judicial review is the power of the judiciary to examine the constitutionality of legislative enactments and executive orders of both the Central and State governments. 
  • On examination, if they are found to be violative of the Constitution (ultra vires), they can be declared as illegal, unconstitutional and invalid (null and void) by the judiciary. 
  • Consequently, they cannot be enforced by the government. 
  • The term judicial review is nowhere mentioned in the Constitution. 
  • However, the fact that India has a written constitution and the Supreme Court can strike down a law that goes against fundamental rights, implicitly gives the Supreme Court the power of judicial review.

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