It is a process through which judiciary examines whether a law enacted by a legislature or an action of the executive is in accordance with the constitution or not.
The power of the judicial review was first acquired by the Supreme Court of the United States.
Now it is freely exercised by the Supreme Court of India and in many other countries.
High Courts of India also exercise this power.
Judicial Review does not mean that every law passed by the legislature is taken up by the Supreme Court for review.
It only means that the Court will review the law as and when it gets an opportunity.
This is possible in two ways.
First, the Court can review the law if its validity is challenged. The Supreme Court or High Court may get an opportunity to review a law in another situation also.
If a person or institution feels that his/her rights are violated, or a certain benefit due to him under the law is being denied, the Court while examining such a petition may come to the conclusion that the law, under which relief is sought, is itself unconstitutional.
Therefore, relief may not be granted.
The Supreme Court has played its role as a custodian of the civil liberties and in particular of the fundamental rights.
The Right to Equality is an important right, which ensures equality before law.
The Right to Freedom has given various kinds of freedoms to all of us. But the freedom of press was not mentioned in the Constitution.
It was decided by the Supreme Court that freedom of press as a right is implied in right to freedom of expression.
Thus, the Court expanded the right to freedom.
The Supreme Court has regarded the Right to Know as an important right to be able to take part in the participatory process of development and democracy.
The Court had ruled that the Right to life in, Article 21 implies and includes the right to education and clean environment also.
Regarding the delay in deciding the cases, the Supreme Court has held that delay in trial constitutes denial of justice.
It has also laid down that speedy trial, release on bail of undertrials, free legal aid to the poor and accused are also the fundamental rights.
It has also taken action to protect bonded labour, prevent exploitation of women, children and deprived sections of society.
Review of Its Own Judgment
If the Supreme Court discovers that there are some new facts or evidences or if it is satisfied that some mistake or error took place in its previous decision, it has the power to review the case and alter its previous decisions.
This is generally done when a review petition is filed.
Normally, review is done by a bigger bench than the one that originally decided the case.
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