ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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A Decade of Decay

Between 2010 and 2019, the Supreme Court of India has suffered a credibility crisis not seen since the 1970s, with its reputation for independence and institutional strength lying in tatters. Deep systemic failings have come to the fore as the Court enters a new decade in the midst of an existential battle for relevance.

The Supreme Court of India enters a new decade with its reputation as an independent constitutional court in tatters. It has wilted under the gaze of intense public scrutiny over its actions. In the last few years, it has been called upon to check the unconstitutional excesses of a majoritarian government with a full majority in Parliament, but failed again and again. The only comparable decade is perhaps 1970 to 1979, when the Court was riven internally and succumbed to external pressure in the face of another strong executive government.

In this column, I examine the Supreme Court’s decade of decay to understand where it has all gone so wrong with the Court through two major themes that are fundamental and linked to the Court’s constitutional role: the questioning of the union government’s actions and the appointment of judges.

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Updated On : 21st Jan, 2020

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