The Judiciary under Pressure

Granville Austin

in Working a Democratic Constitution

Published in print July 2003 | ISBN: 9780195656107
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199080397 | DOI:
The Judiciary under Pressure

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This chapter describes the government's pressures on judicial authority in two great cases — the attempt to overturn the ‘basic structure’ doctrine — and the transfer of high court judges. Prime Minister Gandhi's view of the judiciary became clear in the Bank Nationalization and Princes cases, during the Kesavananda hearings, in the supersession of judges, and in the Emergency. Mrs Gandhi's government acted to curtail the Court's power of judicial review by overturning the basic structure doctrine laid down in Kesavananda and upheld by four of the five judges ruling in her Election case. Later, she transferred 18 court judges to punish them for ruling against the government in preventive detention cases. This occurred in the context of the famous Habeas Corpus case. Meanwhile, Mrs Gandhi's associates floated their personal schemes for ‘reforming’ the judiciary.

Keywords: judicial authority; high court judges; Habeas Corpus; Indira Gandhi; Kesavananda

Chapter.  9365 words. 

Subjects: Constitutional and Administrative Law

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