In the course of the past two decades, the Supreme Court has regulated the use of India’s forest resources; passed orders on the type of fuel to be used in urban public transport; controlled appointments to the higher judiciary; and declared constitutional amendments invalid. The Shifting Scales of Justice traces the ideological direction that the Supreme Court has charted during this time, and examines the expansion of its power and transformation of its worldview.
The book focuses on what is considered the Court’s more conservative stance, evident in its comparison of slum dwellers to pickpockets, its ordering of the interlinking of rivers in the name of national progress, or its reasoning that tribal populations will benefit from the mining of their lands. The essays study the emergence of a judicial sovereignty that appears to be committed to the ‘oppressed and bewildered’ in name only.
Mayur Suresh is a Lecturer at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, London.
Siddharth Narrain is a lawyer, and Research Associate at Sarai-Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS), Delhi.
List of Figures and Tables
List of Abbreviations
Mayur Suresh and Siddharth Narrain
1. Embedded Judiciary: Or the Judicial State of Exception?
2. In the Name of the People: The Expansion of Judicial Power
3. Environment and the Will to Rule: Supreme Court and Public Interest Litigation in the 1990s
4. Fundamental Rights and Public Interest Litigation in 79 India: Overreaching or Underachieving?
5. Social Justice and the Supreme Court
Sudhir Krishnaswamy and Madhav Khosla
6. Swallowing a Bitter PIL?: Reflections on Progressive 120 Strategies for Public Interest Litigation in India
Arun K. Thiruvengadam
7. A Meandering Jurisprudence of the Court: The Evolving Case Law Related to Water
8. The Judicial Nineties: Of Politics, Power and Dissent
Ujjwal Kumar Singh
Notes on Contributors