160. Comprehension Test on Judicial Accountability

Judicial Activism

Answers to the questions will be given in the class to those who take the test.

 I. Study the following passage and answer the questions below.

Additionally, it could be argued that judicial activism is necessary because it is difficult to decide court cases based on the when the framers’ are long dead, their intent unknown, and the Constitution written in an age before the modern or digital age.

Public interest litigations and judicial activism have touched almost every aspect of life. The courts have taken cognisance of this and have laid down various judgments to protect the basic human rights of each and every member of society.

DURING THE last two decades, judicial activism has played a major role in protecting the rights and freedoms of individuals, as guaranteed under the constitution. After the landmark decision in the Maneka Gandhi case, courts have assumed an activist posture and come forward to the rescue of aggrieved citizens. In a number of cases, subsequent to the Maneka Gandhi case, the judiciary interpreted the constitutional provision in its wider possible meaning to protect basic civil liberties and fundamental rights.

i. The modern digital age has transformed many of our traditional notions of justice

ii. It has become possible to know what the government is doing these days.

iii. The Judiciary enforces only Fundamental rights

iv. The Maneka Gandhi case  saw  a distinct change in the attitude of the Judiciary.

A. Only i and iii are correct B.

B. Only ii and iv  are correct

C. Only i and iv are correct

D. All are correct

2. A. The Information Society has created the open society

R. The Courts have begun to demand all manner of information from the Government.

A. Both A and R are true and R is the correct explanation for A

B. Both A and R are true but R is not the correct explanation for A

C. A is correct; but R is false

D. A is false; but R is correct

II. Study the following passage and answer the questions below During this period, our judiciary developed the concept of social action litigation and public interest litigation by discarding the traditional and self-imposed limitations on its own jurisdiction. In 1975, Justice VR Krishna Iyer for the first time in the Bar Council of India case, advocated the liberal interpretation of locus standi in public interest litigation. He observed that in a developing country like India, public-oriented litigation better fulfils the rule of law if it is to run close to the rule of life.

The concept of public interest litigation took a clearer shape through the remarkable judgement in what is popularly known as the case of the judges’ transfer. In this case, Justice Bhagwati said that the traditional rule was of ancient vintage and arose during an era when private law dominated the scene. Justice Bhagwati observed that there is an urgent need to innovate new methods and devise new strategies for the purpose of providing access to justice to the large masses of people who are denied their human rights and to whom freedom and liberty have no meaning. The courts have a duty to utilise the initiative and zeal of public-minded persons and organisations by allowing them to move the court and act for

general or group interest.

1.The supreme court resorted to judicial activism for various reasons. Which one of these is not correct

A. The majority of the judges were opposed to it.

B. It rejected the  principle of locus standi

C. Right  Judicial leadership emerged.

D. The Judiciary felt that it must play an important role in opinion formation

2. The principle of locus standi implied that

A. The party complaining should have been affected by the issue complained against it

B. The party complainng imust have been injured in some way.

C. The Party to the suit must have been affected in some way.

D. All the above

3.Which one of the following judges categorically rejected te principle of locus standi?

A. Justice Khanna

B. Justice Bhagawati

C. Justice Krishna Iyer

D. None of these

4. The rejection of the doctrine of locus standi implied that

A. On matters of public interest any one can file a suit.

B. Public organizations can go to the court and complain of injustice

C. The court itself could raise any issue

D. all the above

5. Judicial activism was the result of

A. Anger of the judges in not being consulted on policy isues

B. Popular demand

C, Search for alternative modes of justice instead of adversarial litigation

D. None of these

III. Study the following passage and answer the questions below

Justice Bhagwati further developed the idea of social justice through courts in another case in which he observed, “The time has now come when the courts must become the court for the poor and struggling masses of this country. They must shed their character as upholder of the established order and the status quo. They must be sensitised to the need of doing justice to the large masses of people to whom justice has been denied by a cruel and heartless society for generations. It is through public interest litigation that problems of poor are now coming to the forefront and the entire theatre of the law is changing. It holds out great possibilities for the future.”

The Supreme Court initiated this case by converting a letter written by the People’s Union for Democratic Rights. The letter, addressed to one of Supreme Court judges, was based upon a report made by a team of three social scientists who were commissioned by the People’s Union for Democratic Rights for the purpose of investigating and inquiring into the condition under which workmen were employed in the construction work of various projects connected with the Asian Games. In this case, the Supreme Court came down heavily against critics of public interest litigation.

1.Which one of the following is the corret assessment of Judicial activism?

A.If Justice Bhagawati developed the idea of judicial activism, how can the credit go to Justice Krishna Iyer?

B.If Judicial activism is innovative, it follows that there as no justice earlier.

C. If Judicial activism aimed at ending a heartless society, it has been fairly successful.

D. If Judicial activism aimed at ending a heartless society, it has at east initiated strong debates on the evils facing society.

2. Which of the following would you consider the best illustrations of judicial activism?

A. Treating an ordinary letter as a writ petition.

B. Fighting against vested interest who wanted to maintain the

Status quo’

C. Coming down heavily against  the corruption in the Asian games

D. All the above

3. i. Judicial Activism has been changing the contours of law and justice

II. No longer can the rich hope to win their case through employment of luxury counsel.

iii. Spirited NGOs can shake up the social system

iv. Judicial corruption has disappeared.

A. Only i and iii are correct B.

B. Only ii and iv  are correct

C. Only i and iv are correct

D. All are correct

IV. It was observed that those who were decrying public interest litigations, did not seem to realise that the courts are not meant only for the rich and the well-to-do, for the landlord and the gentry, for the business magnate and the industrial tycoon but they exist also for the poor and the downtrodden, the have-nots and the handicapped and the half-hungry millions. It is only the moneyed who have so far had the golden key to unlock the doors of justice. But now, for the first time, the portals of the court have been being thrown open to the poor and the downtrodden, the ignorant and illiterate and their cases are coming before the courts through Public interest litigations.

Some are unhappy with Judicial Activism? Which one the following is wrong?

A. Lawyers who drag on cases

B. MPs who not do heir home work

C. The poor and the helpless who cannot hope to go to Delhi

D. All the above

V. Public interest litigation and judicial activism has touched almost every aspect of life. Be it the case of bonded labour, rehabilitation of freed bonded labour, payment of minimum wages, protection of pavement and slum dwellers, juvenile offenders, child labour, illegal detentions, torture and maltreatment of woman in police lock-up, the implementation of various provisions of the constitution, environment problems, the courts took cognisance of each case and laid down various judgements to protect the basic human rights of each and every member of society.

Today, with the vast change in judicial process, the traditional rule of locus standi is replaced by group action litigation. No doubt law regulates the society, but some time society also regulates law. Changing aspirations of people also affects law. Constitutions, courts and other parts of the judicial system are made for common people. In the seventies, Justice Yeshwant Vishnu Chandrachud observed, “It is really the poor, starved and mindless millions who need the court protection for securing the enjoyment of human rights.”

1. Who among the following are unhappy with Judicial Activism?

A. Those who want status quo to continue.

B. The victims of police oppression

C. The environmentally conscious people

D. Child labourers because they lose their jobs

VI. Realising the fact that in spite of all constitutional provisions and other enactments, socio-economic justice remained a distant dream for the poor and down-trodden, Justice Bhagwati invites judges to use their power to further the cause of social justice. In his work ‘Social Action Litigation: The Indian Express’ Justice Bhagwati observed:

“Today, we find that in third world countries, there are large number of groups which are being subjected to exploitation, injustice and even violence. In this climate of conflict and injustice, judges have to play a positive role and they cannot content themselves by invoking the doctrine of self-restraint and passive interpretation. The judges in India have fortunately a most potent judicial power in their hands, namely the power of judicial review … The judiciary has to play a vital and important role not only in preventing the remedying abuse and misuse of power but also in eliminating exploitation and injustice.”

In the last, it can be easily concluded that judicial activism has played an important role in protecting human rights. In other words, it has indeed proved to be a boon to the victims of arbitrary, illegal and unconstitutional actions of state as well as of public servants. Right to life and personal liberty has been given a broader meaning to include all the essential rights for human life with dignity and those rights are easily made available through the channels of an activist judiciary. The right to life and personal liberty was elevated to the status of fundamental rights, which could not be abridged, defeated or taken away by the state.

1.Judicial Activism aims at all the following except

A. Legal justice

B. Social Justice

C. Economic Justice

D. Environmental justice

2.Judicial Activism is

A. the Constitution

B. the law

C. the Judiciary

D. all the above




One thought on “160. Comprehension Test on Judicial Accountability

  1. I. 1. D , 2. C
    II 1.A, 2.D, 3.C, 4.A, 5.C
    III 1.D, 2.A, 3.A
    IV 1.A
    V 1.A
    VI 1. I have doubt over judicial activism aiming at environmental justice. I think it does. but i dont know the answer. 2. Again i havent understood the question really.

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