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Can Supreme Court stay implementation of a law?

  • Posted By
  • Categories
    Polity & Governance
  • Published
    18th Jan, 2021


During the course of the hearing of the case relating to the three farm laws, the Supreme Court reportedly observed that it may stay implementation of the laws. This raises question of judicial overreach.

What is the provision under constitution?

  • Under the Constitution, the Legislature, Executive and Judiciary all have their own broad spheres of operation.
  • It follows that when a law is made by Parliament, it is only Parliament which can repeal or suspend its operation by making another law.
  • The Court can declare a law ultra vires if it finds it unconstitutional, but it has no power to temporarily stay its enforcement even without recording a finding that it is prima facie unconstitutional.
  • When a law is made by Parliament, it comes into effect immediately on receiving assent of the President of India (unless it is a case of conditional legislation, which the three laws in question are not).

What is the concern over judicial intervention?

  • For a Court to stay its operation, would amount to thwarting the will of another organ of the State, which is sovereign within its own domain, and would amount to judicial legislation.
  • This would be violating the principle of separation of powers.
  • It sets another precedent of Judicial Overreach.

Verifying, please be patient.