Justice, Judocracy and Democracy in India

Boundaries and Breaches

By Sudhanshu Ranjan

© 2016 – Routledge India

332 pages

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9781138903913
pub: 2015-08-04
US Dollars$25.00
Hardback: 9780415632874
pub: 2012-09-25
US Dollars$160.00

About the Book

This book offers an innovative approach to studying ‘judicial activism’ in the Indian context in tracing its history and relevance since 1773. While discussing the varying roles of the judiciary, it delineates the boundaries of different organs of the State — judiciary, executive and legislature — and highlights the points where these boundaries have been breached, especially through judicial interventions in parliamentary affairs and their role in governance and policy. Including a fascinating range of sources such as legal cases, books, newspapers, periodicals, lectures, historical texts and records, the author presents the complex sides of the arguments persuasively, and contributes to new ways of understanding the functioning of the judiciary in India.

This paperback edition, with a new Afterword, updates the debates around the raging questions facing the Indian judiciary. It will be of great interest to students and scholars of law, political science and history, as well as legal practitioners and the general reader.


Sudhanshu Ranjan’s book presents an incisive and illuminating analysis of current legal issues. He has delved deep into history and recorded some rare facts. He has beautifully delineated the contours of major issues such as judicial activism, separation of powers, contempt of court and appointment of judges with remarkable insight and objectivity which ensures him a place in the league of eminent jurists. A must-read for judges, lawyers, law teachers and students.

–– V. N. Khare, Former Chief Justice of India

Ranjan deserves congratulations for this extensive work that has finely shaped into a readable form, making it useful to law and non-law persons. The ‘quotable quotes’ collected in the volume have enriched it, as also made it more authentic.

–– Mahendra P. Singh, Chairman, Delhi Judicial Academy

This book is rich in the range of themes and issues, while being reader-friendly. The term ‘judocracy’ is very striking. Ranjan brings an honest citizen’s perspective on the working of the apex court.

–– Upendra Baxi, Emeritus Professor of Law, Universities of Warwick and Delhi

Justice, Judocracy and Democracy in India: Boundaries and Breaches is . . . compulsory reading for every lawyer and judge in India . . . The book is highly provocative, extremely readable and critical of the judiciary.

The Asian Age

[A] great contribution by the author and a value addition to the existing legal literature. Simplicity, clarity and coherence in the language; citation of very interesting but not so well known facts; insightful quotes and presentation of arguments in a persuasive manner encourage the reader to complete the book in one go . . . The book deserves to be read by everyone interested in law and politics. It is a must read for judges and policy makers.

Journal of the Indian Law Institute

Ranjan’s book maps the landscape of judicial activism . . . with clarity and elegance . . . The author has coined a term, ‘judocracy’, to refer to judicial overreach.


Table of Contents

List of Abbreviations. Table of Cases. Foreword. Acknowledgements. Introduction 1. Judicial Activism: Making Justice Accessible or a Power Game? 2. Balance of Powers between the Legislature, Executive and Judiciary 3. Appointment of Judges to the Higher Judiciary 4. Truth is above Contempt: People’s Right to Criticise Judges 5. Legislature’s Privileges and the Power to Expel its Members. Bibliography. About the Author. Index

About the Author

Sudhanshu Ranjan is a senior television journalist based in New Delhi, India.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / General