04 April 2018

BOOK: George H. Gadbois, Supreme Court of India : The Beginnings (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018). ISBN 9780199472161, $25.00

Oxford University Press has recently published a book on the early history of the Indian Supreme Court.


This work seeks to determine the roles played by the paramount judiciary in the Indian polity between 1937 and 1964. The discussion starts with an examination of the Federal Court, the establishment of which in 1937 brought into existence Indias first central judicial institution. After a consideration of events leading to the creation of the Federal Court, the nature of its jurisdiction and representative decisions are analysed. Other matters considered include the relationship of the Federal Court with the Privy Council, and the unsuccessful efforts made to empower the Federal Court with a jurisdiction to hear civil appeals. In addition, the major part of this work is devoted to the present Supreme Court of India, which replaced the Federal Court in 1950. After discussing the general features of the new judicial establishment, attention is focused upon the nature of its review powers and the manner in which the Court can exercise these powers. Against the background of debates in the Constituent Assembly that reflect the attitudes of the Constitution-makers towards judicial review, the important decisions which provoked clashes between the judges and politicians have been analysed.


Introduction by Vikram Raghavan and Vasujith Ram
Chapter 1: Evolution of the Federal Court of India
Chapter 2: The Federal Court of India: 19371950
Chapter 3: The New Judicial Establishment
Chapter 4: Jurisdiction and Powers of the Supreme Court
Chapter 5: The Supreme Court in the Indian System of Government
Chapter 6: Judicial Review in a Modern Democratic Welfare State
Chapter 7: Summary and Conclusions
Select Bibliography
About the Author

For more information, see Oxford OUP’s website.

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