Judicial review and government contracts: An appraisal
J Ravindran, JK Mittal
The concept of judicial review and its extent in government contracts is not unknown to Indian Jurisprudence. It is no longer res integra that source of judicial review lies in Articles 32, 226 and 227 of the Constitution of India with its charter flowing from Article 13. It has been held by Dalveer Bhandari, J, who is presently a Judge of the International Court of Justice, in Mahmadhusen Abdulrahim Kalota Shaikh v. Union of India, that judicial review forms part of the basic structure of the Constitution and that the violation of judicial review is another way of saying that the separation of powers between the principal three organs of the State have been violated. Overseeing the sphere of control of the other two organs of the State, the Court has power to afford protection from executive and/or legislative encroachment. Where judicial review is put off the way, the Court shall still review the constitutional validity of such an action. It would be incorrect to assume that judicial review has emerged of late. As early as in 1952, the then Chief Justice Patanjali Sastri for a Constitution Bench observed in State of Madras v. V G Row, that Indian Constitution contains express provision for judicial review. His lordship opined that courts have been assigned the role of a sentinel on the qui vive. In last six decades the Supreme Court has time and again reiterated that judicial review is a part of the inviolable basic structure doctrine. It is trite that any provision of law which bars judicial review is unconstitutional for all purposes. Amendments to the Constitution are subject to judicial review and hence, it becomes an important task to undertake a study of the contours of judicial review particularly in the field of government contracts. An attempt has been made in this paper to analyze judicial review in the context of government contracts dividing the themes for better appreciation of law.