Judicial Reasoning in the Indian Supreme Court

Through a close reading of major judgments from the Indian Supreme Court, this paper examines how review standards can be defined to fit within other constitutional considerations such as preserving fundamental values embodied in the rights provisions; the balance of power between the branches; keeping the court within bounds of institutional propriety and the limits of its institutional capacity; ensuring a legal culture based on transparent judicial reasoning to reach its decisions and preserving a balance in the state-citizen relationship. It will examine the reasoning used in these judgments to examine how the inconsistent application of review standards, and the lack of focus on developing a coherent jurisprudence by the Supreme Court has consequences for the institutional and popular legitimacy of the judiciary; and the importance of transparency and accountability in the exercise of judicial functions, particularly by powerful courts like the Indian Supreme Court.