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Is Judiciary/Media activism good for our democracy?
India's top court Supreme Court is in news for two cases it is dealing with currently. One is related India's cricket board, where it is in a spree to cleanse the cricketing organisation from unethical, unholy and improper practices while adjudicating the IPL-6 fixing case. Second one is the case of Sahara chief Subrata Roy Sahara.

In the BCCI's case, Supreme Court started dictating the term including appointing acting BCCI chief and issuing guidelines on what to do and what not to do. Similarly in Sahara case, Supreme Court clearly said that unless Sahara pays a fixed amount and guarantee for subsequent amount, it wouldn’t allow Subrata Roy to get out of jail on bail. Many think it’s unprecedented the way Sahara chief is put to literally in ransom like situation i.e. pay or live in Jail.

Apart from the above, there are lots of cases where Supreme Court/High Courts takes suo motu cognisance to ensure justice to victims. Even considering some public litigation cases, Supreme Court constituted Special Investigation Teams (SIT) to investigate high profile cases under its direct monitoring. It must be noted that all these acts of Supreme Court and High Courts, in fact delivered good and positive results, which wouldn’t be possible due to junked system prevailing in our executive.

However, hard core democratic lovers though accept the judicial activism or so called judicial over-activism, but apprehend future of such a democracy, where one institution is doing three functions simultaneously. If same Institution does investigation, prosecution and adjudication, how the democratic values be up kept? This logic has a point.

Normally investigation agency should investigate a matter independently. Then prosecuting agency should prosecute somebody in front of adjudicating body, where as adjudicating body should be neutral to both prosecutor and accused. Though it appears to be benefiting the country at the moment, but it may have serious consequences in future!

Present Judges are of impeccable integrity, but who can guarantee character and attitude of future Judges particularly when appointment of Judges are purely an internal matter of higher courts! One shouldn’t forget that the then Supreme Court bench ratified Indira Gandhi’s emergency declaration! If it happened in past, it can be repeated in future too!

But still people are there who see Supreme Court is the ultimate savior. Many says that if Supreme Court of Pakistan restored democracy in Pakistan, what’s wrong in Indian higher courts taking proactive actions to ensure that the democracy of this country is not collapsed.

We need to understand that our democracy is like a roof which is supported by four pillars such as Legislature, Judiciary, Executive and Media. There is lack of strength (will-power) in legislature pillar to up keep the value and spirit of democratic systems. It is connected by a beam (line of instruction) to executive pillar, which is also weak to support the democratic roof because the beam's pressure override it’s natural role to support the roof of democracy.

Result is that the entire load of democracy-roof falls on two pillars that are judiciary and media. Thus both pillars yield to activism proactively to maintain balance and keeping somehow the democracy at its position.

For media activism many people say that there are excessive media trials. In certain cases media becomes hyper in naming and shaming. Some also hold media doing a good job. If, politicians prefer debates in TV studios than in Parliament, then why should blame media? If both political parties and executive hiding their wrong doings, indulging in unethical things and sometimes suppressing the facts and allowing tainted people to remain out of clutches of law of land, what’s wrong if media is unearthing these wrong doings while adopting extra-ordinary ways?

Thus at present people are happy seeing both pillars (Judiciary and media) taking entire load on their shoulders. But can it be success in long run? I don’t think so! In the long run any of the pillars may collapse due to over load/stress and may collapse the roof (democracy). Thus while appreciating the role of both Judiciary and Media, I too agree that unless separation of power (Non-encroachment to other zones) as mentioned in constitution if not restored early, then our democracy sure to face severe consequences.

How it can be corrected. Answer is again very simple. The Constitution start with ‘We the People’. It vested the responsibility on the people to choose the legislators ensure honest, efficient, effective and dedicated legislature. If legislature becomes okay, executive becomes automatically efficient and capable. If both these pillars become strong, then there would be no extra load and stress on remaining two pillars i.e. Judiciary and the Media! Thus democracy has to start function vibrantly well!

We always blame the system, forgetting that we are the key to fix the system. We need to realise that we are in a democracy, we need to deserve to be in a democracy. To be deserved to be in a democracy we are to disburse our fundamental and Constitutional obligation without failing. If we fail, our democracy is set to fail.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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