Salus Populli Suprama Lex: The Role of Supreme Court in Protecting Good Governance in India
Pursuing Masters of Law Programme in Tilburg University, Netherlands.
Volume III – Issue I, 2021
Salus Populli Suprama Lex, which means that the welfare of the people is the supreme law, is the very premise on which the modern day societies and civilizations are built upon. Every form of governance from autocracy to democracy, holds the said welfare principle either implicitly or explicitly. However, the said doctrine only fortifies and manifests itself in true letter and spirit in a democratic form of governance. Democracy, ever since President Abraham Lincoln’s speech in Gettysburg, has been defined as a system of governance ‘of the people, by the people and for the people’. Democracy is often regarded as the most desirable form of governance since the government draws its power from the people, either directly or indirectly and exercise such power as long as they enjoy the pleasure of citizens. In all major democracies throughout the world, the state comprises of 3 separate organs viz. Executive, Legislative and Judiciary to ensure checks and balances on the arbitrariness and illegality of the respective organs. However, having said that, it is the judiciary which acts as the final arbiter and as a conscience keeper of constitutional and normative values. The judiciary also undertakes upon itself to ensure protection and promotion of values of democracy and good governance. Hence, this paper attempts to identify and examine the role of the Supreme Court of India in preserving the democratic fabric and in upholding the essence of a good governance.