Judicial Activism: NITI Aayog orders to study the ‘Economic impact of Judicial Decisions’

The NITI Aayog has ordered the Jaipur-based research organisation Consumer Unity and Trust Society (CUTS) International to study the “economic impact” of judgments delivered by Supreme Court (SC), high courts (HCs), and quasi-judicial bodies like the National Green Tribunal (NGT). It has also asked to study the “judicial activism” of such courts and tribunals.

Highlights

  • The Judicial decisions have far-reaching economic impacts.
  • These impacts are usually not taken into account at the time of decision making.
  • This study will be completely funded by the NITI Aayog.
  • The study will be conducted with the aim of “sensitising the judiciary on the economic impact of their decisions”.
  • The findings from the study will be used as the “training input for judges of the SC, HCs, commercial courts and NGT”.
  • The total cost of the project initially was Rs 24.8 lakh. However, it is likely to go higher.

CUTS role

  • CUTS International will study the economic impact of five different decisions by the SC and the NGT.
  • The five judgement include:
  1. Economic impact of the ban imposed by the SC in March 2019 on construction of a greenfield airport at Mopa, Goa.
  2. SC’s February 2018 ban on iron ore mining in Goa.
  3. NGT ban on sand mining in the Yamuna river in Gautam Buddha Nagar in the year 2013.
  4. SC ban on construction of buildings in Delhi and National Capital Region
  5. SC’s decision to reject the opening of Vedanta’s Sterlite copper plant.

Purpose of the study

The study will provide an objective cost-benefit analysis of the economic impact of the decisions made by the judiciary. The study is also a part of the umbrella project of the NITI Aayog under which the think tank wants to establish a judicial performance index. This index will be used to measure the performance of judges at district courts and subordinate levels.

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