Invocation of Strict Scrutiny in Indian: Why the Opposition?
Volume 3 Issue 3 (2010)
The primary focus of this paper is to analyse the suitability and applicability of the United States doctrine of strict scrutiny to Indian constitutional jurisprudence. Courts in India have employed the principle of presumption of constitutionality as well as the rational nexus test to ascertain the constitutionality of laws allegedly violating the rule of equality. In contradistinction, the strict scrutiny doctrine subjects laws based on certain suspect classifications or infringing fundamental rights to higher judicial scrutiny. This paper seeks to analyse the contours of the strict scrutiny doctrine and the approach of the Indian judiciary in engaging with it. Though elements of the doctrine are enshrined in the Indian Constitution, it remains to be seen whether a direct application of the same is desirable in the Indian context, given its vagueness and the constitutional conceptions of equality and rights.