Zia Mody who is in The Business Today’s Hall of Fame as one of India’s Most Powerful Businesswoman and also one of the renowned Corporate Lawyer has very beautifully come up with this book which has attracted numerous readers worldwide.
She is the daughter of Former Attorney-General of India , Mr. Soli J. Sorabjee. She used her extensive knowledge of the Indian Constitutional Law to present this book with full of insights about the Indian Judiciary. This book deals with the ten most important decisions taken by the Indian Judicial Department which have left significant impacts in India.
The forward of the book has been written by Soli J. Sorabjee where he writes “ THE JUDICIARY, At one time, was considered and projected to be the weakest branch of the star because it possessed neither power of the purse nor power of the sword. That myth has been demolished and the best evidence of it is the set of ten judgments that has been analysed and discussed in this book.” These words by Sorabjee says a lot about the book in very few words. In the prologue, Zia acknowledges that it had been a very tedious task to select landmark judgments but ended up choosing the cases which dealt with the distinct constitutional angle.
The book deals with diverse issues and those which have public concerns. Thus, it is dedicated to one and all. The book has several themes like reservations, custodial deaths, environmental jurisprudence but the central theme was to convey the readers that how the judiciary came to exist now with the immense powers from a point where it was considered as to be the weakest section of the Indian Administration. The book also deals with the powers of the judiciary and its significance.
Every case has been dissected into fragments and then analyzed deeply. Each case has an issue covered, detailed facts and figures, stories from both the parties, discusses number of cases leading to the title case, judgement and follows on cases which are equally significant as of the title case. For example, the first case of Kesavananda Bharati V. State of Kerala also covers the cases of Shankari Prasad, Sajjan Singh and Golak Nath. The chapter on Shah Bano judgement also covers Danial Latifi case which succeeded the title case.
Zia is a bold writer. She dares to call a spade a spade. From her writing we can feel that in few cases she was not happy with the court’s decision and she felt that the political influences had to do something with the judgement.
Although all the ten judgments are important and have special features of its own but my personal favorite is the very first chapter of the book. It deals with the judicial appointment and the independence of the judiciary. In this chapter, the author writes about the lack of transparency in judicial appointments. She critically examines the powers of the executive to appoint the judges. The other main theme of this chapter was the legal developments of the expansion of the legal jurisdiction. This case is also famous as “the Case that saved the Indian constitution.” It proved that the Supreme Court is indeed the protector of the Indian Constitution. The judiciary finally got it’s independence from the era of single-party dominance.
The lucid language and the easy flow of the book makes it a easy read. Each of the cases has been framed in a very structured format. Very clearly the laws are not only just have been mentioned but also described vividly which makes it famous among the non judicial individuals as well. Since the book revolves around the ten most important judgement that changed the outlook of world’s one of the longest but flexible constitution, therefore, I believe that every person should go through it once.