Since 2014, multiple experts have identified that Indian democracy is backsliding. Examples include the clampdown on Jammu and Kashmir, arrest of journalists and activists as well as the attack on the Opposition using draconian instruments such as the Enforcement Directorate.

The one obvious institution that could have checked this slide is the judiciary. However, in spite of often being called the most powerful judiciary in the world, India’s courts have done no such thing.

On episode #7 of Scroll Ideas, we are joined by legal scholar Anuj Bhuwania who has studied the post-independence history of India’s higher judiciary. He argues that it was, in many ways, naive to expect the judiciary to act as a check on the executive given their post-Emergency history as a populist organ.

Writer and host: Shoaib Daniyal | Producer: Karnika Kohli | Graphics designer: Shruti Rego, Rubin D’Souza