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The troubling thing about these judgments is not what they finally resolve, but their tendency to draw straight connections between diverse, highly specific cases about Salwa Judum, corruption in telecom licence allocation or imperfect solutions to the land acquisition problem, to a cloudy abstraction called neoliberalism. Whatever the content of the decisions, they are often framed by obiter dicta and analogies that imply that everything is reducible to influence-peddling and crony capitalism. These may or may not be recurrent features — but keeping the causes of the black money problem and the land acquisition issue analytically distinct would be more useful, even in order to fully understand how powerful interests actually operate.
Rather than a granular approach that restricts itself to interpreting cases in the light of particular laws and statutes, the courts have enlarged their self-image, as populist champion and scold. They view their role as a check on the inept executive — it is not judicial overreach as much as a corrective to the underreaching government. That is a part of the shape-shifting that protects individual rights in a democracy, with one institution stepping in to fill the space when another abdicates. But these clearly ideological strictures may be going too far.