"Courting the People" brings a fresh perspective on abuse of judicial power through institutionalization of PILs. Specially for those who still view PILs and court activism through the narrow view of how good or bad certain judicial decisions are. While the first half had a bit of black humour, the second half is more about how appellate judiciary expanded its powers from adjudicating disputes to virtually running a city through interim orders.
The issue of Courts becoming city administrators through monitoring committees and amicus curie and passing orders to legitimize its power grab is quite disconcerting. The issue of vanishing petitioners and taking up issues suo moto is the classical abuse of power. While the reasons for such appropriation of power has been laid on various factors, Anuj Bhuwania puts it on the dilution of judicial processes -- from no need of standing, no need to hear those impacted by its orders and no need of adversarial form of PILs. Judges solely become the power centre to pick issues, collect evidence (barely) and decide without any opposition from affected parties as PIL had no need for any adversaries. While we can agree or disagree about the "calculus" of good and bad depending on our viewpoint, it is the dilution of judicial processes that should worry us all. The ominous direction which Judiciary have taken and Anuj Bhuwania has taken a quite commendable step in bringing light to these issues.
Though language seems to be analytical and regressive author try to showcase the other side of a publicly accepted tool of democracy.I think as per the title of the book there should have been at least 2 chapters which highlight advantages of PIL.I would call author's effort as dissection and his seems to be inductive approach may create criticism about judicial machinery.The work done by author is commendable.