Delhi, March 19 -- When it comes to upholding civil liberties and constitutionally guaranteed rights, a conducive environment-or the lack of it-must not be grounds for courts to determine if a case pertaining to these bedrocks of democracy can be heard or deferred. Yet, in recent times, several legal luminaries have red-flagged how curtailment of civil liberties by the executive is being increasingly normalised by the judiciary-particularly the top court.

Over the past few years alone, irrespective of who sat on the high throne of the Chief Justice, the lamentation that judiciary was acting as an extension of the executive has been far too frequent. Peti-tions seeking urgent hearing of mob lyn-ching cases or challenging the lockdown acro...