The Indian Supreme Court is widely seen as a vanguard of progressive social change. Yet there are no systematic studies of whether its progressive decisions actually improve the lives of the relatively disadvantaged. This book presents the first collection of original empirical studies on the impact of the Indian Supreme Court's most progressive decisions. Combining original datasets with in-depth qualitative research, the chapters provide a rigorous examination of the conditions under which judicial decisions can make a difference to those in need. These studies reveal that the Indian Supreme Court, like its US counterpart, is largely constrained in its efforts. Yet, through the broad sweep of constitutional rights in the Indian Constitution, the Court's procedural innovations, and its institutional independence, the Indian Supreme Court can sometimes make a difference - in the lives of those most in need.