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CJI terms knowledge sharing as two-way street at India International Lawyers’ Conference 2023, says India’s openness to accept foreign propositions led to transformative constitutionalism

Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud on Saturday, while noting that the Constitution of India has drawn extensively from the US, the UK and Australia, said that the country’s openness to accept foreign propositions was a reason for its transformative constitutionalism. 

Attending the inaugural session of the International Lawyers’ Conference organised by the Bar Council of India as Chief Guest, the CJI said that each member of the gathering had volumes to learn from different jurisdictions, perspectives, and most importantly form each other. 

Calling knowledge sharing as a two-way street, the CJI said that while it was utopian to think that one day there would be no challenges in justice delivery, it was not utopian to think that one day people would engage with each other without feeling threatened and belittled.

He noted that India played a very positive and constructive role in the construction of Supreme Court buildings at both Mauritius and Bhutan, which led to better coordination between different nations. Nothing could explain this coordination better than the tagline of G20 summit – Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, he added. 

As per the CJI, while the Constitution provided demarcation between the legislature, executive and the judiciary, there was also an aspect where the members of three pillars of democracy learnt from each other – justice and power.

He said individuals from diverse backgrounds and varied areas came together to draft the Indian constitution, adding that a similar bipartisan effort was seen during the passing of the Women’s Reservation Bill in Parliament. 

He spoke about a case being heard by the Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court on whether a driver with a light motor vehicle licence could drive a commercial vehicle, stating that the case involved the livelihoods of hundreds and thousands of drivers.

Noting that the Central government has also allotted Rs 7,000 crore budget for the e-courts project, he said he would soon meet the officials at the Department of Law and Justice to work on that project.

While noting that the judiciary was responsible for upholding the rule of law, the CJI stressed on the key role played by the lawyers in the process. He said in an era characterised by increasing globalisation, it was important for lawyers to keep up with the rapid advancement of technology. 

He said today, lawyers were leading the way covering areas such as cyber law and IP law. They were helping in business efficiency and cross border transactions, while contributing to the national well-being and economic development. 

It was time for the Indian lawyers to reach across the world on a global landscape. They cannot look at themselves as domestic practitioners, but should eye the global platform

Stating that while there was no magic wand to wish away challenges to justice delivery, the CJI expressed confidence that the two-day conference would surely find innovative solutions to the same.

The two-day event, based on theme ‘Emerging challenges in the justice delivery system,’ was inaugurated today by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Union Minister for Law and Justice Arjun Ram Megwal, Attorney General R. Venkataramani, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, BCI Chairman Manan Mishra, judges from various High Courts, along with legal practitioners from different parts of the world were present on the occasion.

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