Sunday, June 4, 2023

Constitution based on rule of law, separation of powers: CJI Chandrachud

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Chief Justice of India (CJI) D.Y. Chandrachud has said that the basic structure of the Constitution was established on the rule of law and separation of powers, besides the supremacy of the Constitution.

Delivering the 18th Nani Palkhivala Memorial Lecture organised by the Bombay Bar Association at the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) in Mumbai, the CJI said that the philosophy of Constitution was firmly grounded in judicial review, secularism, federalism, freedom and dignity of the individual, besides the unity and integrity of the nation.

He further compared the Constitution to the North Star, stating that it guided those who interpreted it and came to the aid of the Judges, when the path ahead was convoluted.

As per Justice Chandrachud, the craftsmanship of a judge lay in interpreting the text of the Constitution with the changing times, while keeping the soul intact.

The statement of the CJI assumed significance in the backdrop of remarks made by Vice-President (VP) Jagdeep Dhankhar during the 83rd All India Presiding Officers’ Conference in Jaipur on January 11.

The VP had said that the Supreme Court’s Kesavananda Bharati judgment of 1973 which restricted the power of Parliament to amend the Constitution, was incorrect and started a wrong tradition.

As per Dhankhar, the verdict gave the idea that Parliament could amend the Constitution, but not its basic structure.
He said that did not agree to the point that Parliament would allow its verdict to be a subject of another authority. He added that In his view, this could not happen.

Earlier last year, the Vice-President had stated that India might be the only country where amendments made by the Parliament to the Constitution have been struck down by courts.

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