Instead of waiting to be shocked by tales of human rights abuses, citizens must scrutinise the actions of those in power every day to ensure that incidents like what happened in Unnao and Hyderabad do not take place at all, Supreme Court Judge DV Chandrachud said in the capital on Tuesday.
Delivering a lecture on the subject “Adding Nuance to Human Rights Discourse” on the occasion of Human Rights Day, Justice Chgandrachud said that answers to all problems do not lie with the courts. “Courts are often described as the last bastion of human rights, but the word ‘last’ should not be misconstrued as the ‘only’ bastion.By placing all our problems at the doorstep of the court the moment they arise, we obliteratethe powerful role of citizens and elected representatives in solving issues and require the Court to undertake a task it was never engineered to do.”, he said
Elaborating, he said “ Our participatory processes and systems of equalising power must be strengthened to ensure that each citizen is not just the bearer of human rights, but also an active enforcer of human rights as well. The assertion of the human rights before a court is but the last step in a long line of deliberative processes that must be protected if our human rights are to be given effect. Public reason and justification in the use of power are the ultimate guarantors ofhuman rights and they must be protected and enhanced at the level of the citizen, the parliamentarian, the government and lastly the court”, Justice Chandrachud said, adding that “the need of the hour said the need of the day was to engage citizens in discourse rather than follow a “culture of polarization.”
–India Legal Bureau