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Constitution Day: Lawbreakers should not be allowed to become lawmakers, says SCBA Prez

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New Delhi:  Lawbreakers should not be lawmakers, said the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) President Vikas Singh on Friday while expressing concern over the rise in the number of MPs and MLAs charged with serious criminal cases which he claimed is 43 per cent now as compared to 23 in 2004.

Singh, who was speaking at the Constitution Day function organised by the SCBA in the apex court’s lawns here, said that everyone should introspect to ensure that the Constitution remains of the same relevance for which it was drafted for the people of this country.

“One very important change which is required is that lawbreakers should not be lawmakers,” he said emphasizing that the statistics “unfortunately” prove otherwise.

“That is a very important area of concern which we should all deliberate on this Constitution day as to whether we had intended that what was 23 per cent in 2004 of people charged with serious crimes have now swelled to 43 per cent of Parliament today,” the SCBA President said.

He further said that the judiciary plays a very important role as an interface between the people and the Constitution to ensure that the people get their rights as enshrined in the constitution.

“Accordingly, we all being a part of this institution have a very solemn duty to introspect on this constitution day as to what all is being done, what all can be done and what all we should do better than we have been doing so far,” Singh said in the presence of Chief Justice Of India (CJI) N V Ramana who was the chief guest.

Speaking at the function, the CJI asked lawyers to assist judges and protect the judicial institution from “motivated and targeted attacks” besides lending a helping hand to those in need for becoming worthy of the confidence reposed in them by the citizens.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who was also part of the event, said that the people would not realize the importance and significance of there being a written and robust constitution with inbuilt checks and balances so long as normal circumstances prevail in life.

“When a common man feels injustice and moves corridors of this court, or any court and the court takes cognizance, he realizes the significance of the Constitution. When he feels some law regulates some conduct of human behaviour and the parliament makes the law, he understands the significance of a written constitution,” he added.

The Solicitor General said that “when a huge tragedy engulfs the nation, like the recent tragedy, and the government takes steps, shoulder-to-shoulder across party lines, all state governments acting in tandem with the central government, a common man feels the significance and importance of there being a written constitution.”

He said that Indian feel more proud of the Constitution particularly when “we look around the neighbouring countries, either having a constitution or not, and find that constitution is merely a printed document and not a vibrant living being.”

“We see governments crawling before the army despite having the constitution,” he said adding that “we feel proud that our Constitution has three organs dependent on each other while at the same time completely independent of each other and discharging their respective responsibilities.”

The SCBA’s event is one of the functions which will be held on Friday and Saturday to celebrate Constitution Day, also known as National Law Day. On the same day in 1949, the Constituent Assembly of India had adopted the Constitution which came into effect on January 26, 1950.

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