Executive, legislature, judiciary equal repositories of constitutional trust: CJI Ramana
New Delhi: Chief Justice of India (CJI) N V Ramana on Monday said the executive, legislature and the judiciary are “equal repositories” of constitutional trust, and the Constitution dispels the notion that delivery of justice is the responsibility of courts only.
The CJI, who hoisted the national flag on the 76th Independence Day on the Supreme Court premises here, referred to Article 38 of the Constitution on the Directive Principles of State Policy and said it was the responsibility of the state to secure a social order in which “justice, social, economic and political,” are rendered.
“Under the constitutional framework, each and every organ has been given an obligation, and the notion that justice is the only responsibility of the courts is dispelled by Article 38 of the Indian Constitution which mandates the state to secure social, economic and political justice,” the 48th CJI said.
“All the three organs of the state — executive, legislature and judiciary — are the equal repositories of the constitutional trust,” he said.
The CJI said the apex court gives strength to pursue disputes to the citizens and they know that it would stand with them when things go wrong.
He said the judicial system goes by the commitment to the written Constitution and enjoys immense faith reposed by the people.
“People are confident that they will get relief and justice from the judiciary. It gives them the strength to pursue the dispute. They know when things go wrong, the judiciary will stand up for them. The Indian Supreme Court is the guardian of the Constitution in the world’s largest democracy,” Justice Ramana said.
He said the courts bring life into the statutes by making them relevant to contemporary times as legislatures may not be able to foresee issues that may come up during their implementation.
“Legislature may not be able to foresee issues which might come up during the implementation. By interpretation of the statutes, the courts have given effect to the true intent of the legislature.
“The courts have brought life into the statutes by making them relevant to contemporary times,” he said.
Justice Ramana said the Indian judiciary, since the Independence, has strengthened various institutions like the Election Commission, the CVC and the CAG.
The CJI referred to constitutional schemes, rules, regulations and judgements in responding to the statement of Supreme Court Bar Association president Vikas Singh that the collegiums, especially the high court collegiums, did not consider the “best” candidates for judgeship in higher judiciary.
The SCBA has been seeking appointment of Supreme Court lawyers as high court judges.
“We all know. You all are constitutional lawyers and you know the procedures of appointment of judges. You know the rules, regulations, the judgements, everything and on several occasions he (SCBA president) has raised the issue. I do not want to elaborate,” the CJI said.
He referred to the COVID-19 pandemic, saying “nature was against us” and the apex court could physically assemble for just 55 days during the last 16 months.
“Unfortunately, Covid cases are on the rise once again. Please be careful. I remember when I took charge as the CJI, the pandemic was against us. Not even my family members could attend the swearing-in ceremony. Many near and dear ones have lost their lives. Lawyers, judges, officers and the registry officials were scared to touch the documents,” he said.
“I wish the situation was different and could have been more productive. It is just and natural for people to have high expectations, but regrettably the forces of nature were against us. I hope that in the near future, the situation would become normal and the court will function in full capacity,” the CJI said.
He highlighted the contributions of lawyers in framing the Constitution and laying the foundation of independent India whose citizens are shaping the global future by occupying key positions across the world.
“All over the world, Indians are occupying key positions and contributing in a big way in shaping the global future, and they are all products of independent India. We must thank the founder of independent India for the vision and setting up great institutions of learning here,” the CJI said.
Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju and bar leaders led by SCBA president Vikas Singh and Solicitor General Tushar Mehta also graced the occasion.