Lynching for Choice of Food Equals Lynching Constitution: SC Judge

Lynching for Choice of Food Equals Lynching Constitution: SC Judge

India

Delivering a speech at an event organised by the Bombay Bar Association, Justice DY Chandrachud said “when a person is lynched for the food he or she had, it is the Constitution which gets lynched".

In his 30-minute long speech, Justice Chandrachud was speaking on various challenges and the strengths of the Constitution of India in the event organised to commemorate the legacy of second Chief Justice of Gujarat High Court, KT Desai at the Bombay High Court.

Justice Chandrachud began his speech by reminiscing Justice Desai’s life and achievements, while continuously emphasising the importance of the Constitution in a democracy.

“Constitution was a not a mere document of transfer of power from the British crown to Indian Republic... but an autochtonous document with its roots in the Indian ethos,” he said.

However, Justice Chandrachud also pointed out the contradictions of the constitution, indicating that it’s essence fails when “its workers go terribly wrong”.

Also Read : Here’s Why History Will Be Kind to SC Judge DY Chandrachud 

"The people who work for the Constitution may sometimes go terribly wrong. As when a cartoonist is jailed for sedition, or a blogger is jailed instead of granted bail who was critical of religious architecture... it is the Constitution that fails [sic]." he said.

He further added:

“When we deny the power of love to people on grounds of religion and caste, the Constitution weeps... When a Dalit groom was forced to step down from the top of a horse... such incidents...the Constitution weeps.”
Justice DY Chandrachud

Speaking on Article 368 of the Constitution that grants constituent power to make formal amendments and empowers Parliament to amend the Constitution, Justice Chandrachud said that since its enactment in 1950, India till date has seen several landmark amendments.

Citing several amendments made in the last 70 years, such as Right to Free and Compulsory Education and the birth of panchayati-raj in the country, he indicated that such changes have strengthened the country's democracy.

Also Read : Fraud on the Constitution: Justice Chandrachud’s Stinging Dissent

‘With Population Adopting New Technologies, Constitution Will Have to Keep Up Pace’

Speaking on the challenges of the Consituition that the drafters did not 'envisage,' Justice Chandrachud said that with emerging technology, the Constitution needs to keep up its pace in order to stay "relevant."

“Technological advances have radically changed on how we conduct our lives...these advances also have the potential of disrupting the conceptions of basic principles such as freedom of speech and privacy... With newer forms of technology, the Constitution will have to keep pace to continue being relevant.”
Justice DY Chandrachud

In the concluding section, Justice Chandrachud highlighted that a good Constitution can turn out to be good or bad depending up on the 'its workers.’

“However good a Constitution maybe, it is sure to turn out bad because those who call to work it, happen to be a bad lot. And no matter how bad a Constitution maybe, it is sure to turn out good because those who call to work it, happen to be a good lot.”
Justice DY Chandrachud

(With inputs from LiveLaw.)

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