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Judiciary is duty-bound to protect citizens' fundamental rights: CJI

The prime task of the three wings of the state is to defend the Constitution, its values, morals and philosophy: CJI

IANS  |  New Delhi 

Dipak Misra, CJI
Illustration: Ajay Mohanty

Dismissing the perception of judicial activism, on Saturday said that protection of of citizens is the "sacrosanct duty of the judiciary" and it is obliged to stand with citizens if government entities "encroach" upon their

Speaking at the Law Day celebrations at Vigyan Bhavan here, said: "The citizens have been guaranteed and the governing entities are not expected to encroach upon it. The moment they encroach upon it or there is an apprehension that there is an encroachment, the is obliged to stand by them."

Chief defended the court taking a pro-active position on the fundamental rights of citizens and expanding their scope.

"There is a perception that there is a judicial activism... I must clarify protection of fundamental rights of each and every citizen is the sacrosanct duty of the which has been conferred on by the Constitution. Fundamental rights have been expended from the date the Constitution came into existence," he said.

The also said the has no desire to make policy.

"Nobody intends, nobody desires to enter upon the policy-making areas. We don't make policies but we interpret policies and that's our job," he said brushing aside concern raised over judicial activism or judicial over-reach by the Minister of State for Law and Justice P.P. Choudhary.

The prime task of the three wings of the state is to defend the Constitution, its values, morals and philosophy, Chief said.

Pointing out that there was a direct co-relation between Directive Principles of State Policy and the fundamental rights, Chief Justice Misra called for a quality governance and said, "Cooperative constitutionalism is the responsibility of the three organs of the State to protect the Constitution which is the source of their origin."

Referring to the protection of women at the workplace by framing Vishaka guidelines and rescuing children working in the industry, Chief Justice Misra said, "What you see today may be relevant tomorrow."

The two-day conference on the occasion of Law Day was also addressed by President Ram Nath Kovind, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, Niti Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar and Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.

First Published: Sat, November 25 2017. 14:32 IST