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Constitution contemplated strong Centre for preserving stability of India: Chandrachud

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The Constitution envisaged a strong Centre for preserving the stability of India as the nation was born against the backdrop of disruption, Justice D Y Chandrachud said Friday.

Delivering the second 'Nani Palkhivala lecture, 'A Borrowed Constitution: fact or myth', organised here on the occasion of the noted jurist's birth centenary, he said the Constitution was a result of the freedom struggle against colonial oppressors and influenced by the events of partition and transgressions that took place during this period.

"India was born in the backdrop of disruption. India was born in the backdrop of a sense when there was doubt if it would survive as a nation. India was born from the perspective of the disruptions of partition.

"Therefore, the Constitution as it was originally envisaged, contemplated a strong Centre where there was need to preserve the stability of one nation," said Justice Chandrachud.

Justice Chandrachud, who wrote the lead judgement of the 9-judge bench according privacy the status of fundamental right, also advocated that the Supreme Court and the High Court should try to put out a shorter version what the judgments really say to make them accessible to common people because they are interested in what the courts are deciding.

The event was also attended by senior advocate Abhsihek Manu Singhvi, former Attorney General Soli Sorabjee, former governor T N Chaturvedi and jurist Upendra Baxi.

Speaking of Palkhivala, Justice Chandrachud said, "We the nation, we the people were fortunate to have had such a legend amongst us".

Answering a query by O P Jindal Global University Vice Chancellor C Rajkumar as to why the Indian courts tend to draw jurisprudence from similarly situated legal system, also known as common law jurisprudence, Justice Chandrachud said it was time to go beyond.

"By focusing only on common law jurisdiction, we may possibly be losing the richness of the law evolved in the different part of the world... In Aadhaar verdict, we went beyond that and cited judgment from various countries from Europe," he said.

Speaking of the relevance of the Puttaswamy case in relation to Article 21, Justice Chandrachud said that the scope of Article 21 has broadened to include multiple rights.

"In the Puttaswamy case, our court read in the right to privacy in our Constitution. Cases such as this go on to reflect the role that our courts continue to play in developing the identity of our constitution.

"The courts ultimately read a sense of vision but that vision is necessarily limited to the ambit of cases that come to the court, " he said.

Speaking of the 42nd amendment, Justice Chandrachud said the Constitution cannot be understood as anything but secular and the 42nd amendment gave an expression to those fundamental values which were always existing as part of the constitution.

"To my mind, the 42nd amendment recognised something that was basically underpinning of the Indian constitution. You cannot understand the constitution as anything but secular and the 42nd amendment merely gave expression to those fundamental values which were always existing as part of our constitution," he said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, March 29 2019. 21:05 IST
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