Vowing to take further Supreme Court’s “long-standing” commitment towards people belonging to marginalised communities, Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra has said that “judges should not just sit in ivory towers, rather they should be sensitive to ground realities”. CJI Misra, who has led a bench of judges that delivered the landmark verdict in 2012 Delhi gang-rape case said, “India since independence has ensured active participation of even the poorest of the man of the country in government decision making process”. The CJI has stated this while delivering his address during Justice V.R Krishna Iyer Memorial Lecture, 2018.
The CJI, who is hearing a raft of pleas against Section 377 of India Penal Code, has said, “On certain occasions, the Indian society has not been up to the mark in upholding the human rights of the poor and the marginalized”. He, however, said, “Amid the grim stories of human rights violations, arbitrary state actions, unjust laws and policies and inadequacy of appropriate legislation, the Indian judiciary has always emerged as the champion of human rights in this country to protect the constitutional rights and civil liberties of the millions of people who either suffer from gender discrimination or impecuniosity”.
“The legal system of India is wedded to the Constitutional norms and their bonding is largely dependent upon the judicial wisdom. The constitutional regime of the country requires absolute adherence to rule of law, transparency in performance and accountability of duties,” the CJI said.
The CJI asserted that an “active judiciary” in the country “guarantees the continued operation of rule of law in the country”. “Participation of the poor and the marginalized in government decision-making process is sine qua non for realizing the broad objectives of the preamble to our constitution. Judiciary, over a period of time, has played a crucial role in achieving the same.”