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Judiciary answerable to Constitution alone: CJI lashes out at political parties

Chief Justice of India NV Ramana lashed out at the political parties, saying that the “flawed thinking of political parties flourishes in the absence of proper understanding among the people about the Constitution and democratic institutions”.

Addressing an event in San Francisco for the Association of Indian Americans on July 1, CJI NV Ramana said, “As we celebrate the 75th year of Independence and as our Republic turned 72, with some sense of regret, I must say that we still haven’t learnt to appreciate the roles and responsibilities assigned by the Constitution to each of the Institutions. The party in power believes that every governmental action is entitled to judicial endorsement, while the opposition parties expect the judiciary to advance their political positions and causes. This flawed thinking flourishes in the absence of proper understanding among people about the Constitution and the functioning of democratic institutions. It is the vigorously promoted ignorance among the general public which is coming to the aid of such forces whose only aim is to run down the only independent organ,” said CJI NV Ramana.

Praising the development of higher professional education institutions in India, the CJI said that while earlier people would have to leave India for professional courses such as law, business, etc, now there are good institutions in India. However, he sounded a note of caution about government policies “disturbing” such universities and colleges.

“Foundations meant for long-term growth should never be disturbed. All over the world, with the change in government, policies do change. But no sensible, mature and patriotic government would alter its policies in such a manner that would slow down or halt the growth of its territory. Unfortunately, we do not come across such sensibility and maturity in India too often whenever there is a change in government,” said the CJI.

The CJI also said that voting patterns in India show that the urban educated population votes in much lower numbers.

“Under the Constitution of India, it is the people who are entrusted with the task of passing judgment on the rulers, once every five years… Significantly, the voter in rural India is more proactive in discharging this task when compared to their urban, educated and well-to-do counterparts.”

Justice Ramana also asked people to spread the message of tolerance and inclusiveness for the sake of development and progress.

“It is the tolerant and inclusive nature of American society that can attract the best talents from all over the world, which in turn is contributing to its growth. In the 21st century, we cannot allow petty, narrow and divisive issues to dictate human and societal relationships. We have to rise above all the divisive issues to remain focused on human development. A noninclusive approach is an invitation to disaster,” he said.

Speaking at an event for Indian Americans, the CJI specifically addressed the second and third-generation Indians in the audience, asking them to also take steps to contribute to their parent’s homeland.

“You all might have become millionaires and billionaires. To enjoy your wealth, you need to have peace around you. Your parents back home also should be able to live in a peaceful society which is free from hate and violence. If you cannot take care of the well-being of your family and society back home, what is the use of your wealth and status here? You have to contribute your way to improving your society. What matters is the honour and respect that you command in your homeland,” said justice Ramana.

The CJI in his speech complimented the hard work of Indian-Americans towards growth, saying that their contribution “played an active role in building modern America”.

“The progressive partnership between the people of India and America has led to massive bilateral goods trade worth 113 billion dollars in the year 2021. I am very happy to learn that 50 per cent of the Business toBusiness Start-Ups in the Silicon Valley are founded or funded or run by the Indians,” Said the CJI

Since the Indian Supreme Court is on summer vacation, Chief justice of India NV Ramana has been touring different parts of the country and the world, interacting with judges, lawyers, and the Indian diaspora abroad.

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