Need for political engagement in a democracy: Justice DY Chandrachud

COVID 19 Updates Need for political engagement in a democracy: Justice DY Chandrachud

The Supreme Court Judge D.Y Chandrachud, talking about the need for political engagement in a democracy, said that the issues requiring the involvement of elected representatives should not be decided by the apex court. The judge said that “Supreme Court cannot and must not transcend its role by deciding for elected representatives”

Justice Chandrachud was invited at the King’s College in London where he spoke on the topic “Protecting human rights and preserving civil liberties: The role of courts in a democracy”.

While talking on the subject, the judge said that “thinking of Supreme Court as a one-stop solution to resolve complicated issues of policy and society shows the waning power of discourse and consensus building.

The judge said that “It is true that the Supreme Court of India must protect the fundamental rights of persons and perform its constitutional duty”. He further said that we must resolve issues through public deliberation, discourse and the engagement of citizens with their representatives and the Constitution.

Justice Chandrachud further said that the ongoing litigious trend shows how the people have started lacking the of patience in the political discourse.  He said that “this results in a slippery slope where courts are regarded as the only organ of the State for realisation of rights — obviating the need for continuous engagement with the legislature and the executive.

While in the lecture, Justice DY Chandrachud  also  spoke about the various judgements where the  Apex Court had played an important role in protection of the fundamental rights of the citizens and the realization of constitutional goals.

Another topic that was touched by the justice was “gender” which has been an important subject of engagement for the top court. He discussed many historic decisions that have been taken in the Supreme Court on gender rights

He added that the role of the Supreme Court has moved beyond discrimination and  now focuses on the binary division of gender into men and women, gendered notions of certain professions, and discrimination on the basis of gender- in the workplace, within the confines of one’s homes, or in the society, among others.

While closing his lecture he stated that the fulfilment of the ideals of our Constitution and the protections guaranteed under it cannot only be achieved by exercising our role as citizens once every five years. There must be a continuous engagement with all the pillars of democracy.

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