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CJI Chandrachud underlines ‘Constitutional Morality’ as means to preserve India’s diversity

INDCJI Chandrachud underlines ‘Constitutional Morality’ as means to preserve India’s diversity

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee arrives to attend National Judicial Academy’s conference on ‘Contemporary Judicial Developments and Strengthening Justice through Law & Technology’, in Kolkata, on June 29, 2024.
| Photo Credit: PTI

Espousing the importance of implementing ‘Constitutional Morality’ in Indian jurisprudence, Chief Justice of India D. Y. Chandrachud on June 29 insisted on the commitment of courts to ensure diversity, inclusion and tolerance.

Speaking at the inaugural session of the two-day East Zone II Regional Conference of the National Judicial Academy, the CJI also focussed on the importance of technological advancements in the justice delivery system.

CJI Chandrachud elaborated on the notion of ‘Constitutional Morality’ as a restraining factor on the State that should derive from the Preambular values of the Constitution.

Underlining the country’s federal structure that’s “marked by a great deal of diversity”, the CJI focussed on the role of judges in “preserving the diversity of India”.

“I am reticent when people call courts a temple of justice. Because that would mean the judges are deities which they are not. They are instead servers of the people, who deliver justice with compassion and empathy,” CJI Chandrachud said at the conference titled ‘Contemporary Judicial Developments and Strengthening Justice Through Law and Technology’.

Calling judges “servants and not masters of the Constitution”, the CJI warned the judiciary of the pitfalls of personal values and belief systems of judges interfering with judgments that are opposed to values enshrined in the Constitution.

“We could be masters of Constitutional interpretation, but a just society is established with the court’s vision of Constitutional Morality,” he said.

While speaking on the need for technological assistance in ensuring the effective delivery of justice to citizens, the CJI said, “The idea is to not modernise for the sake of modernisation. It is a step to aid something else we want to achieve.” CJI Chandrachud spoke of AI-assisted software aiding the work-in-progress to translate the 37,000-odd Supreme Court judgments delivered since Independence from English into all Constitution-recognised regional languages.

Making available digitised formats of Supreme Court judgments free for all, decentralised access to courts to provide travel relief to litigants, using technology to create awareness of court procedures and categorisation of cases are also some of the technology-driven measures in aiding effective justice which the CJI spoke about.

Delivering a special address at the programme, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee appealed to members of the judiciary to ensure that political bias should not interfere with the justice delivery system.

“Judiciary should be pure, honest and sacred. I believe that the judiciary is of, by and for the people. If the judiciary cannot deliver justice to people, who can? It’s the ultimate frontier for getting justice and the last recourse to save our country’s democracy and our Constitution,” Ms. Banerjee said.

Chief Justice of Calcutta High Court T.S. Sivagnanam was also present at the programme which was organised in collaboration with the Calcutta High Court and West Bengal Judicial Academy.

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