Justice BR Gavai releases VD Mahajan’s Constitutional Law of India revised by Dr. Sanjay Jain

ebc constitutional law book launch

Eastern Book Company brings the new edition of the legal classic – V.D. Mahajan’s Constitutional Law of India by Dr Sanjay Jain . It will aid students of Constitutional law in their quest to understand and study the magnificent document from a refreshing new perspective.

The book was released on 17-4-2023 in the presence of Justice BR Gavai, Judge, Supreme Court of India being the Chief Guest for the event, Professor Upendra Baxi, Professor MP Singh, Senior Advocate KV Viswanathan and Senior Advocate Gopal Sankaranarayanan.

EBC constitutional law book launch

Ms. Prachi Bharadwaj welcomed the dignitaries with a warm introduction. Mr. Sumeet Malik, Associate Editor, Supreme Court Cases™ at EBC took over with the background of the last edition of this book, which was published more than 25 years ago and explained the revising author’s association with EBC Private Limited while cherishing the wonderful experience working with Mr. Sanjay Jain on this book. He also expressed that to be effective in our role, we need to be relevant and consistent with our work, and that prompt, accurate and complete reporting has been our goal.

EBC constitutional law book launch

Justice BR Gavai started with the introductory remarks on the release of the exemplary work done by Mr. Jain and added that “Mahajan’s book is comprehensive in its coverage of constitutional law. Indian constitutional law has evolved over the years, and the same needs constant revision. Professor Jain’s revised edition covers a wide range of topics like fundamental rights, role of judiciary etc. He has written extensively on this subject, and his work reflects a complex relationship between the judiciary and constitution”.

Bringing in the fact of Professor Jain being a differently abled scholar, Justice Gavai believes that it will have a significant social impact challenging stereotype. His example is an inspiration for others, for both abled and specially abled individuals. He expressed that disability, as we count, is a special ability for success in fields like academia, which will help break down barriers and contribute to a more inclusive and compassionate society. Justice Gavai congratulated him on his excellent work and viewed Mr. Jain’s revision of the book as an invaluable resource emphasizing the role of judiciary and thus, a must read for anyone to deepen their understanding of constitutional law.

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Justice Gavai and the rest of the panelists released the book on Constitutional Law revised by Professor Sanjay Jain.

Justice Gavai praised the book that “One of the key features of Professor Jain’s revised edition is its attention to the social and political context in which the Indian Constitutional law operates. Another important aspect of Professor Jain’s revision is its emphasis on the role of the judiciary in interpreting and applying the Constitution. Professor Jain has written extensively on the subject, and his revision of Mahajan’s book reflects his insights into the complex relationship between the judiciary and the Constitution. The book provides a detailed analysis of the role of the judiciary in protecting fundamental rights, interpreting the Constitution, and ensuring the rule of law.”

He further added that “Professor Jain’s scholarship will help raise awareness about the challenges that disabled people face in accessing education and employment. His example will serve as an inspiration to others, both disabled and non-disabled, who may be struggling to overcome obstacles in their own lives.”

EBC constitutional law book launch

Justice Gavai concluded with the mention of acquiring access to SCC being the first thing after starting legal practice, and that the index of SCC in the judgment is always helpful for lawyers as well as the judges.

Then, Senior Advocate Gopal Sankaranarayanan took over as the moderator and started with the panel discussion on “Constitutional Silences and Unconstitutional Inaction”. He began with the mention of an exchange of emails among the panelists regarding Chapter 37 of the book dealing with Constitutional silences, and the manner in which enumerated rights have been recognized.

Professor Baxi commented on the first edition of the book by V.D. Mahajan that it is a voluminous work, the amount of literary work done is fantastic and that he was privileged to know the great man Mahajan and the kind of work he did. Coming to the instant edition by Professor Sanjay Jain, he took over a difficult task to revise Mahajan’s work according to Professor Baxi.

Coming to the topic of discussion, Professor Baxi expressed that “Constitutional silences are made to speak in the name of the people; The process of constitutional silencing and professes of constitutional desilencing is an ambiguous but very important notion. We live in an era of what we call ‘Trumpism’. Let the people speak through constitution!”

Professor MP Singh suggested that we have to give direction to the constitution by finding some silences in it. Even if they’re not there, they have to be created, and the maximum responsibility in this regard lies with the apex court. Praising his work, he added that “I am grateful to Professor Jain for introducing me to constitutional silences, although I may not agree with everything. It is remarkable on his part to keep the size of the book as the original one while adding to it”.

EBC constitutional law book launch

Senior Advocate Sankaranarayanan praised the book with the words “It is amazing how the book gives the kind of credit to the Gopalan case. Professor Jain brings that out by going judge by judge on compartmentalization of rights in Gopalan case.”

Commenting on the recent liberal decisions of the Supreme Court including privacy judgment, LGBT rights, living will, etc., Senior Advocate Sankaranarayanan asked Senior Advocate KV Viswanathan to share his thoughts on the expansion of rights and bringing disabled people within, to which, he replied that “the rights of the disabled should be on a higher pedestal than the socially and educationally backward classes. It is extremely important that these seminal works are being brought out.”

EBC constitutional law book launch 

He suggested for the rights of the disabled that “You don’t need to give them sympathy, you need to give them opportunity. These rights should be traceable to Article 14 of the Constitution of India as an obligation now.”

It was a special moment when the person whose work was being celebrated at the event, Professor Jain said that “I want to celebrate interdependence, as it helps you to learn, and I have learned a lot from my students. My wife is not behind me but beside me and she has read the whole book and told me if there are any errors, the Chief Justice of India, Justice DY Chandrachud wrote the book’s foreword and Professor Upendra Baxi wrote its introduction. I am very happy as there is one thing called celebration of book, but this is an intellectual celebration.”

Professor Jain expressed that Article 14 does not merely say about equality before the law, but also that there should be equal protection of law. Professor Jain on Right to leisure for disabled people Praised enthusiasm of Delhi HC and Justice Pratibha vis-a-vis Pathan movie subtitles. Professor Jain also thanked EBC for this important inclusion of disability rights.

EBC constitutional law book launch

Professor Baxi shared his experience on Constitution of India when a first-year student of Columbia Law school asked told that “Indian is the only constitution in the world where judges are doing a lot about sexual minority” He expressed that you don’t need Article 17 or 19 when 14 is present, and that we cannot put everything on law. He continued that “how to do things to people living with disability when your constitution is itself disabled?” then came up on a lighter note that “May be in “post Baxi world” there are solutions.”

The Moderator asked Senior Advocate KV Viswanathan “What do you think are the limitations judges should keep in mind while applying legal principles when they have 100s of cases to look upon? He answered that if there is scope for enforcing your right attacking discrimination, courts should not leave fundamental rights to the legislators. He expressed that there is no alternative to Basic Structure theory till date. Where there’s complete inaction by the executive and repeatedly send it back and courts refuse to act, that’s not violation of separation of power and the courts should step in. He further added that “The graver the infringement of rights, the more intensive the judicial review should be.”

On the upcoming occasion of the 50th anniversary of Basic Structure doctrine, there is a question of whether it can be? Professor Baxi suggested to everyone that we must go through the doctrine of basic structure on its golden jubilee. Professor MP Singh suggested that “Let us go back to the long judgment, then see whether we have grown in these 50 years and moved in the right direction, or we are still where we were when the case was decided?

The question remains for everyone to ponder upon.

The program was concluded with a vote of thanks by Ms Bhumika Indulia.

Grab your copy of the 8th Edition of VD Mahajan’s Constitutional Law of India, revised by Dr. Sanjay Jain on EBC Webstore.



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