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On 15th August, 1947, on the eve of India’s Independence, at the stroke of midnight hour, when the world was sleeping Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru while addressing the Indian Constituent Assembly said “That future is not one of ease or resting but of incessant striving so that we may fulfil the pledges we have so often taken and the one we shall take today. The service of India means the service of the millions who suffer. It means the ending of poverty and ignorance and disease and inequality of opportunity”.
The ambition of Indian people echoed from the Central Hall of the Parliament house could have been realized only by a dynamic and visionary path of development. Such path could have been given through a constitution and for that on 29th August, 1947 the Constituent Assembly appointed a “Drafting Committee”.
The illustrious son of Indian soil Bharat Ratna, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar became President of the Committee on 29th August, 1947. Quite soon the Drafting Committee placed a draft constitution before the Constituent Assembly and after due deliberations on 26th November, 1949; We the people of India adopted, enacted and gave ourselves the most important socio-economic and political document “The Constitution”.
True it is, making of the Constitution was a joint effort of members of the Drafting Committee and the Constituent Assembly, but the reflection of the wisdom of Dr. Ambedkar on it is apparent. In words of Dr. Rajendra Prasad “We never did a better thing than having Dr. Ambedkar on the Drafting Committee and selecting him as its Chairman”.
The Columbia University at its special convocation conferred LLD degree on Dr. Ambedkar with a citation that reads: The Degree is being conferred in recognition of the work done by him in connection of the drafting the Indian Constitution”. Dr. Ambedkar was hailed by the University as “One of India’s leading citizen, a great social reformer and vigilant upholder of human rights”.
The Constitution of India is not a simple law book or testament for do’s and dont’s, but a well finished path for socio-economic and political progress of India as a nation and as a federal society of its citizens with adequate freedom to all the stakeholders to protect and promote their healthy traditions and values.
While handing over this great document to us, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar was aware of the thorns lying on the path. In his words:-

        “On the 26th of January, 1950, we are going to enter into a life of contradictions. In politics we will have equality and in social and economic life we will have inequality. In politics we will be recognizing the principle of one man one vote and one vote one value. In our social and economic life, we shall, by reason of our social and economic structure, continue to deny the principle of one man one value. How long shall we continue to live this life of contradictions? How long shall we continue to deny equality in our social and economic life? If we continue to deny it for long, we will do so only by putting our political democracy in peril. We must remove this contradiction at the earliest possible moment or else those who suffer from inequality will blow up the structure of political democracy which this Assembly has so laboriously built up”.

        To protect and promote values of the Constitution he always desired for open and free mind as he had and was in his deeds. His vision as narrated by him was, “Freedom of mind is the real freedom. A person whose mind is not free though he may not be in chains, is a slave, not a free man. One whose mind is not free, though he may not be in prison, is a prisoner and not a free man. One whose mind is not free though alive, is no better than dead. Freedom of mind is the proof of one’s existence”.
Today we are celebrating 129th Birth Anniversary of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar. The celebration is a well deserved tribute to his values that we adopted in our Constitution. The jewels of our system of governance are sovereignty, socialism, secularism, democracy and republican form of state committed to justice-socio-economic and political; liberty of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship; equality of status and of opportunity; and the fraternity among all the citizens assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the nation.
Being citizen of India, it is our fundamental duty to abide by the Constitution and respect its ideals.
Being member of the judicial fraternity, the responsibility lies in higher degree on our shoulders to ensure promotion and protection of all constitutional ideals and values. These values are not meant to be adhered by state only, but these must be the way of our life and in day to day activities of every citizen.
In our multi class society the concept of equality is a treasure. Though a reasonable classification is permissible but the deepest tribute to the architect of our constitution would be to have a genuine equality in every sphere of social, economic and political arena of Indian citizens. The communalism, casteism, regionalism, gender bias and close mind view of socio-political issues are antithesis to our constitutional ideals and we must fight against those fearlessly, fairly and without any hesitation. In our day to day life as well as while discharging our official duties we must commit ourselves for the core constitutional values those acquired shape during our freedom struggle and put in words by the Drafting Committee under leadership of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar.
On the pious day of 14th April, we must all look into ourselves to take corrective measures to make our constitution successful. This would be the only way to pay tribute to maker of the Constitution and to make the Indian Union long live.

Jai Hind.

(Govind Mathur)
Chief Justice   

Op EdsOP. ED.

“Law and order are the medicine of the body politic and when the body politic gets sick, medicine must be administered.”

-Dr Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar (Father of the Indian Constitution)

This 26-11-2019, India celebrates the landmark 70 Years of its Constitution which was formally adopted on 26-11-1949.

This Constitution day holds significance due to some incredible events that took place this year in which the most striking event that overpowered every other event was – Abrogation of Article 370, due to which now Jammu and Kashmir will also acknowledge and celebrate the “Constitution Day”.

Drafting Committee was elected by the Constituent Assembly on 29th August 1947. It held its first meeting on 30th August. Since August 30th it sat for 141 days during which it was engaged in the preparation of the Draft Constitution.  The first Draft Constitution as presented by the Drafting Committee to the Constituent Assembly contained 315 Articles and 8 Schedules. At the end of the consideration stage, the number of articles in the Draft Constitution increased to 386. In its final form, the Draft Constitution contains 395 Articles and 8 Schedules.

The Constitution of India has gone through more than 100 Constitutional amendments. Now the Constitution comprises 466 Articles and 13 Schedules. 

As per Article 79 of the Constitution of India, the Council of the Parliament of the Union consists of the President and two Houses known as the Council of States (Rajya Sabha) and the House of the People (Lok Sabha). Article 74(1) of the Constitution provides that there shall be a Council of Ministers with the Prime Minister as its head to aid and advise the President, who shall exercise his/her functions in accordance to the advice. The real executive power is thus vested in the Council of Ministers with the Prime Minister as its head.

Some of the excerpts from Dr B.R. Ambedkar’s last speech, which would definitely leave us with thoughts and perspectives of our own, have been stated below:

“On the 26th of January 1950, India would be a democratic country in the sense that India from that day would have a government of the people, by the people and for the people. The same thought comes to my mind. What would happen to her democratic Constitution? Will she be able to maintain it or will she lost it again this is the second thought that comes to my mind and makes me as anxious as the first.”

“…it is quite possible in a country like India – where democracy from its long disuse must be regarded as something quite new – there is danger of democracy giving place to dictatorship. It is quite possible for this new born democracy to retain its form but give place to dictatorship in fact. If there is a landslide, the danger of the second possibility becoming· actuality is much greater.”

If we wish to maintain democracy not merely in form, but also in fact, what must we do?

The first thing in my judgement we must do is to hold fast to constitutional methods of achieving our social and economic objectives. It means we must abandon the bloody methods of revolution.”

“The second thing we must do is to observe the caution which John Stuart Mill has given to all who are interested in the maintenance of democracy, namely, not “to lay their liberties at the feet of even a great man, or to trust him with power which enable him to subvert their institutions.”

“The third thing we must do is not to be content with mere political democracy. We must make our political democracy a social democracy as well. Political democracy cannot last unless there lies at the base of it social democracy.”

In the end Babasaheb parted with the following words:

Independence is no doubt a matter of joy. But let us not forget that this independence has thrown on us great responsibilities. By independence, we have lost the excuse of blaming the British for anything going wrong. If hereafter things go wrong, we will have nobody to blame. Except ourselves. There is great danger of things going wrong. Times are fast changing. People including our own are being moved by new ideologies. They are getting tired of Government by the people. They are prepared to have Governments for the people and are indifferent whether it is Government of the people and by the people. If we wish to preserve the Constitution in which we have sought to enshrine the principle of Government of the people, for the people and by the people, let us resolve not to be tardy in the recognition of the evils that lie across our path and which induce people to prefer Government for the people to Government by the people, nor to be weak in our initiative to remove them. That is the only way to serve the country. I know of no better.

Preamble to the Constitution of India

“WE, THE PEOPLE OF INDIA, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a SOVEREIGN SOCIALIST SECULAR DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC and to secure to all its citizens:

JUSTICE, social, economic and political;

LIBERTY of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship;

EQUALITY of status and of opportunity;

and to promote among them all

FRATERNITY assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the Nation;

IN OUR CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY this twenty-sixth day of November, 1949, do HEREBY ADOPT, ENACT AND GIVE TO OURSELVES THIS CONSTITUTION.”

Now is the time, more than ever, for the powers to be to follow Dr Ambedkar’s advice and abide by the mandate provided by the Constitution of India because India is on the verge of becoming an economic super power and it is essential for the existence of idea of India that the vastly dynamic stratas in the society of the country get proper space to develop within the umbrella of the State’s protection and care, along with the necessary stimulus to the amazingly vibrant corporate sector, in State’s policies.

Thankfully, the Supreme Court has time and again proved that it is rightly the custodian of our Constitution, which gives a sense of belief that the nation will tread the path of light and hope as envisaged by our Constitution givers.