Law Must Have The Touch Of Humanity: CJIApr 8, 2023 | Pratirodh Bureau
Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud on Friday said that law must have the touch of humanity to serve the interests of all people and should always be used with sensibility to address the root causes of problems.
The law should take into consideration the realities of the communities where it is sought to be implemented, Justice Chandrachud said at the platinum jubilee celebration of Gauhati High Court in Guwahati, Assam.
When the law is wisely interpreted and applied, people have faith in the social structure and it is a step forward towards the realisation of justice.
The legitimacy of the judiciary lies in the faith and confidence it commands from the people, who in turn depend on judicial independence. People’s faith in judiciary is determined by the single most important factor that judiciary is the first and last access for citizens in distress and need, he said.
“Law must be imbued with a touch of humanity… A human touch is essential to ensure that law serves the interests of all. There should be empathy and respect for equality and diversity,” the CJI said.
”The role of the judiciary is to ensure that the law and its administration does not thwart justice but rather upholds it … Law should always be used with sensibilities to address the roots of the problems and should take into consideration the realities of the communities where it is sought to be implemented,” he said.
The constitutional path for justice is reflected in the Preamble of the Constitution. The parameters of fraternity, liberty and equality enshrined in it “provide the beacon for the unity of our nation and stability of social fabric,” he said.
”All three hands of the state — executive, legislature and the judiciary — are engaged in the common task of nation building. Constitutional statesmanship above all requires deliberations and dialogue and not public grandstanding,” he said.
President Droupadi Murmu, during the Constitution Day, had urged the judiciary to address the issue of access to justice for the vulnerable sections of society. “Her words inspired the legal fraternity to widen the access to justice across the country,” the CJI said.
The president launched a mobile app ‘Bhoroxa’ on the occasion of the Gauhati HC’s platinum jubilee on Friday. ‘Bharoxa’ is a women’s safety app and a community specific tool that localises support and connects users to the woman’s helpline number 181, helps to send distress alerts and provides information of welfare schemes available for them.
Quoting the latest NFHS survey, he said 75.4 per cent of urban and 54.9 per cent of rural women in Assam have access to mobile phones but less than 50 per cent have internet access. Keeping this digital divide in mind, the developers of the app have ensured that it works in areas where there is no internet connectivity and SMS alerts can be sent to emergency contacts. “Technology by itself is not a panacea. It must be supported by an ecosystem to actualise the benefits that are intended. It has to be groomed to the Indian social context with the designs (being) user-centric and cognisant to the ground social realities,” he added.
On the Gauhati HC, Justice Chandrachud said it faces challenges that plague the system of justice, particularly in areas under its jurisdiction. Many jurisdictions under it have reeled under natural calamities in the state in the past like recurring floods that annually displaced thousands of people and many lost their identity documents along with other possessions.
”The challenges faced by the marginalised and vulnerable communities during these calamities impede their access to public services, including access to justice,” he said. The Gauhati HC delivered extraordinary judgements during the Emergency. “It is in tough times that the tough judges get going,” he said.