Protect institution, assist judges: CJI to lawyers

Protect institution from motivated attacks: CJI to lawyers on Constitution Day

He asked the lawyers to be leaders and mentors in society

Chief Justice of India N V Ramana. Credit: Special Arrangement

Chief Justice of India N V Ramana on Friday asked the lawyers community to protect the institution from motivated and targeted attacks and not to shy away from standing up for what is right, and against what is wrong.

"You must assist judges and the institution. We are all ultimately part of one large family," he said while delivering his speech as chief guest in the Constitution Day function organised here by the Supreme Court Bar Association.

Highlighting the importance of the day, he said the Constitution of today, built upon the foundations laid by the framers, is a richer and more complex document than what it was when it was adopted in 1949.

"This is a result of the dialogue that took place both inside and outside the courtroom, resulting in novel and unique interpretations," he said.

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The CJI pointed out, the most important feature of the Indian Constitution is the fact that it provides a framework for debate. It is through such debate and discussion that the nation ultimately progresses, evolves, and achieves higher levels of welfare for the people, he said, adding, the most direct and visible players in this process are of course, the lawyers and judges of this country.

He asked the lawyers to be leaders and mentors in society. 

"Take an active role in lending your hand to those in need. Take up cases pro bono whenever possible. Be worthy of the confidence reposed in you by the public," he told them.

Maintaining that history, present and the future of this nation lie their shoulders, he reminded them, "You are following in the footsteps of the great men and women who created the vision document of this nation and are also direct participants in the redefining of that vision.”

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"As people with intimate knowledge of the Constitution and the laws, it is also your responsibility to educate the rest of the citizenry about the role that they play in society," he further added. 

Speaking on the occasion, SCBA president Vikas Singh expressed concern over the fact 46 per cent of Parliamentarians were charged with serious crimes.

"Lawbreakers should not be lawmakers. A time has come for deliberation on this. There was a hope of constitution-makers in this regard but statistics show a different picture," he said.

The CJI also felicitated senior advocates and other lawyers who wrote books on different subjects during the year.

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