The basic structure of our constitution guides us like a star: CJI DY Chandrachud

Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud said here on Saturday that the skill of a judge lies in interpreting the Constitution with the changing times while keeping its soul intact. Justice Chandrachud said that when the road ahead is complicated, the basic structure of the Indian Constitution provides guidance and a sure direction to its interpreters and implementers.

He said there has been a significant change in India’s legal landscape in recent decades in favor of “de-throning regulations, promoting consumer welfare and supporting commercial transactions”.

The Chief Justice was speaking at the Nani A Palkiwala Memorial Lecture in Mumbai. He said, “The basic structure of our Constitution guides like the pole star and gives a definite direction to the interpreters and implementers of the Constitution when the road ahead is complicated. The basic structure or philosophy of our constitution is based on the supremacy of the constitution, rule of law, separation of powers, judicial review, secularism, federalism, liberty and dignity of the individual and unity and integrity of the nation.

The Chief Justice said that the emerging world economy has erased national boundaries and companies no longer stop at borders. He said that the constitution allows the government to change and develop its legal and economic policies to meet social demands.

He said, “We have come a long way from the time when you had to wait a decade to get an essential phone and at times even longer to buy your car. We have come a long way from the time of capital issue controls. From time to time we need people like Nani (Palkiwala) to hold the torch in their hands to light up the world around us. Nani told us that our constitution has a certain identity which cannot be changed.

Talking about Palkiwala and his many prominent cases, the Chief Justice said that he was at the forefront of preserving the original identity and fundamental principle enshrined in the Constitution.

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