Edited and Written by Anjani Kumar
Former Chief Justice of India (CJI) NV Ramanna startled everyone in his lecture that he gave on the last Sunday in which he said that all the judges can’t be expected to have the same opinion on any issue. Remarkably, Ramanna ‘s reaction which came during an annual lecture at a New Delhi based Capital Foundation Society which earned him widespread criticism .
He even said that 1960s and 1970s were the most challenging periods in modern Indian history for our legal bodies as well as our judiciary.
In course of his lecture, he further said that experiences and the lessons learnt during the last seven decades particularly from the court’s working as well as judgements , an overwhelming feeling emerging among the policy makers as well among the public was that the judgements should not be given on the basis of a single opinion as speaking in one voice is in no way a sign of healthy democracy, and differing opinion as well as view- points are necessary for strengthening judicial institution as well as our democratic ethos.
While showing concern for other important issues the country was facing, Ramana said that there were other big and important issues which were coming as a stumbling block in our system.
“The world that we live in today is so rapidly changing. We have achieved great progress on various fronts,” The former CJI added.”
He said that the duties of the Chief Justice of India are not confined to the Supreme Court rather it extends to the entire judicial system across the nation. From the lowest district level judiciaries to the high courts, the issues affecting the judiciary are required to be necessarily brought to light.
“The judiciary requires to be equipped well to face the challenges emerging every day, however, challenges that we faced in the past in no way should be compared to the challenges of future. In due course, the Indian judiciary has expanded the scope of fundamental rights and is proving as a repository of the trust and faith of public.
“Slowly, and progressively, through the course of its functioning, the court has built upon its own jurisprudence to ensure that the Rule of Law is always maintained.
“In the post-emergency era, several decisions were altered and new standards were established. Errors that we had made in the past were corrected. In future also, in tune with sensibilities of the time, the judiciary is bound to revisit which would further widen our fundamental liberty and dignity which will make our life really worthwhile,” The former Chief Justice of India added”.
In a more acerbic attack on our judicial system he said that there are several things of our judiciary like misuse of PIL needs to be corrected and asserted that ” It is the people’s faith and trust that needs to be maintained” even by the judiciary and “any institution that does not enjoy public confidence is of no relevance to the society”.