Our Judiciary May Be Colonial In Form, Not In Spirit: Justice Devan Ramachandran
Even if our judiciary is colonial in form, it is not so in spirit, Justice Devan Ramachandran said today while speaking at the National Seminar on Indianisation of Indian Judiciary. He said that the concept of 'Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam' is imbibed in our Constitution.
The event was organised by the Amruth Mahotsav Organising Committee at Ernakulam, Kerala. Justice Devan Ramachandran spoke during the inaugural session. Dr. C. J. Issac, a member of ICHR also spoke during the inaugural session. Lt. General Sharatchand, the President of the organising committee delivered the presidential address.
Speaking on the subject, Justice Devan Ramachandran said that there is a colonial hangover in the attire used in Courts. He said that though the attire could not be changed over the past more than 70 years, it has happened due to the Covid-19 pandemic, referring to the new rule that does not require the wearing of gowns by lawyers in courts to avoid the spread of the pandemic.
"Our system is already Indian, it is our thought that is not Indian", the judge said. Indian Constitution was made based on the Indian ethos, though we inherited an Anglo-Saxon system, he said.
He referred to the way Adi Shankaracharya and Vivekananda have influenced the world. They could influence the world, but not Indias as much, the Judge said.
He said that as a judge, he follows the Constitution to the hilt while deciding cases. He said he follows the conscience of the Constitution and not his conscience while deciding cases.
He said that our Constitution is flexible and that its flexibility makes it strong. He said that the fact that our Constitution has been amended many times shows that the Constitution is strong and not weak for that reason, as is commonly said. He said that rigid Constitutions across the world have failed.
Justice Devan Ramachandran also said that independence under the Constitution is not a license to say whatever anyone wants. He said that the freedoms under the Constitution should not be abused. There is a section of people who believe that they can say whatever they want under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution, "that is because they have not read the Constitution", the Judge added.
With respect to litigation, he said there is a skewed power concept inherent in it. "Individuals will be normally fighting cases against powerful entities", he said regarding litigation in the High Court which is mostly against the state. "Litigation is inherently imbalanced. It is not going to change. Individuals cannot match the State. We cannot apply absolute equality since scales are tilted in most cases. We have to equalise the scales while following the law. Judges have to do moulding of relief", the Judge said.
"India is on a higher pedestal in the world now", he said, adding that there is no other culture in the world to beat our culture. We have to support our Constitution and imbibe the Constitution into ourselves, he said while concluding.