Chief Justice of India N V Ramana today called upon the lawyers to assist judges and to protect the judiciary from motivated and targeted attacks, while saying that, "We are all ultimately part of one large family".
"I want to tell all of you, that you must assist judges and the institution. We are all ultimately part of one large family. Protect the institution from motivated and targeted attacks. Do not shy away from standing up for what is right, and against what is wrong", said CJI Ramana while speaking at the Constitution Day celebration organised by the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) in the Supreme Court's lawns.
Justice Ramana stressed the importance of debate and discussion and said that the Constitution is richer and a more complex document in comparison to when it was adopted because of the dialogue which took place inside and outside the courtroom.
"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.
The CJI said, "Perhaps, 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. The most direct and visible players in this process are, of course, the lawyers and judges of this country".
He recalled the contributions of legendry lawyers, Mahatma Gandhi, Dr. B.R Ambedkar, Jawaharlal Nehru, Lala Lajpat Rai, Sardar Patel, and Alladi Krishnaswamy Iyer, in the freedom struggle and in the making of the Constitution and said that, "All of us here are successors of that glorious legacy".
CJI asked lawyers to "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".
"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. The history, present, and the future of this nation lie on your shoulders", CJI told lawyers.
"The legal profession is called a noble profession for a reason and it demands expertise, experience, and commitment, like any other profession, he said, adding that it also requires integrity, knowledge of social issues, social responsibility, and civic virtue. You must be leaders and mentors in society", CJI added.
He said that everybody should take a pledge to propagate the ideas that form the basis of the Constitution: freedom, equality, and justice in all of its facets for all people.
CJI felicitated five lawyers for completing 50 years in the profession. The CJI also congratulated advocates who were given certificates for writing and publishing books. "Knowledge and information are extremely important. They are even more precious in the legal profession. Researching a topic, gaining in-depth knowledge of the same, and sharing it with the world is, therefore, a great service that you are providing to the legal community and the public." the CJI said.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who also spoke during the function, informed that the Attorney General could not attend the function due to some health issue.
Tushar Mehta said, "So long as normal circumstances prevail in our life, we would not realise the importance and significance of there being a written, robust, Constitution with inbuilt checks and balances. When a common man feels injustice and moves the corridors of any Court, and the Court takes cognizance, he realises the significance of the Constitution".
Tushar Mehta also said, "When we look around the neighbouring countries, either having a Constitution or not having a Constitution and when we find that Constitution is merely a printed document and not a vibrant, living being, we feel more proud of our Constitution. When we see governments crawling before the army, despite having a Constitution, we feel proud. We feel proud that our Constitution has three organs, dependent on each other, while at the same time completely independent of each other and discharging their respective responsibilities".
The video of the function can be watched on the youtube channel of SCBA here.