For the best experience, open
on your mobile browser or Download our App.

Dream of Constitution Makers to Use Constitution As a Weapon to End Inequalities: Justice Gavai

Justice B.R. Gavai noted that Article 32 and Article 226 have been used by the courts for transformative justice.
Justice B.R. Gavai. Photo: Youtube Screengrab/Supreme Court Bar Association

New Delhi: Supreme Court judge Justice B.R. Gavai on Monday, April 15 said that Article 32 and Article 226 have been used to achieve transformative justice and thereby attain the “dream” of the Constitution makers to use the Indian Constitution as a “weapon” for “social and economic justice” and “end inequalities” in the society.

“The credit of origin of Article 32 goes to B.R. Ambedkar. The journey of Article 32 has been in furtherance of the dream of our Constitution makers to use Constitution as a weapon to achieve social and economic justice and to end inequalities in the society,” said Justice Gavai, speaking at a lecture series organised in memory of B.R. Ambedkar on the topic “Article 32: History and the Future”, Hindustan Times reported.

Considered the ‘hear and soul” of the Indian Constitution, Article 32 ensures the enforcement of fundamental rights, including the right to equality, life, and freedom from discrimination. Notably, it  empowers citizens to directly approach the Supreme Court if their fundamental rights are violated or not being upheld.

Further, Justice Gavai noted that Article 226 has also been used by the courts for transformative justice. “In the last 75 years, Articles 32 and 226 have been used by the Supreme Court and high courts for achieving transformative justice.”

As per the HT report, Justice Gavai belongs to the Scheduled Caste community and is in line to be become the chief justice of India in May next year. “The credit of the origin of the Indian Constitution goes to Dr B.R. Ambedkar. It is only because of Dr B.R. Ambedkar that a person like me who studied in a semi slum area at a municipal school could reach this position,” he said, as per a Bar and Bench report.

Correlating Article 32 with the issue of pendency of cases in the apex court, Justice A.S. Oka said, “Parliament can bring a law conferring Article 32 jurisdiction on high courts if it feels the Supreme Court is overburdened. This solution is provided under Clause 3 of Article 32 itself.”

“We are not living in an ideal world. The pendency of cases in Supreme Court is about 80,000. It is not merely a constitutional court but an appellate court. 25% of cases listed on a Monday or Friday are appeals against refusal to grant bail. In our legal system, there are victims where a small man is fighting for years for getting a small piece of land. These are some facts that force us to send people to high courts,” Justice Oka mentioned during the event, as per the HT report.

“We must fix priorities faced with such mounting arrears,” he added.

Also read: ‘Stop Pooja-archana During Court Events, Bow Down To Constitution Instead’: SC Judge

Without taking any name, Justice Oka pointed out how it sometimes becomes difficult for the courts to function due to “powerful businessmen” and “powerful lawyers”.

“If there is a powerful businessman, he will be backed by powerful lawyers to argue how a case under Article 32 is made out. This consumes a lot of time off the courts,” Justice Oka said, “When this happens, look at the plight of other litigants, including prisoners denied premature release. They must wait in the long queue for justice. Can we actually devote time meant for entertaining genuine article 32 petitions by entertaining petitions by businessmen.”

Make a contribution to Independent Journalism
facebook twitter