Ground Report | New Delhi: Criminal laws; Supreme Court judge Justice DY Chandrachud has said that crime laws, including the Anti-Terrorism Act, should not be misused to suppress dissent or to harass civilians.
He said this on Monday at a conference organized by the American Bar Association, Society of Indian Law Firms and Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.
Speaking on the theme of the conference, ‘Role of the Supreme Court in safeguarding Fundamental Rights in challenging times’, Justice Chandrachud said that the Supreme Court of India plays the role of an ‘anti-majoritarian body’ and ‘remains in control of the social, economic and social minorities’. It is the duty of the top court to protect the rights.
He said that for this task the Supreme Court also has to play the role of a watchdog and listen to the voice of the constitutional conscience, this role propels the court to address the challenges of the 21st century, including the global pandemic. From the challenges like increasing intolerance which are being seen all over the world.
Justice DY Chandrachud said that some people term this interference as ‘judicial activism’ or ‘judicial boundary crossing’.
Criminal laws should not be misused
Referring to the apex court’s order to reduce the number of prisoners in prisons during the corona pandemic, he said that it was important to reduce the overcrowding in prisons as these places were vulnerable to the spread of the corona virus, but equally important is to find out. Why was there overcrowding in jails?
He said that the role and participation of the Supreme Court of India in the aspects affecting the daily lives of the people of India cannot be underestimated.
He said that “the court has intervened in many such cases which have changed the course of the history of India, whether it is the matter of protection of civil and political liberties or the socio-economic rights as a commitment to the government under the Constitution”. to give instructions to implement. (Criminal laws)
Justice DY Chandrachud concluded that “being the custodian of the Constitution, the apex court has to stay where the functioning of the executive and the legislature interferes with basic human rights”.
Referring to the Supreme Court’s intervention amid the pandemic, he said “overcrowding in prisons is one of the issues raised”.“While it is important that prisons be decongested, as they are susceptible to becoming hotspots for the virus, it is equally important to examine why they are kept in prisons. The abuse should not be to suppress dissent or to harass citizens”Justice Chandrachud
“As I have mentioned in Goswami v State of Maharashtra et al. ‘Our courts must ensure that they remain as the first wall of defense between the liberties of citizens and the violations thereof. Deprived of liberty even for a day’ It is too much to do. We must always be mindful of the systemic implications of our decisions”.