Judges go by Constitutional morality

By CJI D Y Chandrachud  (4 Nov 2023)

Judges don’t go by popular morality, but by constitutional morality. Constitutional morality consists of those values of the constitution that the courts are intended to espouse such as fraternity, human dignity, personal liberty and equality.

“Judges don’t look at how society would respond when they decide cases, that’s exactly the difference between the elected arms of government & the judiciary,” he said

While the elected arm of governance is intended to be responsive to the people, judges need to follow Constitutional morality.Courts are a platform for engagement, where people feel that they will atleast have a space to exchange views and ideas to produce a new synthesis of change within society, he added.

“There is a dividing line between what the legislature can and cannot do. If a judgment points out a deficiency in the law, it is open to the legislature to enact a fresh law to cure the deficiency. What the legislature cannot do is to overrule a judgment. But this is not happening for the first time. This has been happening in the tax arena. Validating acts are perfectly permissible, but directly overruling a judgment is completely impermissible,” 

“We can’t profess to be right. We are final not because we are right, but we are right because we are final.The work we do is open to criticism and broader social dialogue,” 

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