N. R. Madhava Menon, jurist, on Monday said that the unique feature of the Indian Constitution was that it had taken care to protect minorities by guaranteeing special right to religious and linguistic minorities.
He was delivering the S. Eswara Iyer Memorial Law Lecture-2012 on judicial protection of minority rights. He said that the main purpose of the guaranteed rights was to reassure the minorities that certain special interest they cherished as fundamental rights to their life were safe under the Indian constitutional regime and majoritarian democracy could not subvert them.
Integral to these cultural and educational rights were two other fundamental rights; right to equality and right to religious freedom. The religious minorities enjoyed the right to be governed by their own religion based personal laws in matrimonial and family relations.Besides, the National Commission of Minorities Act was enacted to ensure protection of minority rights and promotion of minorities' development.
Inaugurating the lecture organised by the Eswara Iyer Law Foundation, Supreme Court judge Justice Altmas Kabir said that the lawyers should always have a social commitment. Eswara Iyer was a versatile genius, he said. Former High Court judge and president of the foundation C.S. Rajan presided. Advocate General K. P. Dandapani and Kerala High Court Advocates' Association president B. Gopakumar spoke.