Supreme Court judge V. Gopala Gowda has said the judicial system should be such that the poorest person should not face hurdles moving the highest court of the land.
The Supreme Court had provided this assurance through various decisions and through the instrument of public interest litigation (PILs) petitions.
Delivering the Chandrashekhar Patil Endowment Lecture on ‘Democracy: social justice and judiciary’ at Gulbarga University here on Wednesday, Mr. Gowda said the “judiciary has made efforts since the adoption of the Constitution and would continue to do so, to make the dream of the founding fathers come true that India, as a democracy, emerges as a society where everyone is treated with equal respect.”
He said that hard-earned freedom was not meant only for a privileged few. “Our freedom is not only political freedom. India is for everyone residing in this country. The country and its Constitution are meant equally for those who carry weary weights every day to earn their living.”
Discussing in detail the evolution of law since Independence, Mr. Gowda said the role of law as an instrument of social justice was aimed at fair division of wealth and opportunity. “Although a lot has been done by the State in this regard, there is still a lot more that needs to be done.”
Imposing ceiling on land holdings, forbidding transfer of lands meant for Scheduled Tribes and restoration of land to those who had either been coerced to sell their land or were victims of conscionable bargaining are some of the bold steps taken to restore justice in society,” he said. Mr. Gowda said the judiciary had lived up to the expectations of people and had protected and promoted the welfare of people. The judiciary had ensured that the rights guaranteed to people in the Constitution were not overpowered by the whims of the powerful, he added.
Gulbarga University Vice-Chancellor E.T. Puttaiah presided over the programme.