Constitutional provisions such as the right to freedom of speech and expression would be useless if people did not use them to raise their voice against negative developments in society, Karnataka High Court judge N. Kumar said.

Inaugurating the National Law Day celebrations at the Karnatak Vidyavardhak Sangha here on Saturday, Mr. Kumar said the Constitution guaranteed this right to every citizen. He urged people to use it to question those in power.

He called upon the legal fraternity to help people acquire knowledge of the law and make use of constitutional provisions. Else, the “highhandedness” of the people in power would continue and the voices of the suppressed classes would go unheard, he said. Sangha president Patil Puttappa said the media should act as a watchdog to safeguard democracy and see that the misuse of power was curtailed.

Society should evaluate the character of a person before choosing him as leader. The lack of honest politicians and officials was one of the biggest challenges faced by the nation today, he claimed.

High Court Judge A.N. Venugopal Gowda, Principal District and Sessions Court judge K. Nataraj, Dharwad Bar Association president R.D. Desai and senior lawyer V.D. Kamreddy were among those present.