Chief Justice of India (CJI) D.Y. Chandrachud on Saturday said that India’s legal landscape has undergone a significant change in the recent decades in favour of removing strangulating regulations, augmenting consumer welfare and supporting commercial transactions.
While delivering the 18th Nani Palkhivala Memorial Lecture titled “Traditions and Transitions: Palkhivala’s Legacy in an Interconnected World” in Mumbai, the CJI said, “The basic structure of the Indian Constitution guides and gives certain direction to its interpreters and implementers, when the path is convoluted. The craftsmanship of a judge lies in interpreting the text of the Constitution with the changing times while keeping its soul intact.”
He further added, “The identity of the Indian Constitution has evolved through the interaction of Indian citizens with the Constitution and has been accompanied by judicial interpretation.”
“If you look at the Constitution, it does not favour unbounded economic liberalism. Rather, our Constitution seeks to find the right balance. When individuals can exercise their liberties and to be fairly rewarded for their efforts, then economic justice becomes one of the many inter-related dimensions of life. Ultimately, we share common faiths and destinies to the point that development of each individual fosters social justice in the entire world,” he added.
Talking about Palkhivala, an eminent jurist, he said, “Nani shaped the history of contemporary India. When I was thinking what to speak today, I was thinking (about) economics which was his passion. In a way this lecture is a tribute to the lawyer and economist. He dedicated his life to preserve the rights given in the Constitution. If not for Nani, we would not have the basic structure doctrine,” the CJI said.
The CJI gave the Nani Palkhivala Civil Liberties Award to former Mumbai Police Commissioner Julio Riberio, who donated all the award money to social activist Harsh Mander’s non-governmental organisation.