ON NATIONAL LAW DAY: Need to ensure equal and universal access of commons to the system of justice


The Author.

The Constitution of India was adopted by the Constituent Assembly on “November 26”, 1949 and it was thirty years after, under the leadership of Dr. L. M. Singhvi, the Supreme Court Bar Association declared November 26 as the National Law Day.

Thereafter, every year, this day is celebrated as the Law Day, all over India, especially by members of the legal fraternity and even on this day Lawyers who have written books or journals are also honoured by the Supreme Court Bar Association, the day is also celebrated to honour the 207 eminent members of the Constituent Assembly who are considered the founding fathers of the Constitution of India, in fact the main objective of celebrating Law Day is, “We want to be a coherent democracy governed by the rule of law. In fact, true democracy and the rule of law always go together. It is the rule of law which guards the democratic polity. Therefore, the real purpose of celebrating Law Day is to rededicate ourselves to the following cardinal principles which formed the solid foundation on which this grand constitutional edifice is erected: (i) the rule of law, (ii) independence of the Judiciary, and (iii) the independence of legal profession. These three principles are intimately interconnected. The main purpose of independent judiciary and an independent bar is only to ensure that there is the rule of law.”

Hence Law Day is an important day for the members of legal profession in India and also for the people of India. Lawyers and the Indian judiciary have time and again been the last resort of protecting rights and liberties of individuals. It is a special day we all should celebrate and recognize those who have played active role in upholding the rule of law and protected our rights and liberties. These days Law Day is usually celebrated in a mundane manner. Rather conferences and seminars involving the common man should be held on this day to reimpose the trust of mankind in the legal procedures. Judges and lawyers owe their allegiance to the pursuit of justice. The independence and impartiality of the judiciary is the anchor of social order, individual freedom and equality of justice in our society. They need to acknowledge their social responsibility and professional obligation in public interest and for public service. There is need for legal literacy, legal aid meetings, social audit and evaluation of laws and scientific, rational and pragmatic reforms.

So 26th November being Law Day each year the Bar and the Bench authorities all over the country should emphasize in particular the need to ensure equal and universal access of commons to the system of justice, especially to the poor, the weak, the downtrodden and the deprived, the genuine need for legal literacy and legal aid.

(The author is High Court Advocate & Former Additional Advocate General Punjab)

Sunday, November 25, 2012