New Delhi: Chief Justice of India (CJI) N.V. Ramana on Friday urged lawyers to protect the institution from motivated and targeted attacks and to not shy away from standing up for what is right, and against what is wrong.
The Chief Justice made the remarks while addressing a Constitution Day celebration organised by the Supreme Court Bar Association.
“I want to tell all of you, that you must assist judges and the institution. We are all ultimately part of one large family. Protect the institution from motivated and targeted attacks. Do not shy away from standing up for what is right, and against what is wrong,” the CJI said.
Justice Ramana said as people with intimate knowledge of the Constitution and the laws, it is the lawyers’ responsibility to educate the rest of the citizenry about the role that they play in society.
“The history, present and the future of this nation lie on your shoulders. This is a heavy, if not the heaviest, burden to bear. This profession is called a noble profession for a reason. It demands expertise, experience, and commitment, like any other profession. But in addition to the above, it also requires integrity, knowledge of social issues, social responsibility, and civic virtue. You must be leaders and mentors in society.”
Justice Ramana asked the lawyers to actively take up pro bono cases and be worthy of the confidence reposed in them by the public.
He expressed happiness at being part of the legal community, which has given so much to the freedom struggle and played such an integral role in the drafting of the Constitution. “None can forget the contributions of lawyers such as Mahatma Gandhi, Dr. B.R Ambedkar, Jawaharlal Nehru, Lala Lajpat Rai, Sardar Patel and Alladi Krishnaswamy Iyer, whose dedication and sacrifices for the cause of the people are legendary. All of us here are successors of that glorious legacy.”
He said the Constitution of today, built upon the foundations laid by the framers, is a richer and more complex document than what it was when it was adopted in 1949, and it is a result of the dialogue that took place both inside and outside the court room, resulting in novel and unique interpretations.
“Perhaps, the most important feature of the Indian Constitution is the fact that it provides a framework for debate. It is through such debate and discussion that the nation ultimately progresses, evolves, and achieves higher levels of welfare for the people. The most direct and visible players in this process are of course, the lawyers and judges of this country,” the CJI added.