CJI urges people to heed advice of Constitution for peaceful environment
Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi Monday said it is in "our best interest" to heed the advice of the Constitution and warned that failing to do so would result in "sharp descent into chaos".
The assertion by Justice Gogoi came at the inaugural function of the 'Constitution Day Celebrations' here where President Ram Nath Kovind said the Constitution is the "modern scripture" of independent India and an "inspirational and living document".
Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi also greeted people on the Constitution day, saying values enshrined in it must be followed in personal and public life.
"We are proud of our Constitution and reiterate our commitment to uphold the values enshrined in it," Modi wrote on Twitter.
Constitution Day, also known as Samvidhan Divas, is celebrated on November 26 to commemorate the Constitution being adopted by the Constituent Assembly on this day in 1949. It came into effect on January 26, 1950.
Without naming anyone, Congress President Rahul Gandhi used the occasion to assert that those conspiring to destroy the Constitution should know they neither have the capacity to do so nor will the Congress allow them to do anything.
The colours of the Constitution are "engrained in every part of us", Gandhi said on Twitter.
In his address, Justice Gogoi said the Constitution is the voice of the marginalised as well as the prudence of the majority and continues to be a guide in moments of crisis and uncertainty.
"It is in our best interest to heed the advice of the constitution. If we do not, our hubris will result in sharp descent into chaos," he said.
"The constitution has become an integral part of the lives of the Indian people. This is not an exaggeration, one need only to look at the astounding variety of issues that the courts hear daily."
President Kovind said the Constitution formalised the segregation of powers between the judiciary, the executive and the legislature and has given all three pillars the legitimate rules and responsibilities to uphold the Constitution for realising its hopes and expectations.
"The duty of safeguarding and strengthening the Constitution is a shared enterprise among all three institutions, in partnership with the people of India," he said.
Adoption of the Constitution was a "milestone" in India's democratic journey, he said, adding that perhaps the "most moving word" in the Constitution is justice.
"To use a Latin expression, it is our 'suprema lex' (a Latin legal maxim that means the welfare of the people shall be the supreme law). However, it is more than just a collection of articles and clauses. For us Indians it is an inspirational and living document, an ideal of the society we are and the even better society we are striving to be," he said.
The President said people were the "ultimate custodians" of the Constitution.
"The Constitution empowers the citizen, but the citizen too empowers the Constitution - by following it, by adhering to it, by protecting it, and by persevering to make it more meaningful with words and deeds," he said.
Vice President Naidu said people must have trust in constitutional bodies and processes.
"We must uphold integrity in our personal and public life, have trust and honour in constitutional bodies and processes," the vice president Secretariat tweeted.
He said it is our "utmost national obligation" that we live earnestly by the letter and spirit of the Constitution "in our personal and community life".
(With inputs from agencies.)