Judiciary only answerable to the Constitution: CJI

Speaking at a felicitation ceremony by the Association of Indian Americans at San Francisco, Chief Justice N V Ramana said the ignorance of the constitutionally mandated roles and responsibilities of the organs of governance, promoted vigorously among the general public, helps those forces which aim to run down the only independent organ — the judiciary.

“The party in power believes that every governmental action is entitled to judicial endorsement. The parties in opposition expect the judiciary to advance their political positions and causes. This flawed thinking of all hues flourishes in the absence of proper understanding among people about the Constitution and the functioning of the democratic institutions,” he said, adding, “Let me make it clear. We are answerable to the Constitution and Constitution alone”.

Democracy means participation of all concerned in nation building, the CJI said and cited the example of America which has attracted talents from across the world and assimilated them into the country. He said, “A nation that welcomes everyone with open arms, a nation that assimilates all cultures and a nation that honours every language is bound to be progressive, peaceful and vibrant. It is this character that promotes prosperity. ”

Justice Ramana said every country needs to honour diversity while practising inclusivity. “This principle of inclusivity is universal. It needs to be honoured everywhere in the world, including in India. Inclusivity strengthens the unity in society which is key to peace and progress. We need to focus on issues that unite us. Not on those that divide us. . . A non- inclusive approach is an invitation to disaster,” he said.

Praising the tremendous effort put in by Indians to make a name in the field of software and business in the US, the CJI said, “I am very happy to learn that 50% of the business-to-business startups in the Silicon Valley are founded or funded or run by Indians. This will inspire and motivate Indians everywhere. ”

Praising Indians in America for not forgetting their roots despite achieving commendable success in business in the US, the CJI said, “You have always actively contributed to the welfare of India. In your own way, you have helped to build two nations simultaneously. You have never lost sight of your ancestral land and its culture. ”

“It is time India and Indians draw proportionate benefits through your talents. For this to happen, you have to start thinking as a leader and not as one of the thousands of employees. . . I am not suggesting that you should give up your comforts and guaranteed incomes here. But, you should not be averse to taking risks,” he said.

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