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“Constitution fails when a cartoonist is jailed for sedition”, says Justice D Y Chandrachud

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"Constitution fails when a cartoonist is jailed for sedition", says Justice D Y Chandrachud

While speaking at the Justice Desai Memorial Lecture at the Bombay High Court organized by the Bombay Bar Association, Justice D Y Chandrachud laid stress on power of Indian Constitution but how it is attempted to be strangled by some.

Beginning the lecture in the same court where once Balgangadhar Tilak was tried years ago, Chandrachud said that Constitution was a not a mere document of transfer of power from the British crown to Indian Republic.

He placed the working of constitution in the context of several recent incidents, which paint the Indian state in a less savoury light, by saying, “The Constitution fails when a cartoonist is jailed for sedition. When jail instead of bail is granted to a blogger who was critical of religious architecture, the constitution fails”

“When we deny the power of love to people on grounds of religion and caste, the Constitution weeps. Exactly this happened yesterday, when a dalit groom was forced to step down from the top of a horse. When we read of such incidents, the constitution weeps”, he added with pathos.

He commented about the emancipatory nature of Constitution, which was reflected in the Sabarimala temple case. The right of a religious denomnation is not a stand-alone right, which can exist in isolation from a woman’s right to dignity flowing from Articles 14 and 15.

He referred to the new breed of state nationalism, new forms of secular and religious violences, new politics of sexual and cultural identities etc, which are changing the nature of interactions between an individual and society.

Constitution works, even if it doesn’t matter to you. Constitution affects you, even if you don’t believe in it”, he said, concluding the lecture