New Delhi, Nov 26 (PTI) The Constitution is the “religion of all religions” and the judiciary should not falter while upholding its values even if other wings of governance fail, former Chief Justice of India Justice R C Lahoti today said.
Delivering a lecture on ‘Constitutional Value’ at a function organised here by the Supreme Court to celebrate Constitution Day, he said the “unconditional surrender to the command of the Constitution” and rising above narrow dogmas could resolve several issues.
He also cautioned the judiciary against transgressing its own boundaries, and said it had to preserve and protect the separation of powers.
The retired CJI said a judge should not forget that he is under constant public gaze and that when he sits on trial, he himself is on trial.
“The primary task of a judge is to interpret and enforce the Constitution and the laws. Instinctively, and at times pro-actively, the judiciary may embark upon making the law and also executing its directives.
“But the judiciary should never assume the role of a super-legislature or a super-executive. That, if done, would be indulging in a misadventure resulting in irreparably weakening the legislative and executive wings,” he said.
At the event, which marked the 68th Constitution Day, he said the country needed selfless and dedicated leaders to motivate the people so that they put national interests above sectional interests.
“Chanting about constitutional values would serve no purpose unless we have the people who value the values, and value-versed leaders who can be role models capable of transmitting values,” he said.
The Constitution Day celebration was inaugurated by President Ram Nath Kovind and was attended by the Chief Justice of India, Dipak Misra, Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, Attorney General K K Venugopal and other legal luminaries.