Supreme Court judge Justice Sanjiv Khanna Sunday said there was a “pressing need” to make laws simpler, accessible, more humane and relatable to the younger generation.
The top court judge, who is next-in-line to become the Chief Justice of India (CJI) after the retirement of incumbent CJI D Y Chandrachud in November next year, said that the Indian Constitution was a “living document” influencing millions of lives and urged all to “move forward with determination unity and optimism”.
Justice Khanna was speaking at a Constitution Day event in the Supreme Court in the presence of President Droupadi Murmu, CJI Chandrachud, Union Law Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal and several other dignitaries.
Since 2015, November 26 is observed as Constitution Day to commemorate the adoption of the Constitution of India by the Constituent Assembly in 1949. Earlier, the day was observed as Law Day.
“As we commemorate the 74th Constitution Day, we find ourselves at a pivotal moment in our nation’s journey. Indian Constitution has been repeatedly described as a living document because it is a part and parcel of our daily lives. It had transformed lives of 350 million people in 1950 and continues to have an indelible imprint and influence on the lives of 1 .4 billion people today,” Justice Khanna said.
“Today as we reflect on the objectives of our legal system, we must recognise the pressing need to make our laws more simple and accessible (and) secondly, relatable to the younger generation and more humane,” the apex court judge said.
Justice Khanna added that several features of the Constitution like affirmative action, a unique federal system with a strong Centre, non-discrimination, right to education for children up to the age of 14, free, fair and transparent elections, and the expansive interpretation of the expression ‘life’ in Article 21 by the courts stand out and inspire all to chart the course for the future.
“As we embark on the journey towards realising our social and economic aspirations and evolve into a more formidable and progressive nation, we must keep in mind the words of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore, which eloquently capture the essence of Indian civilization ‘Civilization must be judged and priced not by the amount of power it has developed but by how much it has evolved and given expression to, by the laws and its institutions, the love of humanity’,” he said.