Begin typing your search above and press return to search.
Top Stories

'Knowledge About Constitution Confined To Small Segment Of Population' : CJI Urges Law Graduates To Spread Awareness

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
31 July 2022 6:20 AM GMT
Knowledge About Constitution Confined To Small Segment Of Population : CJI Urges Law Graduates To Spread Awareness
x

CJI NV Ramana

Lamenting that the knowledge about the Constitution is limited to a small segment of the Indian population, Chief Justice of India NV Ramana urged law graduates to take up the mission of spreading awareness about "the supreme document" among common people.

Speaking at the convocation ceremony at the Hidayatullah National Law University, Raipur, the CJI told law graduates that it should be their endeavour to explain the the Constitutional provisions in simpler terms and assimilate its ethos into the minds of the people.

"The sad reality is that the supreme document which defines the aspirations of modern independent India is confined to the knowledge of law students, legal practitioners, and a very small segment of the Indian population.

The Constitution is meant for every citizen. Every individual must be made aware of their rights and duties. We have collective duty to promote the constitutional culture and raise awareness. It should be your endeavour to explain the Constitutional provisions in simpler terms and assimilate its ethos into the minds of the people. A constitutional republic shall only thrive when its citizens are aware of what their Constitution envisages", the CJI said.

"Law school education must turn graduates into social engineers, because the law is an instrument of social change. Law graduates must inculcate analytical skills, critical evaluation, and creative solutions to social and legal problems", the CJI said.

The CJI also urged law graduates to assist in legal aid services.

"Now that you are entering the profession, I urge you all to take up as many pro-bono cases as possible. In his autobiography, Justice Hidayatullah states that as a young barrister, getting clients was difficult and slow. For every case that he got paid, he was taking up three free cases. His practice was built slowly but steadily. Through his hard work, he established a credible reputation in the bar and the society. There cannot be any better example to emulate in your profession", the CJI said.

The CJI also said that youngsters, who are first generation lawyers, are shinning and are reaching greater heights in the profession through their sheer hard work and commitment, although the legal profession has not emerged completely out of its old ways.

Lawyer must be an all rounder

Speaking about the role of lawyers, the CJI said that mere knowledge of statute might not help one in the long run. The best lawyers are the ones who are well acquainted with history, politics, economics & other social & scientific developments. A lawyer must be capable of dealing with a simple civil suit as well constitutional issues to IT related crimes.

"A lawyer is not a mere representative before the court. Simply knowing a statute will not help you in the long run. Your clients may expect you to be aware about different facets of business, society or even sports. A lawyer needs to be an all- rounder, a leader a changemaker", the CJI said.

The CJI urged the graduates to think out of the box instead of following the traditional ways.

The Full Text of CJI's speech :

This university of law has been named after one of the greatest legal luminaries of the past century, Justice Mohammed Hidayatullah. He was called to the bar from Lincoln's Inn at the young age of 25, in 1930. In his time, he was the youngest Advocate General, the youngest Chief Justice of a High Court and the youngest Judge of the Supreme Court of India. He also has the unique distinction of being the Vice- President, as well as the acting President of India. He was not only an eminent jurist, but was also an outstanding statesman.

He took active interest in the development of legal education in India. Even after his retirement, he continued his pursuit to improve the standards of teaching in law schools as the chairperson of the Legal Education Committee of the Bar Council of India. He was known to be a thorough gentleman. He dedicated his life to the service of the Constitution and the people of India. For times to come, he will not only be remembered as a crusader of liberties, but also as a strong independent voice of the Indian judicial system.

Before I begin my address, I would like to congratulate the students, on their graduation today. It is a moment of pride, not only for the university, but for you, your parents, faculty, and each and every person, who was a part of shaping your life so far. I congratulate and extend my best wishes to everyone.

Dear young friends, today marks an important day in your life and a significant milestone in your journey. It marks the culmination of a phase of learning. Now you are deemed ready, as worthy citizens, to contribute to the nation and the world at large. Let me also congratulate you on becoming part of an immensely challenging, intellectually stimulating and incredibly satisfying profession. I understand the pressures of graduating. The legal profession has not completely emerged out of old days. However, the importance of pedigree, family history and hereditary legal practice is slowly fading out. Youngsters, who are first generation lawyers, are shinning and are reaching greater heights in the profession through their sheer hard work and commitment.

Do not think in traditional ways. Start thinking out of box. Knowledge and information are the biggest assets one can possess. My experience of life has taught me that hard work never goes waste. Someday you shall be rewarded for the same. Speaking from my experience, the fundamentals of law that I learnt as a student and as a young professional has helped to shape my career. Currently, you have a lot a time in your hand. Always use the same to nurture your mind.

The best lawyers are the ones who are well acquainted with history, politics, economics and other social and scientific developments around them. A lawyer must be capable of dealing with a simple civil suit as well as disputes relating to intellectual property right, from issues of constitutional importance to IT related crimes. A lawyer is not a mere representative before the court. Simply knowing a statute will not help you in the long run. Your clients may expect you to be aware about different facets of business, society or even sports. A lawyer needs to be an all- rounder, a leader and a changemaker.

With your knowledge and enthusiasm, you can ideate, innovate and thereby improve existing methods, systems and the society as a whole. Remember that new ways of thinking may invite criticism. But, do not allow such criticism to bother you. If you believe in something and work hard to achieve it, you can affect meaningful change. If you are strong willed, no force on earth can stop you from achieving your goals. Some of your friends have proved this by achieving laurels, in spite of some physical limitations. They are your role models. You should have a constructive attitude and should attempt to find solutions. You must seize the opportunities and create opportunities for others.

This generation of youngsters are taking the world by revolution. Be it the climate crisis or violation of human rights, they are a united force across the world. Truly, the technological revolution has made each one of us "global citizens". It is time for all of you to join the revolution.

It is in this context that I want to speak about role of youth in achieving social transformation through the rule of law and the Constitution. The sad reality is that the supreme document which defines the aspirations of modern independent India is confined to the knowledge of law students, legal practitioners, and a very small segment of the Indian population.

The Constitution is meant for every citizen. Every individual must be made aware of their rights and duties. We have collective duty to promote the constitutional culture and raise awareness. It should be your endeavour to explain the Constitutional provisions in simpler terms and assimilate its ethos into the minds of the people. A constitutional republic shall only thrive when its citizens are aware of what their Constitution envisages.

As law graduates, you have been trained to think about rights and duties. Law school education must turn graduates into social engineers, because the law is an instrument of social change. Law graduates must inculcate analytical skills, critical evaluation, and creative solutions to social and legal problems.

Multiple avenues are available to a legal professional in today's world. This calls for a broad-based education with a focus on developing the skills of students. Law Students must be able to explain their point clearly and precisely, with flawless communication skills. They must maintain integrity of character and be prepared to work under stressful and difficult circumstances. Only those who work with dedication will reach the zenith in the legal profession.

You have been trained to weigh the equities. In the world of rising inequities, we need your help in bridging the gaps. You must be active members of your communities and be the voice for the voiceless. You must be the beacon of social justice.

I would also like to take this opportunity to request all of you to use the skills you have learnt in the University to further the goals of justice. The most vulnerable are often the victims of human rights violations, either by the State or by anti-social elements. As young advocates, you are best placed to strongly oppose the same through legal action.

Society needs your able assistance in the dispensation of inexpensive justice to the needy. Legal Aid services in India are the largest in the world. We need young talented minds to steer the movement in the right direction. Go to the people who cannot reach you. Understand the prevailing social issues, raise concerns and stand up for them. Educate people to secure their rights and provide legal guidance whenever you can.

Now that you are entering the profession, I urge you all to take up as many pro-bono cases as possible. In his autobiography, Justice Hidayatullah states that as a young barrister, getting clients was difficult and slow. For every case that he got paid, he was taking up three free cases. His practice was built slowly but steadily. Through his hard work, he established a credible reputation in the bar and the society. There cannot be any better example to emulate in your profession.

In your chase for material wealth, do not forget the power of change that lies within you. You must have a vision of the world you want to live in. But a vision is not enough. You must create it by standing up and fighting for it. In this journey, I urge you to be well informed and aware. Never let misinformation and deceit, cloud your mind and thought. Study the struggles of history to build a better future. When the youth become socially and politically aware, the basic and real issues of education, food, clothing, healthcare, shelter, etc., will come into focus in the national discourse. It is the force of your ideas that will bring a change.

It is upon you to shape the future of this country. The opinions you write, policies you draft, pleadings and submissions that you file in Court and the ethics that you hold dear will have a far-reaching effect. Numerous people will look up to you and try to learn from your conduct. Be mindful about the consequences of your decisions.

Remember you are the heroes of your own story. Be careful and mindful to live your life well. As the beloved children's author, Dr. Seuss, once said,

Hope is eternal. I seek your leave with a heart filled with hope. I heartily congratulate those who distinguished themselves with special laurels today. I want to tell the rest of you that your contributions to the profession and the society are going to be no less important. If I may add, I also belonged to your league at the time of my graduation.

Once again, I congratulate each of you and wish you success in all your future endeavors. God bless you. Have a happy and meaningful life ahead. Before I conclude, I must compliment Hon'ble Chief Minister Shri Bhupesh Baghel and the Government of Chhattisgarh. From what I get to hear from the Chief Justice and other Judges, the Government of Chhattisgarh is taking ample care of the infrastructural and budgetary needs of the judicial community in the State. I hope this trend continues and the State of Chhatisgarh emerges as one of the role models in providing best infrastructure to the judiciary. I also thank Hon'ble Chief Minister for actively supporting the growth and development of legal education in Chhattisgarh. I wish him the best in his endeavours to provide good governance to the people of Chhattisgarh.

Brother Justice Abdul Nazeer with his rich experience from the Bar and the Bench is providing excellent guidance to this University. This University is fortunate to have Brother Nazeer as its Visitor. Brother Justice M. R. Shah as a Member of the Executive Council and Sister B. V. Nagaratna as a Member of General Council are adding huge value to this prestigious University.

The Chancellor of the University, Chief Justice Shri Arup Kumar Goswami, is one of the most dedicated and hardworking judges. He is known for bringing in progressive changes. Presence of Brother Justice Prashant Kumar Mishra in the General Council provides much needed continuity in administration of the University.

Dr V C Vivekanandan, Vice-Chancellor of HNLU, is known for his academic excellence. I hope he continue to steer the university and the students on a progressive path.

I wish the entire team of HNLU all success in their endeavours towards achieving academic excellence.

Thank you.

"You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes.

You can steer yourself any direction you choose.

You're on your own. And you know what you know.

And You are the one who'll decide where to go..."


Next Story