THE INDIAN CONSTITUTION GIVES JUSTICE TO ALL
In the era in which a noticeable number of people are working on bringing equality normalized, the significance of justice increases. The Constitution of India was written years ago but the vision of the framers was hundred years long. Even today our Constitution is one of the best framed constitutions of the world. What makes the constitution more than just a huge book is its provisions, articles and essence of treating everyone equally.
There are two forms of equality, ‘formal equality’ and ‘egalitarian equality’. The two terms are way different from each other. Formal equality is nothing but simple equality in which there is no special treatment given to any disadvantaged or advantaged section of the society. Whereas egalitarian equality refers to proportional equality which permits the state to take actions which are beneficial to some disadvantaged section of society. The intention of such action needs to be public welfare and restore equality in society. In India we practice egalitarian or proportional form of equality. This makes it equality in fact rather than equality in law.
It is to remember that laws are made for humans to survive and not to exploit them. The law cannot differentiate among the citizens as it will represent the biases that prevails in the country. Also, justice is what one seeks after ending into a misery. Writing down laws cannot alone ensure safety and dignity to citizens, along with that the Judiciary needs to ensure that Justice is given to everybody regardless of a person’s religion, caste, sex, race, age, etc.
Articles laying down foundation of justice
Article 14 in Part 3 of the Constitution provides ‘Right to Equality’. According to the Constitution equals are to be treated equally and unequal are treated unequally. To understand this let us take an example, two communities which were discriminated against in the past and do not have resources to develop themselves cannot be treated differently. Laws which are made to benefit backward communities will apply on both and not one, but in case one of the two communities has not experienced discrimination cannot be part of such laws.
Fundamental Rights guaranteed in Article 19 of the Constitution also acts as a shield for the citizens in order to receive free and fair treatment from the state. These rights also help in providing justice to everyone without considering their caste or religion. These rights are as follows: -
● Article 19 (1)(a), Freedom of Speech and Expression
● Article 19 (1)(b), Freedom of peaceful assembly without Arms
● Article 19 (1)(c), Freedom of Association or Union
● Article 19 (1)(d), Freedom of Movement through-out the Territory of India
● Article 19 (1)(e), Freedom to reside or settle in any part of India
● Article 19 (1)(f), Right to Property
● Article 19 (1)(g), Freedom of Trade, Profession and Occupation
All these freedoms and rights help citizens to fight for justice and can easily report breach of such rights.
Article 20(1) deals with Right against Retro septic Laws, also known as ex post facto laws. Article 20(2) lays down the Right against double jeopardy i.e., no person shall be prosecuted more than once, for the same offence and at last Article 20(3) deals with Right against self-incrimination.
Article 22 provides rights to detunes. They have the right to get informed about the offence he is being arrested or accused for, he has the right to be presented in front of a magistrate within 24 hours of arrest and he has the right to be defended by the legal practitioner of his choice.
The most important article which was also considered to be the heart and soul of the constitution by DR. B. R. Ambedkar was Article 32 which provides Right to Constitutional Remedies. This Article empowers citizens to go directly to the Supreme court in case their fundamental rights are violated.
Part 4 of the Constitution incorporates Directive Principles of State Policy (DPSPs). These are non -binding and non-justiciable in nature and are mere recommendations which can be taken into account whenever needed. Few examples of DPSPs are: -
● Article 39(a)- equal pay for equal work for both men and women
● Article 39(A)- free legal aid
● Article 40- Organization of village panchayat
● Article 44-Uniform Civil Code
● Article 48- Prohibition of Cow Slaughter
All such articles together work towards ensuring justice to citizens of India. The Judiciary is responsible to ensure that everyone is bonded by the words of the Constitution and thus restore justice in the country.
Implementation of the constitution
The Constitution of India is the foundation stone on which the country and its system stands. There are many articles and sub articles, few which were added by amendments, to protect the needs of the citizens. It also makes it a duty of state to ensure social, economical and political justice.
Social justice included acceptance of every community in the society and at least civilized treatment to everyone. The state should also try to make the income divide narrower than earlier and focus on how can someone earn their livelihood by generating job opportunities. Each and every person after fulfilling the basic criteria has the liberty to contest in election and every major age citizen has the right to choose its representative. Such liberty is to be maintained and encouraged for the development of the country.
There are definitions of crimes provided in our laws and so is the punishment but the procedure is tiring and complex. The execution of these laws is not a piece of cake on the real grounds. The procedure followed by law sometimes is stretched to an extent in which the plaintiff has to suffer even more than the beginning. Long years of wait consequently result in loss of faith in Indian Judiciary or these ‘efficient’ laws.
We have come across the phrase, “Justice delayed is Justice Denied”, so much that we have forgotten the actual meaning and the reason for its importance. Providing laws is not enough ensuring justice is. Any person has faith in a weapon if it can be used when needed but won’t have that faith if it fails to work at the moment of need. Wounds are healed over time but the next time you receive that wound, you won’t even try to cure it. Also, it is not to forget that Justice is the goal of making laws which act just a tool to get there, and what good is a tool if it makes the entire structure fall apart. No doubt our Constitution provides provision of equal treatment and is well structured to provide Justice but ‘Guarantees’ would be a strong word to use right now.
AUTHOR: RUDRAKSHI SHARMA