We are at a point of time in India’s history when public faith in institutions of democracy appears to be diminishing again. The long-cherished belief in the judiciary, especially the Supreme Court, as the protector of the common person’s rights has come under the scanner. It is an important moment to start a conversation on how judiciary is and can continue to be a foundational building block of our democracy – both in an attempt to understand the present state of affairs and to offer solutions.
The Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy is organising a series of public conversations titled ‘Conscience Keeper: Judiciary as the Constitutional Guardian’. It is a series of four conversations spread over our Constitutional Law Month. These conversations will address some of the most pressing concerns of our time, including judiciary and constitutional courage, unlawful restriction of free speech, and the nature of federalism in India today, among others. The series is being organised in affiliation with the Kautilya Society at the National Law University, Odisha, one of Vidhi’s several student societies. We hope to take this conversation forward with you for the larger public good.
The first conversation on November 18 was on ‘Federalism in India – Cooperative, Competitive or Adversarial?’ with Dr P Thiaga Rajan, MLA, Tamil Nadu Assembly, Dr M Govinda Rao, Member, Fourteenth Finance Commission and former Director, National Institute of Public Finance and Policy (NIPFP), and Alok Prasanna, Co-Founder and Lead, Vidhi Karnataka.
A conversation on November 26 was on ‘Judicial Pressures and Constitutional Courage’ with Justice BN Srikrishna, Indian Jurist and Retired Supreme Court Judge, Salman Khurshid, Senior Advocate and Politician, and Dhruti Kapadia, Solicitor and Advocate-on-Record, Supreme Court.
Details of the third conversation are below.
Public Conversation on ‘Master of the Roster – Role of the Chief Justice of India’
The discussion will cover the events of the last few years that have brought the topic of allocation of cases to judges to the fore, how it impacts the working of the judiciary and its public perception, and how the present state of affairs is unsatisfactory and needs reform.
- Dr Aparna Chandra, Associate Professor of Law at the National Law School of India University
- Alok Prasanna, Lead, Vidhi Karnataka