Justice Arjan K. Sikri, a former judge of the Supreme Court of India and International Judge of the Singapore International Commercial Court, recently delivered the Dr H.R. Bhardwaj Memorial Lecture at Jindal Global Law School, O.P. Jindal Global University. He emphasized the need for an independent and fearless judiciary in India.
The lecture titled “Constitutionalism, Democracy and Rights: Role and Responsibilities of the Indian Judiciary” focused on the importance of the constitution as the highest law of the land. Justice Sikri highlighted that a good system of democracy requires elected officials to follow legal norms and rules, including respecting human rights such as freedom of speech, right to equality, and the right to life and liberty. It is also essential to ensure certain rights to ethnic and other minorities while adhering to the principles of democracy.
The lecture was attended by faculty and students of Jindal Global Law School, which is ranked among the top 100 law schools in the world and number one in India for three years in a row. Justice Sikri’s talk was an intellectually engaging masterclass in Constitutional Law by one of the leading luminaries of the Indian legal system.
Justice Sikri explained that constitutionalism means that the government acts within the sphere of powers allocated to it in a constitutional framework and does not exceed the limits of powers prescribed in the Constitution. This brings the necessity of governance by the rule of law, which ensures that the society is governed by law and not by those who govern. All those who exercise powers must act within the confines of law. A good Constitution ensures that all powers are not in the hands of one institution to ensure that the rule of law prevails.