Ministry of Law and Justice in collaboration with Indian Law Institute celebrates Constitution Day today

azadi ka amrit mahotsav

The Ministry of Law and Justice, in collaboration with Indian Law Institute celebrated Constitution Day today,  November 26, 2023 at Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi in an impressive ceremony befitting the occasion. It was on this day in 1949, that people of India had adopted the Constitution.

Shri Jagdeep Dhankhar, the Vice President of India graced the occasion as the Chief Guest and delivered the keynote address. The other distinguished guests were Shri Arjun Ram Meghwal, Minister of State (I/C) for Law, Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi, Chairperson Law Commission, Mr. Tushar Mehta, Solicitor General of India, Justice Shri Arun Kumar Mishra, Chairperson NHRC, Justice Ms Indira Banerjee, Former Judge Supreme Court of India, and Dr. Niten Chandra, Secretary, Dept. of Legal Affairs, Govt of India.

The event began with the traditional lighting of the lamp by the dignitaries on the stage. This was followed by the release of two books published by the Ministry of Law and Justice and Indian Law Institute titled ‘ A Guide to Alternative Dispute Resolution’ and ‘Perspectives on Constitution and Development’ respectively.

‘A Guide to Alternative Dispute Resolution’ is an endeavour by the Department of Legal Affairs to enable the common citizens of the country to understand the framework of arbitration and mediation existing in India. It is a publication which would be a ready reckoner for comprehending the benefits and advantages of these mechanisms for timely, cost effective and efficacious dispute resolution.

The second book ‘Perspectives on Constitution and Development’ is a compilation of articles and lectures delivered by eminent academicians and scholars as a part of a lecture series organised to mark the 75th anniversary of India’s independence. The book contains insightful reflections of illustrious academicians and jurists about the constitutional democratic set up of India, its working over the years and the challenges and possibilities of reform.

Welcoming the gathering Dr. Niten Chandra, Secretary, Department of Legal Affairs, Government of India said that today was a day of celebration, of commemorating a great achievement, an occasion to remind ourselves of the team spirit and dedication of our Constitution makers, who were faced with many challenges at that point of time. He said we had a legacy of foreign rule and our Constitution helped us to have an agenda of a free nation.

Shri Tushar Mehta, Solicitor General of India said that any Constitution to fulfil its objectives has to have a long-term vision. He said that the resilience of the Indian Constitution can be appreciated from the fact that while many newly independent nations which got their Constitution almost at the same time as ours faced turmoil, ours has stood the test of time and emerged stronger as the makers of our Constitution could foresee all these challenges.

Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi, Chairperson Law Commission said that our Constitution did not manifest in one single day but is the result of a long struggle that dates back to centuries.

Justice Ms Indira Banerjee, Former Judge Supreme Court of India, said that our Constitution is people centric and is a testament of egalitarianism and gender empowerment. She spoke about the need to uphold the values and philosophies enshrined in our Constitution.

Addressing the gathering Justice Shri Arun Kumar Mishra, Chairperson NHRC said the Constitutional provisions operate to improve the life of an individual and aims at the collective wellbeing of all. It is a document against arbitrariness and ensures equality and dignified life for all.

Speaking on the occasion Shri Arjun Ram Meghwal warmly conveyed his best wishes to  the gathering on the momentous occasion of Constitution Day. He said since the Constitution enters the 75th year it was an even more significant day as Amrit Varsh. He named various Constituent assembly members, who were well known and distinguished, and he said we should remember and revere them on this day for their valuable contribution in the making of the Constitution. The Minister also paid tributes to the far sightedness of Dr. B R Ambedkar for giving the right to franchise in the Constitution to  women at its inception, while many developed countries took years to confer this right, after much struggle.

In his keynote address, the Chief Guest, the Vice President of India Shri Jagdeep Dhankhar said India’s growth story in the field of economy, science and technology and its pre-eminence in the comity of nations reflects our Constitutional strength. Our Constitution has given us an ecosystem where everyone can develop and aspire to see the fruition of one’s talent. The affirmative actions provided in the Constitution have assured the transformation of India and now it is poised to be the third largest economy in the world. The Vice President also appreciated recent judicial reforms and modernisation, which has made the judiciary more accessible to all. He added that for the growth of the nation and successful running of the Constitution, all the three pillars – the Legislature, the executive and the judiciary must have a collaborative approach and convergence of attitude.

The dignitaries also gave away awards to winners of the debate on the Theme ‘Limits to Liberty – Fundamental Rights vs Fundamental Duties’ organised by the Ministry for students of national law universities, in collaboration with the Indian Law Institute, on the eve of Constitution Day. Maanasi Pilla & Nandini Kaushik from Bennett university won the first prize in the debate, Tejaswini Satheesh & Pratham Pedaparthi from India IIULER, Goa won the second prize and placed third were Prerna Cheema & Divyanshu Goel from Punjab university. The first prize was a cash award of Rs 50,000, the second prize winner received Rs 30,000, while the third prize winner got Rs 20,000 as award money. The Best speaker in the individual category, Shirsho Ghosh, NUJS, West Bengal, was given a cash prize Rs 10,000.

As part of the celebrations this year, a national level transformative Colloquium was also organised featuring five technical sessions from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. The objective of the Colloquium was to explore the crucial link between constitutional values, global aspirations, with the well-being of the planet and its inhabitants.

The first technical session titled ‘Accelerating Progress through Constitutional Roadmap for Justice & Development’, was chaired by Hon’ble Justice Shri Arun Kumar Mishra, Chairperson NHRC. The other participants were senior officers from the Dept. of Justice, Revenue, Agriculture & Farmers welfare, and Ministry of Corporate affairs, as well as a member from the Law Commission of India.

The second technical session was on ‘Climate Change & Constitutional Response’. It was chaired by Hon’ble Mr. Justice Sudhir Agarwal, Judicial Member, National Green Tribunal. The other participants were senior officials from the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Drinking Water and Sanitation, Housing and Urban Affairs, New and Renewable Energy, and Power, as well as a member from the Law Commission of India.

The third technical session was on ‘Law, Innovation & Technological Transformation’. It was chaired by Hon’ble Mr. Justice Vipin Sanghi, Former Chief Justice, High Court of Uttarakhand. The other participants were senior officers from the Ministry of Home Affairs, Electronics & IT, Civil Aviation, Dept. of Administrative Reforms & Public Grievances, as well as Chairman, Railway Board.

The fourth technical session was titled ‘Gender Empowerment within the Constitutional Scheme’. It was chaired by Hon’ble Ms Justice Indira Banerjee, Former Judge, Supreme Court of India. Senior officers from the Ministry of Women & Child Development, Panchayati Raj, Rural Development, Legislative dept. and member of Law Commission of India.

The fifth session was on ‘Law & Justice in a Globalised world’. It was chaired by Hon’ble Mr. Justice Dipak Mishra, Former Chief Justice of India, CEO NitiAayog and senior officers from the Dept Economic Affairs, Dept of Commerce and Dept for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade.



Source PIB