Law can be an instrument of justice but also of oppression, India’s Chief Justice DY Chandrachud said on Saturday, stressing that it is the responsibility of “all decision makers not just judges” to ensure that the law does not become an instrument of oppression.
Addressing the top leadership of the Hindustan Times, Justice Chandrachud said “we know how the same law as it exists in the current enactments could be used as an instrument of oppression” during the colonial era.
“What sustains justice institutions in the long run is your sense of compassion, it’s your sense of empathy,” the CJI said.
“When you have this ability to hear unknown voices in the system, unseen faces in the system, then try to see where the balance between law and justice is. Then you can truly accomplish your mission as a judge. Sometimes law and justice do not necessarily follow the same linear trajectory,” he added.
During his address, Justice Chandrachud also touched on a host of issues including the challenges facing courts in the age of social media and the issue of representation.
“The first challenge we face is that of expectations,” Justice DY Chandrachud emphasized when speaking about the different types of cases that come before the highest court.
“Almost all cases come on the knees, all social issues, all legal issues, and I dare say, a lot of political issues fall within the jurisdictional jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.”
On the issue of representation, Justice Chandrachud said the watershed that determines who enters the judiciary largely depends on the structure of the legal profession, which is “feudal, patriarchal and does not welcome women “.