On 9th February 2019, Honourable Dr. Justice DY Chandrachud was in conversation with CLPR Executive Director and Senior Advocate Jayna Kothari at the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival 2019.
Credit: Kala Ghoda Assocation
Justice Chandrachud explained the patent unconstitutionality of the Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code as it violated the inherent right to privacy, individual autonomy and dignity. He explained that in its Section 377 judgment, the Supreme Court fulfilled its role as a counter majoritarian institution, which acts as the bulwark of constitutional rights of the weakest and most vulnerable minorities in our highly stratified and iniquitous social structure.
Sr. Adv. Jayna Kothari asked the Hon’ble Judge whether he thought that long and complex Supreme Court judgments can be difficult for citizens to access? She asked him whether they can be a hindrance to the spread of constitutional culture?
Justice Chandrachud responded by first offering an explanation as to why judges produce long judgments. He suggested that judges, in writing judgments, seek to create and innovate as artists. He signified that a long judgment is often the result of a judge’s desire to display their creative reasoning.
Further, he emphasised the value of judicial appreciation. He said that it is important for judges to thoroughly research important questions of individual dignity, as the judicial opinions they produce can broaden the horizon of citizens’ rights.
This blogpost was written by National Constitution Society (NCS) Member Prannv Dhawan, Student, NLSIU.