Lecture by Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi, Chairperson, 22nd Law Commission of India
‘’The Idea of Justice after 75 years of Independence”
The preamble of our Constitution begins with the words –
We, the people of India, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a sovereign socialist secular democratic republic and to secure to all its citizens:
JUSTICE, social, economic and political……….
So the very opening lines in the Preamble of our great Constitution lay down one of the most significant purposes of our Constitution, JUSTICE.
A very good evening to all the esteemed guests. Mr. Guru Krishna Kumar, Senior Advocate, Guest of Honour in today’s function.
Today we discuss a very interesting topic- The Idea of Justice after 75 years of Independence.
All of us often wonder, what is Justice? What is this wonderful notion? And what is the concept of justice in today’s time?
The concept of justice is as old as civilization and society. It is deeply ingrained in the roots of our Indian Civilization. The word ‘Justice’ finds its roots in the Latin term ‘JUSTITIA’ which signifies righteousness or equity. It is also derived from the French word ‘JOSTISE’ which means uprightness, equity, vindication of right, administration of law.
The idea of justice is most frequently linked to the underlying presumption that justice is synonymous with the idea of equal rights and opportunities and to get fair treatment. Justice is the quality that ensures that each person receives their rightful compensation in opposed to any violation or harm. Justice means to give each and every person what they deserve. Justice means the standard of rightfulness, by standard of rightfulness one means to say that the minimum threshold should be applicable of what will amount to right or wrong. ‘Justice can also be understood as the correct application of law, as opposed to arbitrariness’.
A society cannot exist without the presence of justice which is one of the most important pillars of any nation. Justice can be attained in the society only by correct interpretation and implementation of Laws.
The perception of the concept of justice may change over time in every society. This can lead to differences in social and physical systems. My aim today is to focus on philosophical and social interpretation of justice in India and the changes in the definition of justice that have taken place in this society during different periods of time and what Justice means in today’s date.
The idea of justice is so ancient that everything has been said about it and at the same time, it is so modern that it constitutes an ever-changing context of contemporary society. From this perspective, we may say that justice has a traditional meaning and has also acquired a more technical and complex meaning in modern times. Traditionally, justice was seen as a moral virtue of character as well as an important and desirable attribute that a political society requires. For Plato, justice is “giving to each person his due”. Justice in this sense involves the fair, equal, moral and impartial treatment of all. In a simple sense therefore,