Humanity is going through a very strange and excruciating period. Corona has raised a global challenge to the civilisation. Even the governments stand bewildered across the world. Institutions under the constitutions of the nations have a testing time. How they have performed in protecting the human race in their respective jurisdictions? It is a thousand million sterling question. World bodies which ought to have wielded sway over the management of the situation have stood askance at the unprecedented outbreak.

PM Modi Ji with chivalrous tone thundered in the cloisters of UNGA addressing the world body. What others lacked Modiji has in abundance— the courage of conviction. He had the record of his government back home rising to the occasion and reaching out to the people far and wide. Modi Ji’s governance has become the golden age of Human Rights protection and preservation in India. How different organs under the constitution responded is pertinent in this context.

Indian Judiciary, especially the top court, comes in for an evaluation and assessment. How human rights are respected, protected and practised by the Supreme Court which is the “elder brother” to all judicial institutions is a point which evinces our interest. The Court has, to its credit, already an unimpeachable past in protecting Human Rights. Even the other jurisdictions among the Common Law countries have applauded the Supreme Court of India in its innovative and activistic performance.

In some core areas of public interest, the Court has established its prominence by taking a mandatorily explicit stand. But the general perception about the Court is that it is ‘Supreme but not Infallible.’ What is the objective opinion one can have about the Court from a holistic view of its functioning in the matter of protecting the human rights of the citizens? Where does the “shoe pinch”? In a micro, macro and mega view of the things, the webinar examines the issue through the deliberations of some of the esteemed personalities of our public and professional fields.

Questions for consideration from the human rights perspectives

  1. What is the popular understanding of the court as a saviour of human rights?
  2. What is the pace of the court in solving matters connected to human rights?
  3. Has the court shown any priority in matters of human rights?
  4. Has the court failed conspicuously in any huge matter related to human rights?
  5. Does the court take the governments (central/state) into confidence in resolving matters of human rights?
  6. What are the contours of human rights jurisprudence the court has articulated through its judicial process?
  7. Is there a collective conscience of the court in the matter of human rights?
  8. How has individual judges contributed through exceptional extraversions?
  9. How has the court dealt with the unprecedented confusions created by covid-19 pandemic?
  10. Administration of justice is measured through the popular positive opinion- has it supported the court?
  11. How has the message of human rights protection by the judiciary percolated to the lower strata of justice administration?

It requires a gargantuan disposition to discuss at an optimum measure the pros and cons of human rights vis-a-vis judiciary within the span of time available for a webinar. But opinions expressed by cultivated brains will send its echoes throughout the realm of justice.

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Senior Advocate
Supreme Court Of India


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