Bombay HC is spectacular bulwark of freedom: PM

Last Updated: Saturday, August 18, 2012 - 13:33

New Delhi: Asserting that the Bombay High Court is and has been a spectacular bulwark of freedom in independent India, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday said its landmark decisions have contributed to a legal and jurisprudential architecture of fairness, freedom, social justice and human rights.

In his speech at the concluding function of the sesquicentennial celebrations of the Bombay High Court, Singh said: "Its celebrated judgments in specialized branches of law such as intellectual property, cyber laws, securities and banking law, corporate laws and international commercial arbitration have vastly enriched our understanding of the evolving legal regime in these areas."

Singh said the Bombay High Court has demonstrated time and again that the judicial process is neither cold nor impersonal.

"Through its creative and dynamic interpretations, it has worked for the continuing relevance of laws to the realities of our times. While interpreting the legislative will, it has attempted to fill the gaps in the law and supplied omissions to correct legal uncertainties. That is not to say that there have been no dilemmas, no contradictions or no aberrations," said Singh.

"That is inevitable because the blind and seemingly cold and impersonal statue of justice does not always sit easily with the supplicating and humble statue of mercy. But both are vital to this temple of justice and that is why both are prominently displayed in this building," he added.

Singh pointed out that the law is not only a code of commands.

"It is, in its relationship to society, the source of freedom, a methodology for redress of grievances, a source of good governance and, above all, an instrument of social and economic change. In moulding the law to subserve these causes, the Bombay High Court has not hesitated to cast aside old maps to charter new ground," said Singh.

"And it has endeavoured to do so consistent with the demands of stability and certainty, and the need to preserve the sanctity of the constitutional charter that divides sovereign power of a free people into different organs of government," he added.

Singh said the Bombay High Court has been witness to remarkable history in the making.

"Ever since the Bombay High Court was established on August 18, 1862, it has been witness to remarkable history in the making. It is difficult to think of other comparable institutions in our country, which have as many momentous and memorable historical events figuring in their life histories as the Bombay High Court," said Singh.

"It is difficult to think of other comparable institutions in our country, which have as many momentous and memorable historical events figuring in their life histories as the Bombay High Court," he added.

Singh further said it is remarkable that the first Chief Justice, the Attorney General and Solicitor General of Independent India were from this court, and even more remarkable, that those three significant positions continue to be occupied by the products of this Bar even today.

"Over the last 65 years, 22 judges of and from this High Court have been elevated to the apex court and as many as eight of them have adorned the office of Chief Justice of India, including one as the longest serving Chief Justice ever. Additionally, 9 transferees have travelled through these hallowed portals to the apex Court," said Singh.

"In the more recent past, two distinguished lady judges of the Supreme Court have been from this High Court. This is a truly breathtaking set of statistics for any judicial institution and one can be really proud of this great heritage," he added.

Union Law and Justice Minister Salman Khurshid, Chief Justice of India SH Kapadia, Maharashtra Governor K Sankaranarayanan, Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, Attorney General GE Vahanavati, Goa Governor BV Wanchoo, and Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parikkar were also present on the occasion.

ANI

First Published: Saturday, August 18, 2012 - 13:33
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