LAW RESOURCE INDIA

Chief Justice of India Releases Restatements of Indian Law on Legislative Privilege, Contempt of Court and Public Interest Litigation

Posted in CJI SPEECHES, SUPREME COURT by NNLRJ INDIA on October 11, 2011

Chief Justice of India, Shri Justice S.H. Kapadia, here today released a set of Restatement of Indian Law in the presence of legal luminaries. These Restatements of Indian Law relate to 3 subjects: Legislative Privilege, Contempt of Court and Public Interest Litigation. Chairman of the Supreme Court Project Committee on Restatement of Indian Law Shri Justice R.V. Raveendran, Shri G. E. Vahanvati, Attorney General for India and the Director Incharge, Indian Law Institute, Professor S. Sivakumar were also present on the occasion. Chief Justice of India is also the Patron of Supreme Court Project Committee on Restatement of Indian Law.

This Restatement of Indian Law would benefit the members of Bar, Bench, Academia, Civil Servants and general public to map the developments in the field of law and to comprehend its current status as the march of Indian law in the last six decades through judicial pronouncements, legislations and their amendments, rules, regulations and other policy measures needs to be restated with clarity of thought. With this objective the Supreme Court Project Committee on Restatement of Indian Law and the Indian Law Institute had taken up the task of restatement of Indian law in important areas.

The process was initiated with three Pilot Projects on: i) Legislative Privileges, ii) Contempt of Court, and iii) Public Interest Litigation. Three Sub -Committees comprising of Judges of the Supreme Court of India, High Court of Delhi, senior advocates and distinguished academicians were constituted for the purpose. The Pilot Project restated laws on:

(a) Legislative Privilege – This subject was chosen partly on account of the sharp focus it brings to the principle of ‘checks and balances’ vis-a-vis the two important organs of State – the Legislature and the Judiciary.

(b) Contempt of Court – The subject was chosen on account of the fact that the power of contempt is a necessary concomitant of a court of record. It must be exercised judiciously, in a manner that balances the need for preserving and upholding the rule of law as well as the integrity of the judicial system, while at the same time avoiding untoward incursions into that precious right of freedom of speech and expression.

(c) Public Interest Litigation – The Committee chose ‘Public Interest Litigation’ as the third area for restatement on account of the unique contribution of the Supreme Court of India in facilitating access to justice by liberalizing the principle of locus standi. The circuitous journey of PIL and associated discrete judicial thoughts necessitated a clarion, which this restatement aims at.

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