PROGRESSIVE INTERPRETATION OF INDIAN CONSTITUTION: A CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF JUDICIAL DECISIONS
“A COUNTRY’S ACHIEVEMENTS LIES ON ITS LITTLE INTERPRETATIONS OF LAW”
The Constitution of India , after many hurdles , has emerged as an backbone of the country . Even though it has many involvements , the reason for the enactment is one , To have an civilised society . There isn’t any perfect law , but it can strive hard to become perfect for the welfare of the people through precedents . Precedents play an significant role in shaping up the laws . Through Precedents one can get to know what were the things that was over looked , or the things that are omitted or mistaken . Through this method , One can make sure that every citizens of India are aware of their rights and duties as a citizen .There isn’t any law without interpretations and amendments . The drawbacks that the country has , it had grabbed the attention of law through it . To , rectify the mistakes that has been done earlier , to provide an society that is free from evilness . The main aim of the Law is to make sure that everyone gets benefitted through rights or privileges (if needed) . Interpretations of law make one realise of its pitfalls and rehabilitate it . Each and every law requires some sort of interpretation because of the changes that are present in the society . This research paper will notify how the Constitution gets interpreted from various sources . But this can’t be done by everyone , there are authorities that indulge themselves into it . There is an necessity of interpretation because , one of the most beneficial factors of it is , it makes us to view a particular right not only in a broader way , but also in an narrower way too . Indian Constitution establishes an integrated judiciary with the Supreme Court as the highest and final judicial tribunal of the Country. The interpretation of the Constitution does not mean the change of words in it , if it is so , it will collapse the basic structure of the Constitution and it brings uninvited consequences . it’s interpretation means just the changes in the significance of it for the interests of the society . Many cases have led to dramatic changes in the Constitution that are very effective to the society . The need for the interpretation is being enlightened here and if necessary there will be further interpretations of it to be in par with the changing society . Thus , a better elucidation of law can lead to having better laws in the society .
INTERPRETATION MADE FROM THE PRECEDENTS:
The interpretation of the Constitution is most probably seen from various case laws . For a case to be dealt with , and to put it in the right sense , The law of the land (lex loci) must be put forth in an wise manner . One cannot resolve an issue by having the laws, he must have the knowledge and capacity to apply the necessary law that shall be applicable to the problem . Judiciary is the protector of the Constitution . Similarly , the US Supreme Court , in the case of Marbury V. Madison, it is seen that much power is been vested over the court , where the court is able to make an act of congress void if it violates the Constitution, and also , when the Law says no to the issue of writs , in certain situations , The court cannot be against it and thus , there wasn’t any issue of writs . In this case , Parliament is the only body which has the most superior authority . This is one of the most significant case which begins with the interpretation of the Constitution in US . The court can never over rule which is present in the Constitution yet , if anything , that is violative of the Constitution , then the court has the power to make that particular act to be void or invalid or unacceptable . In the case of Indian Constitution , one of the most important landmark case , is A.K Gopalan V. State of Madras , this primarily dealt with art. 32 of the Constitution , it was said that the act (Preventive Detention Act )was unconstitutional , since it breached his rights , but then , again , The court finally interpreted that it wasn’t unconstitutional except for sec 14 . Nothing has the power greater than the Constitution , If PDA was used , his rights of having liberty will be infringed , so The court , by giving importance to the fundamental rights if the Constitution , and since the act came in conflict with the fundamental rights , it was overruled and made it to be unconstitutional , from this one can understand how the Constitution has been interpreted .The most important thing is that one has to find whether the law is reasonable . The power of the Judiciary is been seen here , how the courts take over the act and say it to be unconstitutional because , it tries to plays with the one of the basic structure of the Constitution .
There are various cases which has promoted for the interpretation of the Constitution .
In the case of Naz Foundation V. Government of NCT of Delhi , It relies on the concept of right to equality , and deals with the same sex intercourse between the adults , which has been said that it has violated the right to privacy and must be made unconstitutional .
In the case of Ashok kumar Thakur V. Union of India , The court has failed to look into the issue of proportionality . It basically related with the concept of reservation , which promotes the essence of equality .and also the exclusion of creamy layer , because , the very term means that the society which does not need the reservation criteria , yet they utilise it indirectly , hence to stop this utilisation and make sure that this facility is available only to those who deserves it . It interpreted the constitutionality of the reservation laws in an very appropriate way .
WHAT DOES Art.145(3) SAYS ?:
Art.145 basically deals with the rules of the court . There can be five judges to deal with a case , but , only if it includes some sort of significant issue , and the case which includes “substantial question of law” , This term is very important in this article since , it means that , the question of the case , which tends to affect the rights of the parties and that also affects the final decision of the case . The question that must be of general importance and which creates an major impact in the country . It must primarily have five judges ,This article mainly focuses on substantial question of law . Various sources have interpreted this in various ways but the thing is , to find out what was exactly the substantial question of law , according to the framers . The same term is being utilised by another article (Art.133) of the Indian Constitution . In the previous article , it talks about the general importance , i.e , The case that makes the interpretation necessary for the Constitution . But , here in Art .133, it says that Substantial question of law doesn’t only mean of general importance but of some other else too . It mainly deals with the appeals that is related to civil matters . But it also gives importance to the term “Substantial Question of Law” . It must either be an importance of law or must affect the rights of the parties in either way . but here comes the question of law and question of fact .
In the case of DCIT V. Marudhar , it has been raised on how to differentiate between between which is the question of law and question of fact . The normal facts of the case can be said to be the facts of the case or the question of facts , but when there is any interference of the tribunal towards those facts , then , it can be said as the question of law . According to this case , if there is new findings of the particular object of situation , but without the mandatory evidence , then that can arise the question of law .
The very term “substantial” states that , there must be different opinions regarding one particular matter , but the exact meaning or definition of the above said word is not been defined in any part of the Constitution , except sec 100 of CPC , that an appeal can be put forth to the Supreme Court , if it has an substantial question of law , and there must be required level of difficulty level in the particular case and the acknowledgement of high court must be present for the case to be handled by the supreme court .
In Roop Singh V. Ram Singh , The same has been illustrated that only if there is substantial question of law , there can be a jurisdiction of the High Court .
In one of the most important and an landmark case , Hero Vinoth V. Seshammal , It has promoted the importance of the Substantial question of law . “if the question is settled by the Apex Court or the general principles to be applied in determining the question are well-settled, mere application of it to a particular set of facts would not constitute a substantial question of law” – Krishna Kumar Aggarwal v. Assessing Officer. It gives the difference between Question of Law and Substantial question of law .
SECTION 100 OF CPC:
It is this section ,it says that only when there is an substantial question of law , it will be congenial for the High Courts to provide the sufficient judgment , where the elaboration of substantial question of law can be found . Before the case is being put forth in the High Court , it must ensure there is sufficient substantial question of law . It mainly focuses on High Court’s jurisdiction over the second appeal .
In Deity Pattabhiramaswamy v. S. Hanymayya , It was lambasted for dealing with the case which is of second appeal of the High Court , for not having any substantial question of law , and yet dealing with the said case .
In Annapoorani Ammal V. Thangapalam, it has been strictly said that High Court has the jurisdiction over the cases , only and only when there is substantial question of law .
Analysing all these cases , one can come to an conclusion that , the substantial question of law , is the most important ingredient in dealing with the cases .
Like Art 145(3) , Art 133 , accordingly , it conveys the same issue , that is , the same topic , the Substantial question of law , that the case must involve a substantial question of law , that is of general importance and no case must be dealt when there is no question of law .Art 133(1)(a) talks about the importance of substantial question of law .
COMPARISON OF THE ARTICLES :
Without any substantial question of law , no court can provide the judgment appropriately , since the main objective is to put forth the appropriate laws to it , to resolve an issue .Thus , from this , one can understand the similarity between Art. 145(3) and Art 133(1)(a) have their contexts more or less the same . The main subject of the articles was the inclusion of substantial question of law . There shouldn’t be a case without the question of law . Finding the question of facts is much easier than the question of laws . For Judges , it will play as an key role to resolve the dispute . The work of the Judges is to observe the question of facts and question of laws , and put forth the relevant laws of it and sometimes , own mind to settle the disputes . From the cases where Art 145(3) was applied , In most of the cases , it was held that it is an mandatory issue of the substantial question of law to be present in the case and without it , the High Court should not handle the case , since it is of general importance and it must have the capacity to affect the rights of the parties . In the case of Mathai @ Joby v. George , the substantial question of law is been well defined in the context . Much of the landmark cases have established that the High Courts does not have the jurisdiction over the cases that lacks substantial question of law . But in Art 145 , it mainly deals with the number of judges to be seated for deciding the case and with the inclusion of those cases that has substantial question of law . But then , in the paragraph from the provided , it persists on having the question of law as the key factor for the judges to decide the case in an appropriate way . Where as in Art 133 , it primarily talks about the importance of having the substantial question of law . So , therefore , the articles provide the importance of the substantial question of law in similar yet two different ways . According to the given subject , both can be read together , but different articles have different set of meanings which must be interpreted to understand in an deeper manner . Even though there are both similarity and differences in both the articles , It cannot be read together , since both the articles have different set of laws with same prescribed words . Yet , as it is been said in the articles , the High Court cannot have the Jurisdiction , to the cases which does not have substantial question of law .
JUSTICE K. S PUTTUSWAMY V. UNION OF INDIA :
It is one of the most significant case which had contributed to the interpretation of the Constitution. Many of the cases will have a characteristic feature of being for and against the fundamental rights . In MP Sharma case , it was said that the Right to Privacy was unconstitutional , and then it was over ruled by Justice K. S Puttuswamy V. Union of India , which was supportive over the fact that the Right to Privacy has to be made constitutional , and no one has the right to abridge it . It’s about one’s own personal thing and no one has the authority to indulge in it and break the barriers . This case speaks about the right to privacy being derived from Art. 21 of the Indian Constitution . Protecting one’s liberty equals to the protection of one’s own life . It has to be respected and make sure it’s been used in an wiser manner . Privacy can include anything from personal equipments to personal datas , once it is been lost , it cannot be restored back as such , but when there is a right to privacy which is been put forth , it will definitely help in guarding the very own liberty of the Constitution . From this , one can confer that , this case has become an landmark case in India , since it has given back the right to privacy , even in this case the question of law is been seen in here and it was then decided that the right to privacy is to be made constitutional no matter what happens . It is very important to a human life . The right to Privacy , is basically a natural right which is been inherited by the citizens of the country . It not only brings about the privacy statements , but also inherits the term dignity and equality . So , the very right brings about the character of most of the fundamental rights which is present in our Constitution . It moreover , includes the social and economic well being of an person . This will eradicate all the evilness from the society , in the case of discrimination . Thus , in this way , this case had achieved itself in bringing up the “right to privacy” to life .
There can be improvements in the society , only there are timely interpretations in law that are equivalent to the changes in the society . Interpretation of the Constitution can make one realise it’s earlier mistakes and thus make laws that are more beneficial to the society . There are many cases in the country , that had contributed to the interpretation and changed many lives . The Primary case of India , Which was Keshavnand Bharti V. State of Kerala , which speaks about basic structure of the Indian Constitution . Even in the case of T.Sareetha V. T .Venkata Subbaiyah , which deals with the right to privacy (restitution of conjugal rights ) . In the Case of Menaka Gandhi V. Union of India , which deals with the freedom of speech . In the case of Ashok kumar Thakur V. Union of India , deals with the interpretation of reservation laws . Like wise , there are different cases , that deals with both for and against of the fundamental rights of the Indian Constitution . Without Interpretations , one cannot come to the mistakes that is been done while framing the laws . Framers and the one who interprets , do not have the same mind . Their opinions vary . It is like how precedents are important in deciding the case , like wise , interpretations are necessary for the laws to work efficiently .One of the most unforgettable case , is Justice K R Puttuswamy V. Union of India , where the most important ingredient of the Constitution “RIGHT TO PRIVACY” was achieved . In between the two articles Art.145(3) and Art.133(1)(a) , the term Substantial question of law was the same and reason for its existence was given in two different ways in different manners . Thus , even though they have the same term or meaning , it has to be read separately to have an much interior version of two articles .
3) Bachal, V. M. “Judicial Interpretation of Article 21 of the Constitution of India.” The Indian Journal of Political Science 25, no. 3/4 (1964): 231-40. http://www.jstor.org/stable/41854035.