The Vice-President M. Hamid Ansari has underlined the centrality of the judiciary in securing the Constitutional rights of citizens. He was addressing the 16th Convocation of University of Jammu today which was attended by the Governor of Jammu & Kashmir, N.N. Vohra, the Chief Justice of India, Justice T.S. Thakur, the Vice-Chancellor of University of Jammu, Prof. R.D. Sharma, other dignitaries, faculty members and students.
The Vice-President said that people increasingly turn to the judiciary for solving social problems due to its accessibility, affordability and confidence that justice will be dispensed speedily. He further said that any discussion of the constitutional ideal of India being a 'secular' republic having a 'composite culture' has to be premised on the existential reality of the society which is characterised by heterogeneity.
The Vice-President explained how the Indian State, in principle and practice, has given shape to the essential ingredients of the secular principle and composite culture. Apart from the principles enshrined in the constitutional text, the policy pronouncements of public figures, often nuanced to suit the occasion and judicial pronouncements shed useful light on the matter, he added.
Quoting eminent jurists, the Vice-President said that unless the Court strives in every possible way to assure that the Constitution, the law, applies fairly to all citizens, the Court cannot be said to have fulfilled its custodial responsibility. The Vice-President added that Indian secularism has been described as ameliorative whose spiritual core is incrementalism and that a citizen could well hope that this incremental approach is used to enhance social cohesion and social peace.