Individual dignity is a priceless possession and cherished value for the collective. The dignity of an individual has many aspects like liberty, equality, constitutional fraternity, availability of atmosphere of physical and mental excellence and many such things,” said Justice Dipak Misra, Supreme Court judge. Present as the chief guest on Saturday at the Law Day event at the Symbiosis Law School where he delivered the annual Justice Y V Chandrachud Memorial Public Lecture on ‘Expansive Horizon of Individual Dignity’, he highlighted the importance of dignity in life and its implications.
“I have met Justice Chandrachud for over three times and each time I found him to be highly dignified and yet humble and unassuming which left me perplexed with the degree of dignity he possessed and his concern for human rights,” said Misra. Going on to speak about several issues predominant in the society such as gender parity, he elaborated on a specific judicial case that was filed in the interest of hairdresser women from the film fraternity who were allotted jobs based on their gender and did not allow them to pursue the career of makeup artists which was primarily male dominated. The court then passed an act of equality that would allow women to pursue their interest.
Justice Misra also impressed upon the highly prevalent problem of eve-teasing that women face on a daily basis. “Violation of a woman’s body, or any act that dehumanises a woman is against the law and the principles of physical morality. In interest of this, outraging the modesty of a women or a girl is now deemed a punishable offence under Section 354 of the Indian penal code,” he said.
Other than women safety and rights, Justice Misra also shed light on the issues of sexual identity and honour killings through examples of court cases and judgements which are rampant in India. Senior SC advocate Ram Jethmalani, Professor Emeritus of SIU, addressed the students and urged them to seriously understand the Constitution of India. “The Constitution of India is ever evolving and has acquired new meaning over time,” said Jethmalani. He presented the “Ram Jethmalani Award” for evidence law to Tanvi Khare, student of Symbiosis Law School.