“Gender justice must remain high on the global agenda,” President Ram Nath Kovind said on Sunday and lauded the Supreme Court for its “proactive and progressive” stance.
Delivering the valedictory address at the International Judicial Conference, 2020, the President said that “from issuing guidelines on preventing sexual harassment in the workplace two decades ago to providing directives for granting equal status to women in the army this month, the Supreme Court of India has led progressive social transformation”.
Speaking on the occasion, Chief Justice of India S A Bobde said that the judiciary “is the guardian of constitutional values and serves to counter-balance populist forces in a commitment to the rule of law”.
The CJI said two facets of globalisation that have posed the greatest challenges to judiciaries across the world are the rise of global supply chains and the proliferation of information technology. “Technology has placed the world in the palms of our hands, making it possible to communicate with great ease across the world. But the widespread use of technology has also brought with it concerns over mass data collection and an individual’s right to privacy,” he noted.
Justice D Y Chandrachud said judges were entrusted by the Constitution to decide cases in the “belief that in the work of judges, the law is moulded as an instrument of protecting constitutional values and ensuring justice to those in our communities who need it the most”.
He said that challenges posed by technology, climate change and terrorism transcend individual jurisdictions.
Hackers, private companies and the government present “challenges to privacy” and the question is how courts should balance right to privacy with other rights and supplement existing legislative frameworks, he said.
Justice S K Kaul, who delivered the vote of thanks, said governments normally reflect the majority view “and it is the judiciary which plays the balancing act”.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines