‘Number of lawyers has dwindled’: CJI on legal professionals in legislative bodies

Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana on Monday said in the Constituent Assembly and in the early days of the Parliament, the House was dominated by legal professionals, which led to “an outstanding Constitution and flawless laws”, but now, the number of lawyers has dwindled and that space is taken by others.

In his address at a felicitation function organised by the Supreme Court Bar Association in honour of Vice President Jagdeep Dhankar, he said: “On every possible occasion I keep mentioning about the great contribution made by our legal community in our freedom struggle and in framing of the Constitution. In the Constituent Assembly and in the early days of our Parliament, the House was dominated by legal professionals.”

“As a result, we got outstanding Constitution and flawless laws. Nowadays the number of lawyers has dwindled and that space is taken by others. I do not want to comment any further.”

He said legal education, practice and acquaintance with the justice system exposes one to many social realities and gives a deeper understanding of rule of law and equity.

The Chief Justice said Dhankar, son of a farmer and a senior advocate, during his tenure, will have the unique and challenging opportunity to ensure smooth functioning of the Rajya Sabha as its ex-officio Chairman, and this calls for harmonising the interests of all sides of the House.

“I know, it is not easy to satisfy each Member of the House. But I am confident that with his rich court craft and exposure in diverse fields, Dhankhar will definitely manage to take along all sections of the House.. Very soon I am going to retire, and I hope to watch on television, quality debates in Rajya Sabha,” he said.

He added: “It gives us immense joy that someone from the legal fraternity has reached such a position. Despite being a first generation legal professional, Dhankhar achieved great heights in the field. He made a prominent name for himself and made his presence felt in the court room.”

The CJI pointed out Dhankhar is known to have a proactive approach, be it as a lawyer, as an elected representative, as a minister or as a Governor till recently. “His passion and commitment to the causes he champions while assisting the court are remarkable. His rich legal experience brings with it the promise of upholding and furthering constitutional values while discharging the duties of high Constitutional Office,” said the Chief Justice, who is set to demit office on August 26.

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