No citizen can be sacrificed for progress, Silkyara taught us: CJI

  • | Sunday | 3rd December, 2023

DEHRADUN: Chief Justice of India (CJI) DV Chandrachud praised the successful rescue of 41 workers trapped in the Silkyara tunnel in Uttarkashi for 17 days and said he had "high respect for each of those workers for the endurance they showed over the period of their confinement". Speaking at an an event on Saturday to honour (late) justice Keshav Chandra Dhulia, a judge in the Allahabad high court in 1984, the CJI said, "Above all, I think this incident shows us that in times of crisis, our country stood together as one."The CJI highlighted the significance of "valuing individual lives" and said, "It (the rescue operation) is a reminder of how our country is once again leading the world from the front in times of distress, just as we did during the Covid pandemic.At a time of such adversity, we have shown that even in a country of 1.4 billion people, an individuals life is so valuable that we will put together all the resources of the nation."He added: "When the (auger) machine brought from overseas broke down, we used our internal resources to protect the lives of every citizen (trapped in the tunnel). No citizen can be, or should be, sacrificed in the name of development, And that is what the Uttarakhand incident has taught us."Switching to Hindi, CJI Chandrachud addressed the challenges faced by those from non-English backgrounds within the legal system. He said the language barrier impedes the progress of lawyers and also the access to justice for litigants. In an effort to bridge this gap, he said 20,000 SC judgments had been translated into Hindi. He then encouraged lawyers to use these resources to enhance their efficiency.Underlining the "strength of the Constitution", he highlighted Indias unique path to Independence. "The hallmark of our nation is by the spirit of dialogue, democracy, and acceptance of viewpoints, we have kept the power of violence subdued by the power of the Constitution."He said, "So many nations attained Independence with us, but the hallmark of our nation is that by spirit of dialogue, by the spirit of democracy, by the spirit of acceptance of viewpoints of others, we have been able to keep the power of violence subdued by the power of the constitution. Many other nations which attained Independence with us have not been as fortunate as we are," CJI said.Congratulating the participants of the essay and debate competition, the CJI told them that since the competition is driven by many factors, it is not the last say on any persons abilities. "But the ability to accept the outcome after performing your best is the true reward of a debate," he said. Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia, acting Chief Justice of Uttarakhand high court Manoj Tiwari, Justice Ravindra Maithani and former Union minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank were among the distinguished present.

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