Justice Akil Kureshi, the Chief Justice of Tripura High Court, said that “law must not only be validly framed but must also be a just law. The very concept of justness is inbuilt in every sphere of law”, while observing influence of Gandhian principles on law.
He was speaking on a webinar on “Gandhian influence on Law” organised by the Delhi High Court Women Lawyer’s Forum is association with Live Law on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti.
He narrated how in 1922 Gandhiji pleaded guilty of sedition charges, saying:
“Gandhiji challenged the might of the empire only through one principle, that law itself is not enough. It must have the moral authority to rule.”
Justice Kureshi also stressed on the principle of ‘manifest arbitrariness’ by former Supreme Court judge, Justice Rohinton Nariman as the third element of challenge to the constitutionality of a legislation.
The principle of manifest arbitrariness was used by justice Nariman in 2017 when he struck down the practice of Triple Talaq. Consequently, this principle has been used by the Supreme court for many judgements such as decriminalisation of both homosexuality and adultery for being manifestly arbitrary.
Before 2017, there were only two qualifications for laws to pass the constitutionality test- the legislative competence of the parliament to enact such law and whether the law violates any fundamental right or other constitutional provision. However the principle of manifest arbitrariness was added in 2017.