New Delhi, Dec 2 (IANS): Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud on Saturday said that for all citizens to feel free in a democracy, the State must side with the weaker population which may be a numerical or a social minority. CJI Chandrachud said that democracy requires a constant dialogue between differing opinions and civil society organisations to fulfil the aspirations of the people.
"The beauty of a democracy is the sense of moral status with which all citizens can participate in a country and the consensus in its decision making. In a democracy the majority will have its way but the minority must have its say," he said.
CJI Chandrachud added that the democracy is premised on the recognition that there is no natural source of authority that can exercise power over individuals and people are presumptively free and equal.
"Merely because a body is elected does not ensure that it acts in the best interest of those who it governs. Democracy is messy, and imperfect but inherent in it are the postulates of justice, liberty, equality, and fraternity," he said speaking at the Justice Keshav Chandra Dhulia Memorial Essay Competition at the Forest Research Institute, Dehradun. CJI Chandrachud said that "participative democracy simply entails a democracy that operates on and promotes deliberation", adding that if a democracy cannot safeguard discourse around the needs of all its people, it falls short of its promise.
"While the Constitution grants rights to citizens and places a corresponding duty on the State to enforce such rights, the real test of the Constitution is seldom in courts but in society," he stated.