THE POWER OF LAW
Updated: Dec 23, 2021
Author: Nagakishan V J, IV year from Chirst (Deemed to be University).
Law is a very complex yet a very simplistic topic. The more deep one dives into the complexities of law, the more do they understand about the purpose as meant by the drafters.
Law is nothing but provisions which would help guide people to a better state than what they currently are. But there are sometimes where, the greed of one sets in and takes over the moral and reasonable compass which they would possess. And then, is when everyone need to act in order to restore the balance to status quo and to ensure that, law at its purest and most simplest form is not polluted to affected by the greed and desire of human beings. The desire comes from need for more power and authority and a necessity to be supreme than everyone else. And hence, to prevent this from happening, intrinsic features like, constitutionalism, rule of law, democracy exist, to bring a sense of check and balance to tip the justice scale to show and strike a remarkable zero, as it must not lean more to just or to unjust.
Key words: Constitutionalism, Checks and Balances, Democracy, Rule of Law, Status Quo.
“Indian Constitution is a creation of people who constitute the government and not of the government”, this statement is very important yet is very introspective. The main aim of the drafters of the Constitution, was to create a written set of guidelines for the people of the country. So, the governance of the state, ie the country would be in safe and sound hands, as the people would be the ones who would be bearing power in their hands and would be the sole responsible flag bearers of the acts which would unfold in the country’s political front.
The preamble is the very soul of the Constitution, which addresses the very reason and the very basis of the entire purpose for the formation of something called as the Constitution, which would act as something which would be the one book that everyone would refer to at the time of need. The very purpose of the preamble as elaborated in great lengths in a number of cases, brings to knowledge; the indication of power, the enactment of The Constitution, the declaration of great rights and freedoms, and the announcement of the type of polity in the country. All of these, to be explained, talk about where the government would get its power to govern the states. And that power is not from the Constitution, but it is from the people, the people are the ones who go on to give power to the leaders who would become the face of the governance of the country. And this is the most important point which everyone has to understand, gone are the days of monarchy and kingship, now is the time for the people to take over and be the authority bearers for the welfare and the progress of the country and that is what the statement rightly points out. As the power which the eminent politicians and leaders get to govern the country is; by the people, of the people and for the people. But is not the other way around, where the people are just subjects of another leader, which would fall under the regime of monarchy and kingship. And this is rightly termed to be “Democracy” which is the very root and foundation of the entire Constitution.
The relationship which the Constitution shares with essential features like, Constitutionalism, Rule of Law and Democracy is a very important point where it becomes the foundational element of the right way of governance of the country. And by that one can understand the need and the necessity to have provisions and principles which act as checks and balances for the budding and growing governance body which exists in the country. And these are certain important checks and balances which are employed by the people, even though exists in the constitution as provisions but is given a lot of emphasis by the use of it by the people to remind the government of its key functions and its important actions which have to be considered and looked into and acts as a flood gate to keep all the various power providing provisions, ie the government in check and does not allow it to be an authoritarian government where the people’s views are highly suppressed and demoralized.
Constitutionalism is a concept which is the very first to bring in a sense of balance between the power giving constitution and the people who would go on to become leaders who would drive power from the people. It is not a feature of the Constitution which is explicitly present in the provisions of the Constitution, but is a feature that exists in the constitution but must be understood implicitly. As the features of Constitutionalism are, and independent judiciary, judicial review system, separation of power between the three organs of the government and a well written constitution which would provide all the needed methods to make sure that all these balances would exist. And by this, the power would not only solely exist in the hands of the governing body, but would also exist in the hands of the general public as the judiciary is the sole and only way for people to interpret the laws in a way which they would deem fit.
Rule of law, is another check which would exist as an implicit feature of the constitution, where the main essence of this is that “Law is the King” and even the very top most post which would exist in the government hierarchical system which is the post of President and Prime Minister are also people who would have to bow down to the Constitution as they are people who would be subjected by the provisions as they also derive their power to govern the country from the very pages of the Constitution itself. And hence, the three essential pillars of this rule of law concept is, absence of arbitrary power which would be derived by people only when they think they are supreme than the power giving body itself. A system which emphasises on equality before law and individual liberties, where everyone are free to do whatever they want to do, unless and until it is subject to the restrictions which would be existing in the Constitution and are subject to the eyes of the law as equals, no matter what their status, what their class, sex, race, religion would be. Everyone would be the very same citizens of the country who would be subject to the provisions under the law which governs them.
In conclusion, democracy, rule of law, constitutionalism are all features which exist in the constitution which would employ a lot of importance on the need for there to be a system where, everyone would be subject to the higher authority which is the Constitution and as a democratic country, we have to understand the need for there to be a view and opinion of the people which is to be highly valued and respected as it is the people who at the end of the day vote the candidates who stand in the election and have an urge to represent the forefront of the political game in the country. There have been a lot of problems, a lot of disturbances and a lot of unfortunate events which have existed, because of the lack of understanding and a lack of respect of the people for their fellow individual companions. But, what is of utmost importance is that, everyone are bound by the laws which are imprinted in the sacred texts of the Constitution and everyone would be the same, when the judges are interpreting the laws to deliver justice. To ensure that there is no authoritarian regime which would just be the consuming fire of the very innermost humanistic features like jealousy and the lust for power. And only when the people understand that, it is their vote which gives one power to make laws, only then would they understand the very value of their rights which is guaranteed to them in the provisions of the Constitution.