Rule of Law under Indian constitution Tnpsc Notes
Rule of law means is everyone is equal before the law that is a concept of ‘equality before the law’, Irrespective of race, caste, religion, sex, etc. This feature is borrowed from the British Constitution.
The rule of law is a basic feature of our constitution as it is a judicial review. The concept of ‘Rule of law’, coined by A.V.Dicey, a British Jurist. The rule of law is based on below basic elements:
Absence of arbitrary Power – This says that no one should be punished unless that individual breaches the law.
Equality before the law – This says that everyone is equal before the law of the land that is protected by the law courts irrespective of rich or poor, caste, race, language, sex, etc.
Rule of law in India
The supreme court established that the ‘Rule of Law’ in Article 14 is a basic ‘feature of the constitution and cannot be destroyed even by an amendment. National Human Rights Commission has interpreted its functions established in Section 12 of the Act.
It is especially to include monitoring of the functioning of bodies of governance with the idea to ensure protection to human rights and to prevent human rights violation. NHRC also visualizes its role to improve governance and strongly believes that good governance as per the constitution and “Rule of Law” alone will be effective for better protection of human rights.
Safeguards of liberty – Rule of law or equality in the eyes of the law is important to safeguard liberty and this is the bulwark against discrimination based on caste, class, color, etc.
Earlier as per ‘locus standi‘, only the affected individual can approach the court for justice. But after the introduction of PIL, any citizen can approach the court for enforcing the rights of any person who is unable to go to court.
Now PIL is absolutely necessary for maintaining the ‘Rule of Law’.
Supreme Court Judgements concerning ‘Rule of Law’
The supreme court declared that “Government of laws and not of men” that is ‘Rule of law’ infamous Indira Nehru Gandhi case of 1975 also called an Election case. The Supreme court also declared ‘Rule of law’ in various cases such as the S.P.Sampath Kumar Case of 1987, P.Sambamurthy Case of 1987, Indra Sawhney Case of 1992, and I.R Coelho Case of 2007.
Exceptions to Rule of law in India
The president and governor of state are immune to the ‘Rule of Law’ as per Article 361. The President and Governor are not answerable to any court for their work, performance, and duties done in his/her office.
During the tenure in his/her office, no criminal proceeding can be put against the president and governor in any court. The president and governor cannot be arrested or imprisoned during his/her tenure in the office.
No civil case can be instituted against the President or Governor when he/she entered into the office, done even during the term of office in any court until the expiration of two months next after the notice is delivered to him.
As per Article 361-A, there should be no criminal or civil proceeding against a person concerning the publication in newspaper/radio/television of significantly true report of the proceedings of Union or State legislature.
As per Article 105, no MP (Member of the Parliament) can be liable to any proceeding in any court for his speech or vote given in the Parliament or any committee.
Similarly, as per Article 105, no Member of the legislature of a state can be liable to any proceeding in any court for his speech or vote given in the Legislature or any committee.
The foreign rulers, ambassadors, and diplomats are exempted from the criminal and civil proceedings. Similarly, the UNO and its agencies also enjoy diplomatic immunity.
Article 31-C is excepted from Article 14.