Rule of Law

The expression ‘rule of law’ can be traced back to the great Greek philosopher Aristotle, who lived 2,400 years ago.

It is better for the law to rule than one of the citizens… so that even the guardians of the law are obeying the laws.”

–  Brian Z. Tamanaha, Rule of Law.

BZT.jpgBona fide criticism of a Judgment, albeit of the Highest Court of the Land, is certainly permissible, but thwarting, or encouraging persons to thwart, the Directions/Orders of the Highest Court cannot be countenanced in our constitutional scheme of things. After all, in India’s tryst with destiny, we have chosen to be wedded to the ‘rule of law’. The Constitution places a non-negotiable obligation on all to enforce the Judgments of this Court. The duty to do so arises because it is necessary to preserve the ‘rule of law’. Compliance is not a matter of option. Organized acts of resistance to thwart the implementation of this Judgment must be put down firmly. Consistent with the duties inhering in it, we expect the State Government to ensure that the ‘rule of law’ is preserved.”

Hon’ble Justice R.F. Nariman, [Review Petition (Civil) No. 3358 of 2018].


Jurists must listen to real life and, theory apart, must be alert enough to read the writing on the wall! Where the ‘rule of law’ bars the doors of collective justice, the crushed class will seek hope in the streets! The architects of our Constitution were not unfamiliar with direct action where basic justice was long withheld. Only a clinical study of organic law will yield correct diagnostic results.”

 – Hon’ble Justice Krishna Iyer, State of Kerala v. N.M. Thomas, (1976) 2 SCC 310.