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Basic Structure of the Constitution should not be changed: SC Justice Ujjal Bhuyan

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9th Mile, Khanapara, Ri Bhoi, September 30, 2023: Supreme Court Judge Shri Ujjal Bhuyan today graced the campus of the University of Science and Technology Meghalaya (USTM) and delivered a thought-provoking talk on “Constitution: Equality and Democracy” and said that independence of the judiciary is a basic and essential feature of the Constitution. He discussed the Constitution and how it has shaped the concepts of equality and democracy and also threw light on the concept of reservation on the basis of inequality.

Justice Bhuyan received a warm welcome at USTM and was felicitated by Chancellor Shri M Hoque, and Vice Chancellor Prof GD Sharma in the presence of Prof Subhram Rajkhowa, Dr Baharul Islam, and others. Organised by the University School of Law and Research (USLR) of USTM, the event was witnessed by many law students and faculty members of USLR, JB Law College Guwahati, NEF Law College, and Dispur Law College.

Addressing the huge gathering, Justice Ujjal Bhuyan said that Article 368 of the Constitution of India which deals with the power of Parliament—to amend the Constitution—assumes great significance. “The essence of our Constitution is equality between men and men and men and women. It seeks to establish a just society. It is indeed a transformative government”, he said.

He urged the students to go through the Preamble of the Constitution every day. “Whenever you go through the Preamble, you will get a new vision, a new understanding. The Preamble indicates the source from which the Constitution comes. It should be interpreted as a part of the Constitution. The objectives specified in the Preamble contain the basic structure of the Constitution which cannot be amended in the exercise of the power under Article 368 of the Constitution”, he added.

Appreciating the USTM on a high note Justice Bhuyan said, “The university is not only a place of higher learning but it is a place where youthful minds interact and blossom. I am confident that in due course of time, the USTM will become a leading centre of knowledge not only in the country but its name and fame will spread beyond the frontiers of the country”.

Addressing the student fraternity, Justice Bhuyan said that Article 14, having the components of equality before the law and equal protection of the law may appear as a mundane process, but these expressions have immense meaning and are the essence of our Constitution which form the fulcrum of the rule of law.

He said that in the initial state, the view of the Constitution regarding amendment was that any part of the Constitution is amendable. He said that there has been a debate on the basic structure theory or doctrine of the Constitution since 1975. The basic structure of the Constitution should not be changed during any kind of amendment of the Constitution, he added.

Earlier, the welcome address was made by Prof GD Sharma, Vice Chancellor of USTM. The programme ended with a vote of thanks delivered by Prof Subhram Rajkhowa, Senior Faculty at USLR which was followed by the singing of the National Anthem.