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Where there is Dharma, there is Jai-Victory- यतो धर्मस्ततो जयः Supreme Court's Motto


यतो धर्मस्ततो जयः is the motto of the Supreme Court of India which means that “where there is Dharma, there is Jai-Victory.” The motto has been taken from the Mahabharata- the great ancient Indian epic. The meaning of the motto adopted by the Supreme Court of India is to give effect to the fact that “where there is Justice and Righteousness, there is Victory.” Victory can only prevail where there is truth, and it is the truth that will reflect upon the justice that the people of the country deserve to get. The term “Dharma” has also been of great significance in Indian history and the Supreme Court of India has while deciding certain matters of great importance clearly followed the path of righteousness. Dharma revolves around the subject of law as it talks about fulfilling the duties one possesses not just towards himself, but towards society as a whole. 


In the case of Kesavananda Bharti Sripadagalvaru & Ors. v. State of Kerala & Anr., 1973 the Apex Court has outlined the basic structure doctrine of the Constitution of India. The court held that the fundamental rights granted to the citizens of the country cannot be struck down and the amendments which were violating the six fundamental rights should be held down. The court held that these rights form part of the basic structure of the Indian Constitution and cannot be changed.


Similarly, in the case of Maneka Gandhi v. Union of India, 1978 the Apex Court embarked upon the importance of the Right to Personal Liberty under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution. The court held that even though like the United States of America, India does not specifically has a concept of “Due Process of Law”, the procedure that is adopted should always be fair, just, and reasonable. In no case, the legal proceedings can be arbitrary and biased. The scope of Article 21 was widened by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India via this decision.


Further, the Indian Legal System follows the Latin phrase- Audi Alteram Partem, which means that each and every party should be given an equal, fair and reasonable opportunity to be heard. Thereby, no person or party should be judged without a fair hearing opportunity to respond to the evidence or submissions made against them. This is a principle of natural justice. Another extremely important principle of natural justice is that the courts of law should inform the parties to the dispute the decision and the rationale behind the decision. These principles of natural justice are not codified, they simply follow the principle of truth and righteousness which is the Dharma. The courts are set up to protect the citizens of the country, and its people from any harm and suffering. It is the duty of the judges to make decisions by following the principles of Dharma so that people get justice at the earliest. The procedural and administrative fairness forms an extremely essential part of delivering justice and this can be achieved by following the path of Dharma, of righteousness.       

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