Former Bangladeshi foreign minister and noted jurist Kamal Hossain has hailed Delhi High Court’s verdict legalising homosexuality, saying it “demonstrates judicial courage and creativity in drawing upon the resources from many jurisdictions to protect persons who have been victims of social taboos”.
Delivering the third Justice V.M. Tarkunde Memorial Lecture on “Constitutions and the Challenge of Social and Economic Change: Quest for Freedom and Justice” here, Hossain said: “The rich discussion in the judgment of comparative constitutional jurisprudence is entitled to respect…”
Hossain cautioned against promoting economic liberalisation without proper regulation, saying it can lead to emergence of criminal syndicates and growing violence.
Describing social transformation through enforcing of constitutionally-recognized socio-economic rights as an on-going process, he said change could only be ensured by identifying the barriers placed in the path of social and economic change by powerful interests, and overcoming them through a strategy of empowerment of citizens.
He highlighted the role played by the public interest litigations (PILs) in bringing about the social changes in and .
Despite criticism that PILs seem to be moving away from the poor and unprivileged to the middle-classes in the late 90s, the Supreme Courts of both countries expanded opportunities for the people by generating jurisprudence, he said.
He said PILs have come a long way in removing child labour, expanding the scope and ambit of right to life and livelihood and protecting women.
“I would argue that the constitutional mandate for social and economic change requires activism on the part of all the organs as well the citizens. Therefore, I would come down strongly in favour of judicial activism,” he said on Sunday.