Expressing serious concern over the “repeated failures” to ensure safety of women and children, President Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday called upon the legal fraternity to be in the vanguard of the battle for their safety.
Speaking at the first convocation of National Law University, Delhi (NLUD), Mukherjee said the failures highlight the urgency with which we needed to introspect at the erosion of values and our repeated failure to ensure safety and security of our women and children.
“There is need for us in India to reset our moral compass. We must collectively ensure the dignity and respect for women at all times. The legal fraternity, especially students of law, must be in the vanguard of the battle for women’s security, rights and welfare,” he said.
The President conferred an honorary degree of LL.D on Justice Dalveer Bhandari, a permanent judge at the International Court of Justice, The Hague.
Justice Bhandari, a former judge of the Supreme Court, is only the fourth Indian to have become a permanent judge at the International Court of Justice. He also awarded Ph.D to two, LL.M. to 15 and B.A. LL.B. (Hons) to 71 students in the presence of Chief Justice of India Altmas Kabir, Chancellor Justice BD Ahmed, Justice Gita Mittal, Vice-Chancellor Prof Ranbir Singh and several judges — sitting and retired, academics, advocates and students
Twenty-two meritorious law students of the varsity were given away gold medals in various subjects. Salmoli Chaudhuri bagged the maximum number of gold medals (12) for her performance in various subjects. Mukherjee said that instead of merely talking about social issues of corruption, sexual violence, gender discrimination, etc., people should work towards addressing these concerns.
“Many of us often ask of others what we are unwilling to do ourselves. People are furious about corruption, yet they are willing to pay a bribe to expedite their work. If you are asked to pay a bribe, have the courage to refuse,” he said. Quoting Mahatma Gandhi, who said, “Be the change you want to see in the world”, the President exhorted the future lawyers not to support corruption.