The Marginalised Need A Minimum Social Security, Says Justice DY Chandrachud
Migrant workers walking back to their villages and homes after a nationwide lockdown was imposed. (Source: PTI)

The Marginalised Need A Minimum Social Security, Says Justice DY Chandrachud

The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for a minimum social security for the marginalised, according to Justice DY Chandrachud.

‘’The lessons from the humanitarian crisis that accompanied the present pandemic demonstrates that the marginalised need to be assured of a minimum form of social security and effective disbursal of public entitlements, now more than ever,’’ Justice Chandrachud, a Supreme Court judge, said speaking on the birth centenary of his father Justice YV Chandrachud, the-longest serving Chief Justice of India.

The coronavirus outbreak triggered a humanitarian crisis in India by triggering a large-scale migration of jobless workers from cities to their homes in the hinterland. For the first month of the national lockdown, a majority of them walked hundreds of kilometres to their homes. The top court, after initially refusing to intervene, took up the matter suo motu.

Justice DY Chandrachud, during his tenure, has been part of the socially progressive verdicts such as decreminalising Section 377 that deals with homosexual relations between consenting adults; allowing entry of women in the Sabarimala temple; and allowing permanent commission to women in the Indian Army.

Justice Chandrachud discussed some of these cases in his speech to highlight the role played by the courts in uplifting the marginalized sections of the society.

On Section 377, Justice Chandrachud said the section though neutrally worded enforced a hetronormative order that made members of the LGBT community invisible and criminals. The court could not longer sit and pass the buck to parliament to safeguard the rights of the LGBT community, he said.

‘’Newer groups on the margins are constantly being discovered who are knocking at the doors of the Supreme Court to usher in a new age of inclusion. We cannot ask them to be patient and wait for the society to understand and accept their way of life," Justice DY Chandrachud said. "They have already waited for 70 years as their fellow citizens have continued to enjoy the rights that they have been deprived of."

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