Extract: New Dimensions of Justice (1997) – J.S. Verma, J.

Extract from: B.N. Datar Centenary Endowment Lecture New Dimensions of Justice by Justice J.S. Verma [Cite as : (1997) 3 SCC (Jour) 3]

“…Justice is the ideal to be achieved by Law. Justice is the goal of law. Law is a set of general rules applied in the administration of justice. Justice is in a cause on application of law to a particular case. Jurisprudence is the philosophy of law. Jurisprudence and Law have ultimately to be tested on the anvil of administration of justice. ‘Law as it is’, may fall short of ‘Law as it ought to be’ for doing complete justice in a cause. The gap between the two may be described as the field covered by Morality. There is no doubt that the development of the law is influenced by morals. The infusion of morality for reshaping the law is influenced by the principles of Equity and Natural Justice, as effective agencies of growth. The ideal State is when the rules of law satisfy the requirements of justice and the gap between the two is bridged. It is this attempt to bridge the gap which occasions the development of New Jurisprudence.”

“The existence of some gap between law and justice is recognized by the existing law itself. This is the reason for the recognition of inherent powers of the court by express provision made in the Code of Civil Procedure and the Code of Criminal Procedure. The Constitution of India by Article 142 expressly confers on the Supreme Court plenary powers for doing complete justice in any cause or matter before it. Such power in the court of last resort is recognition of the principle that in the justice delivery system, at the end point attempt must be made to do complete justice in every cause, if that result cannot be achieved by provisions of the enacted law. These powers are in addition to the discretionary powers of courts in certain areas where rigidity is considered inappropriate, e.g., equitable reliefs and Article 226 of the Constitution. …”