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THE IDEA OF JUSTICE BY JOHN RAWLS AND HOW THE INDIAN CONSTITUTION INHERITS IT

Utsav Aggarwal, 1st year, Symbiosis Law School, NOIDA

Justice means that the individuals’ legitimate expectations under the law must be met, and they must be assured of the benefits provided by the laws and other rights. Individual rights and the common good are attempted to be reconciled through justice. It emphasizes the idea of equality. The inner meaning of justice is that everyone should be subjected to the same norms (guidelines). A government of laws, not men, provides the best justice. If justice is to be true, it must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each instance. Justice, according to Kelson, is the upholding of a positive order via conscientious application.

Only in a legal environment where legality, not legalism, reigns supreme will justice triumph. Political realism, positivism, and natural law are all combined in Rawlsian justice. He seeks to reimagine the concept of a social contract. Hobbes and Rosseau were the key philosophers involved in the social contract theory that Rawls discusses. Social contract theorists conceptualised the relationship between the era of kingship and state. According to Hobbes, when people live together, man is selfish and will pursue his own interests, which may conflict with the interests of others. To pique his interest, the two would engage in combat, posing a threat to everyone’s life and property. Anarchy would ensue as a result of this. This is the natural state of things. Man, on the other hand, is a rational being. This logical consciousness will give rise to a social compact between all parties in order to establish a sovereign and grant it some powers to rule people.

However, in Rosseau’s social contract, the state is included as a party. According to Hobbes, the state should interfere only to the extent necessary and citizens should be allowed to use their freedom. This will assist citizens in their personal development. As a result, an economic system emerges in which the worthy prosper. The theory of individualism was the name given to this concept. Collectivism was the theory against which Rosseau wrote. He thought that not everyone is equal, and that the government must assist such people.

Rawls wants to move away from Hobbes’ social contract towards Rosseau’s social contract. According to Rawls, the government should take over the means of production and ensure that they are distributed equally depending on the means and requirements. Distributive justice was the name given to this type of justice. He aimed to build a moral political theory by updating and revising Immanuel Kant’s theory of justice and combining some concepts from the social contract theory to solve the problem of distributive justice with the goal of achieving socially just allocation of goods. When people are unequal, they should be classified. Justice in the distribution of social goods was a concern for Rawls. He believed in traditional features of liberty, and he wanted the state to have a mandate that included freedom of expression, assembly, and the establishment of a social foundation for individual self-respect. When the state administers distributive justice, it gains credibility in the eyes of the public. That is where justice will be able to bring about justice.

The Preamble of the Indian constitution embraces Rawls’ notions of justice, declaring that all people are entitled to equality, liberty, and justice, which is expressed further in the Fundamental Rights and State Policy Directive Principles. According to the preamble, India seeks social, economic, and political justice to guarantee that all of its inhabitants are treated equitably. Justice in Indian civilisation refers to the absence of arbitrariness, the significance of the rule of law, and a system of equal rights, freedoms, and opportunities for everyone. Article 14 of the Constitution ensures equality before the law or equal protection under the law within India’s borders. It assures that everyone is treated fairly, including citizens, businesses, and immigrants. Articles 15, 16, and 21 of the Indian constitution are all examples of Rawlsian justice. Article 38 of the Indian Constitution also directs the government to promote the welfare of the people by securing and protecting a social order based on social, economic, and political justice, as well as minimising income disparities and striving to eliminate disparities in status, facilities, and opportunities for all. Article 39 seeks to create justice for everyone by allocating resources equitably and evenly sharing rights and obligations through its several provisions.

To sum up, John Rawls’ theory of justice is supported by these clauses in the Indian constitution that are responsible for every citizen’s rights. These sections of the constitution obligated the government to adhere to the rule of law philosophy, which states that there is no place for arbitrariness and that everyone is treated equally. This supports the country’s core structure in terms of democratic fundamentals in order to promote justice.