Posted September 25, 2013 by advocateguru in Learning Centre

Rule of Law

The concept of Rule of Law was propounded by Dicey. In his words rule of law is “means, in the first place, the absolute supremacy or predominance of regular law as opposed to the influence of arbitrary power, and excludes the existence of arbitrariness, of prerogative, or even of wide discretionary authority on the part of the government.”

He gave the following wide meanings of rule of law.

  1. Supremacy of the law

According to this principle Law is supreme and has to be followed. Hence a man may be punished for a breach of law, but he can’t be punished for anything else.

  1. Equality before law

This means that no one is above law. All are equal in the eyes of law.

  1. Absence of individual liberty

There are various constitutions that provide individual liberty but do not provide method. The constitution is pervaded by the rule of law on the ground that the general principles of the constitution like the right to personal liberty are the result of judicial decisions determining the rights of private persons in particular cases brought before the courts.

In the Indian constitution the rule of law finds a place in Article 14. We adopted this principle of rule of law from UK. However, we modified and did value addition to it according to our needs.

  1. Supremacy of Law

In Dicey’ words, “No man is punishable or can lawfully be made to suffer in body or goods except for a distinct breach of law established in the ordinary legal manner before the ordinary courts of the land.” A person can be punished only if he commits any breach of law. An alleged offence is required to be proved before the ordinary courts in accordance with the ordinary procedure.

  1. Equality before Law and Equal Protection of Law

The Second meaning of the Rule of Law is that no man is above law. Every person regardless of the status- political, economic or social is equal before the eyes of law. Everybody under Article 14 is equal before law and has equal protection. The Article provides for equality before law and also equal protection of law.

  1. Individual Liberty

A great importance has been given to individual freedom in the constitution. Fundamental Rights like right to life, right to freedom under Article 21 and article 19 expressly lay down various rights for the citizens providing then various liberties. Over the course of time the courts have expanded the scope of individual liberty under these articles.

The rule of law imposes a duty upon state to take special measure to prevent and punish brutality by police methodology. The rule of law embodied in article 14 is the basic feature of the Indian constitution and hence it can’t be destroyed even by an amendment of the constitution under article 368 of the constitution.

 Done by : Bhawana