M. Rama Jois, former Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, has said that the contribution of legal experts in India remained ignored for long and the judicial system in the country followed the Roman law for years after Independence.
“Even the syllabus in law colleges did not have a written text on the Indian legal and constitutional history till 1988….the rich contribution made to the dispensation of justice provided in the Vedas, religious texts, ‘Arthashastra’ of Koutalya and ‘Mitakshara’ by Vijnaneshwara remained under the shadow of the Roman law introduced in the legal system by the British,” he said. Mr. Jois was here to attenda a seminar on the ‘Relevance of ancient Indian legal and judicial system under the Constitution of India’ here on Saturday.
Students and teachers of law colleges in the Hyderabad Karnataka region were present.
Mr. Jois said that he was not aware of ‘Mitakshara’ and its author Vijnaneshwara, who hailed from a remote village in Bidar district and how he penned ‘Mitakshara’, the basis for the Hindu law in the country, in Martur village in Kalaburagi district, till he started a research for a book on Ïndian legal and constitutional history in the 70s.
‘The Indian Legal and Constitutional History’ is even now referred as a text book in law colleges throughout the country.
Mr. Jois, who successfully pleaded before a five-member Bench of the Supreme Court to include education as a fundamental right, said that although the Constitution originally did not include education as a fundamental right, quoting religious verses and texts, he had successfully convinced the Bench that it was a fundamental right. The historic judgement led to the Union government amending the Constitution to make Right to Education a fundamental right.
Principal Secretary of Public Works, and Information and Public Relations Department, M Laxminarayana, said that Vijnaneshwara’s contribution to the judicial system in the country was immense.
“’Mitakshara’ is the basis for the Hindu law throughout the country. It protected the rights of women over property and other rights and dealt with all aspects of Hindu law.”
Mr. Laxminarayana said that the amendment to Article 371 would hasten the process of development and undo the injustice done to the people of the region in education and employment avenues. Basavaraj Patil Sedam, MP, was present.