- Experts trace the origin of this word and explained how it was first used by Ambedkar during the Parliamentary debates. An important case which employed this concept in an innovative manner was the Naz Foundation case which used the concept of constitutional morality to strike down Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code and decriminalise homosexuality. Therein, the Supreme court had addressed how constitutional morality and not popular morality should guide the Court’s decision while interpreting the constitution.
- While the word ‘morality’ has been used only four times in the Indian Constitution (twice in Article 19 and twice in Right to religious Freedom under Article 25 and 26), it continues to be invoked by the courts in many rights claim cases like surrogacy, speech, sexual orientation.
- Constitutional morality means adherence to the core principles of the constitutional democracy.
- In Dr. Ambedkar’s perspective, Constitutional morality would mean an effective coordination between conflicting interests of different people and the administrative cooperation to resolve the amicably without any confrontation amongst the various groups working for the realization of their ends at any cost .
- Thus the scope of the definition of Constitutional Morality is not limited only to following the constitutional provisions literally but vast enough to ensure the ultimate aim of the Constitution, a socio-juridical scenario providing an opportunity to unfold the full personhood of every citizen, for whom and by whom the Constitution exists.
- Constitutional Morality is a sentiment to be cultivated in the minds of a responsible citizen but to be promoted by an independent judiciary embodied with values and ethics. Where judicial diligence is absent and judicial integrity is questioned Constitutional Morality cannot be upheld. The fruits of the morality of Constitution are enjoyed where the people can come to the courts to redress their grievances,
- Constitutional morality are committed to certain features of it such as
- (1) commitment to liberty
- (2) constitutional supremacy
- (3) Parliamentary form of government and self restraint
- (4) rule of law
- (5) equality
- (6) intolerance for corruption, to name a few.
Sources of constitutional morality:-
- Concept of constitutional morality remains understudied and that there has been no agreement over the exact locations but generally there are four sources of constitutional morality :-
- (1) Text of the Constitution
- (2) Constitutional Assembly debates
- (3) Events that took place during the framing of the Constitution
- (4) Case Law History.
- Constitutional morality is important for constitutional laws to be effective. Without constitutional morality, the operation of a constitution tends to become arbitrary, erratic, and capricious.