Cooperative federalism is paramount: Justice P Sathasivam

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NEW DELHI: A strong federal structure is extremely important in dealing with a pandemic successfully, said former Chief Justice of India P


as he addressed the valedictory session around the legal and

constitutional challenges

during coronavirus, organised by Bennett University.
The former CJI began his address by reminding the audience of the Preamble and the Constitution. "We have to remember our Preamble and our Constitution, which is very relevant for our discussion. Apart from justice, it is also important to remember fraternity. Fraternity ensures the dignity of the individual and unity and integrity of the nation... and it applies to all citizens, irrespective of their religion, place of birth,etc," he said.
Justice Sathasivam , also a former governor of Kerala, listed four key issues during

lockdown period

, which started on March 25. "The key issues during this pandemic period was declaration of nationwide lockdown without consultation of the states, irregular supply of medical equipment, fate of migrant workers and tackling of some opposition-ruled states," he said.
While discussing the operation of constitutional law in inter-state relations during a pandemic, Justice Sathasivam's address also highlighted the importance of cooperation between states and the need to amend decade-old labour laws. "The Centre is planning to redefine migrant workers to ease sharing information is essential for proper food distribution and other welfare schemes. Cooperation between Centre and state is very important. Cooperative federalism is paramount," he said.
As Justice Sathasivam's address came to an end, a member of the audience asked "Do migrant workers have the right to back to their homes?".

Bennett University School of Law

dean Prof M Sridhar Acharyulu tried to answer the question by quoting

Martin Luther King

. "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere," Acharyulu said, as he brought the webinar to a close.

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