The concept of rule of law plays a fundamental role in the development and involution of the democratic rights of the people in the state. The term ‘rule of law’ means the government follows the principle of law and justice and does not allow arbitrariness in the ruling and governance of the state. According to the famous Jurist A.V. Dicey, “the rule of law means the absolute supremacy of regular law as to stop the influences of illegal law which are arbitrary and discriminatory in nature”. In the literal scene, it means that all people are governed by the same set of rule and regulation without any discrimination is known as Rule of law.
This concept was first proposed by the British jurist sir Edward Coke, later on, Dicey discuss this principle as no man above law and proposed three principles on rule of law-
- Absolute supremacy of Law
- Equality before the law
- Predominance of legal spirit
The above principle helps in understanding the scope and nature of rule of law, it also plays a vital role in the governance of democratic rules in the state. The first principle means that the law is the absolute supreme power in the state as no one is above law and it also states that a man can only be punished in accordance with to rule of law and by nothing else in the state. The second principle talks about equality before the law or equal subjection of all classes to the ordinary law. It also says that all people should be subject to one and the same law. In this scenario, Dicey criticized the Droit administration in French for establishing separate courts for different subject matters of the cases. At last, the third principle that focus on the legal spirit should be the supreme authority of law i.e. in England customs, precedent, and convention. He was against providing rights such as the right to personal liberty, freedom, etc. in the written constitution of the country. Whereas in India the constitution is the written document that is supreme legal authority. The father of the Indian constitution does not believe in uncodified law, as the struggle faced by the people of India for independence.
Application of Dicey principle in the constitution of India.
- In the context of the constitution of India Dicey stated that the constitution shall be the supreme power in the land and the legislative and the executive derive their authority from the constitution. Any law that is made by the legislation has to be in conformity with the constitution, if it Constitutes fails in that case it will be declared invalid, this rule is provided for under Article 13 of the Indian constitution. Therefore in this scenario, the Indian law and regulation were also influenced by the Dicey principle on rule of law.
- Under article 21 stated that no person shall be deprived of his life or liberty except in accordance with the procedure established by law, thus there is no case of arbitrariness on part of the government.
- Under article 14 guarantee that all citizens are equal and that no person shall be discriminated against on the basis of sex, religion, race or place of birth, thus it ensures that there is a separation of power between the three wings of the government and each wings works on the principle of equality before the law for every person in this nation.