New Delhi, Dec 6: A strong and independent judiciary was capable of protecting people from attacks on the inclusive values of Indian society, Chief Justice T.S. Thakur said on Sunday.
"As the head of the institution that upholds the rule of law and protects the constitution, the right of all sections of people will be protected," Chief Justice Thakur said in his first media meet after assuming charge of the Supreme Court.
"Our existence is itself based on tolerance," he said, wondering how some political people can twist it to their advantage.
Assuring that judiciary was there to protect and safeguard their rights, the chief justice said: "We are capable of protecting the rights of all sections of the people. It is our responsibility. Rule of law and constitutional guarantees are enshrined (in the constitution).
"What to talk of citizens, rights of all the people will be protected. There is nothing to fear." He added: "The rule of law is even for non-citizens."
Chief Justice Thakur said: "Itna badha desh hai, kuchh awaaj to uththi hai" (It is such a big country. Some discordant notes will be there.)
So long there was rule of law, constitutional guarantees and an independent judiciary, "tab tak kisi baat ka dar nahin hona chaiye" (till then one should not fear anything).
Pointing to the long, rich and all-inclusive traditions of India, he said: "This country has been a home for all religions of the world. People who were persecuted in other places have come here and flourished."
Describing it as "our heritage", Chief Justice Thakur gave the example of Parsis who came from Persia saying they gave India the best industrialists and "finest legal minds" -- referring to Nani Palkiwala and Fali Nariman.