Rule of law is an integral feature of a democracy. In India “Rule of law” find expression in Article 14 which emphasizes equality before law and equal Protection of law. The most clear and accepted explanation of rule of law was given by A.V. Dicey that originated in England.
According to him the basic principles of rule of law are:
- No person can be punished or made to suffer in body or goods except for the violation of law. Such a violation must be established in an ordinary court of the land in an ordinary legal manner.
- No person is above law and all persons are subject to the ordinary law of the land without any distinction of rank or position and are subject to jurisdiction of the ordinary courts.
- The constitution is the supreme law of the land and all laws passed by the Legislature must conform to the provisions of the Constitution.
Supreme Court’s judgement on ‘Rule of Law’
The Supreme Court has placed rule of law under Art. 14 in the category of Basic structure of the Constitution. The president, Governor, foreign diplomats, ambassadors representing foreign governments etc. are exceptions to the practice of rule of law.