On Saturday, Chief Justice of India (CJI) NV Ramana attacked the media for holding Kangaroo courts and conducting media trials on sub-judice matters, making judges’ jobs difficult and negatively impacting the justice delivery system.
“Ill-informed and agenda-driven debates on issues involving justice delivery are proving to be detrimental to the health of democracy. Media bias affects people, weakens democracy, and harms the system. Justice delivery suffers as a result of this process.” the CJI said at an event at Ranchi’s National University of Study and Research in Law.
He further said that the media was undermining democracy by exceeding and violating their responsibilities. “There is still some accountability in print media. Electronic media, on the other hand, has no accountability because what it shows vanishes into a thin year. Still, worse is social media,”
Doing justice is a challenging responsibility, and it is becoming more challenging with each passing day as a result of concerted media campaigns against judges, particularly on social media, he lamented.
“It is preferable for the media to self-regulate and measure their words. You should not go too far and invite interference from the government or the courts. Judges may not respond right away. Please don’t misinterpret it as a sign of weakness or helplessness. When liberties are exercised responsibly within their domains, there is no need for reasonable or proportionate external constraints,” CJI stated.
He also urged the media, particularly electronic and social media, to be more responsible.
“You are an equally important stakeholder as we are. Please use your voice to educate the people and energise the nation as we work together to build a progressive, prosperous, and peaceful India.”
He was delivering the inaugural ‘Justice SB Sinha Memorial Lecture’ on the topic “Life of a Judge”, which was hosted by the National University of Study in Research in Law, Ranchi.