Friday, December 2, 2022

CJI Ramana berates electronic media for running kangaroo courts

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Chief Justice of India Justice N.V. Ramana on Saturday criticized the electronic media for running kangaroo courts in cases that were sub-judice, making the administration of justice difficult.

Delivering the inaugural Justice S.B. Sinha Memorial Lecture on “The Life of a Judge” organised by National University of Study & Research in Law, Ranchi, CJI Ramana said it is now the media that runs trials making it all the more difficult for the judiciary to function.

The CJI said by running agenda-driven debates, the media is overstepping and breaching its responsibility besides taking democracy two steps backwards.

CJI Ramana said nowadays it is the media which is running kangaroo courts, and decide when the experienced judges are not over with discussion. He said that such things are detrimental for democracy.

NV Ramana said that the views propagated by media have harmed the system and have led to delay in judgements.

The Chief Justice was particularly critical of the electronic media which he said has zero accountability.

“Print media still has certain degree of accountability. Whereas, electronic media has zero accountability as what it shows vanishes into thin year. Still worse is social media,” he said.

Doing justice is not an easy responsibility and it is becoming increasingly challenging with each passing day due to concerted campaigns in media, particularly on social media against judges, the CJI bemoaned.

Media trial, he maintained, cannot be a guiding factor in deciding cases. 

Owing to the frequent transgressions by media and consequent social unrests, there is a growing demand for stricter media regulations and accountability, he added.

“It is best for the media to self-regulate and measure their words. You should not overstep and invite interference, either from the government or from the courts. Judges may not react immediately. Please don’t mistake it to be a weakness or helplessness. When liberties are exercised responsibly, within their domains, there will be no necessity of placing reasonable or proportionate external restrictions,” said CJI.

Read full speech text below:


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