Chief Justice of India NV Ramana calls media trial as Kangaroo courts

Chief Justice of India NV Ramana warned on Saturday that kangaroo courts on TV debates and social media were going backwards and that their actions were “prejudiced,” “ill-informed,” and “agenda-driven.”

Following the opposition to a ruling earlier this month on former BJP spokeswoman Nupur Sharma’s statements on the Prophet Muhammad, which the Supreme Court claimed had inflamed communal animosity across the country, the remarks take on enormous significance.

“There are concerted campaigns in social media against judges. Judges may not react immediately. Please don’t mistake it to be a weakness or helplessness,”

“New media tools have the enormous amplifying ability but appear to be incapable of distinguishing between the right and the wrong, the good and the bad and the real and the fake,”

“Media trials cannot be a guiding factor in deciding cases. We see the media running kangaroo courts, at times on issues even experienced judges find difficult to decide,”

“Ill-informed and agenda-driven debates on issues involving justice delivery are proving to be detrimental to the health of democracy,”

The Chief Justice, who retires next month, said biased views being spread by the media were weakening democracy and harming the system. “In this process, justice delivery gets adversely affected,”

“By overstepping and breaching your responsibility, you are taking our democracy two steps backwards,” Justice Ramana said.

The chief judge stated that print media still has some degree of accountability and added, “Electronic media, however, have no accountability because what they broadcast simply vanishes into thin air. Social networking is still worse.”

He urged the media to exercise self-control “The media should self-regulate and weigh their statements as much as possible. I kindly request responsible conduct from electronic and social media. The voice of the electronic media should instead be used to inspire the country and educate the populace.”

 




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