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Chief Justice NV Ramana Criticises Media over Media Trials

The Chief Justice, who is retiring next month, said biased views being spread by the media were weakening democracy and harming the system

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Transcontinental Times Staff
Transcontinental Times Staffhttps://www.transcontinentaltimes.com
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INDIA.Ranchi: Chief Justice of India NV Ramana on Saturday addressed the challenges of the judiciary and the function of the media as he expressed his concerns about the future of the judiciary and democracy in the country.

He said that a false narrative has been created that judges have an easy life but miss out on many joys of life, sometimes even important family events. Justice Ramana made the statement at the inaugural ceremony of  ‘Justice SB Sinha Memorial Lecture’ on the topic ‘Life of a Judge’ at the National University of Study and Research in Law, Ranchi.

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“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,” he said.

The Chief Justice, who is retiring 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.”

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The remarks take on enormous significance following the fallout from the verdict earlier this month on former BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma’s comments about the Prophet Muhammad, which the Supreme Court said had created communal tension across the country.

Kangaroo courts running on television sets and social media are taking the country backwards, Chief Justice of India NV Ramana said on Saturday in a fiery criticism that called their behaviour “biased”, “ill-informed” and “agenda-driven”.

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“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,” Justice Ramana said.

“New media tools have 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,” the Chief Justice said.

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

Print media still has a certain degree of accountability, the top judge said, adding, “Whereas electronic media has zero accountability as what it shows vanishes into thin air. Still, worse is social media.”

Urging the media to self-regulate, he said, “It is best for the media to self-regulate and measure their words. I urge electronic and social media to behave responsibly. Electronic media should rather use their voice to educate people and energise the nation.”

Closing the session he said, “I come from an agricultural background. After obtaining BSc. degree, with my father’s encouragement I took up law. I was keen on joining active politics, but destiny desired otherwise.On a personal note, yes, the opportunity to serve as a Judge came with tremendous challenges but I have never regretted a single day. It is definitely not a service but a calling.”

ALSO READ:“Political Opposition Translating into Hostility Not A Sign of Healthy Democracy,” Said CJI NV Ramana

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