‘Kangaroo courts, agenda-driven debates by media…’: CJI Ramana
CJI Ramana said while the print media still has a certain degree of accountability, electronic media has zero accountability as what it shows vanishes into thin air.
Chief Justice of India (CJI) NV Ramana said on Saturday that agenda-driven debates and kangaroo courts being run by the media are detrimental to the health of the democracy.
Delivering the inaugural lecture instituted in the memory of Justice Satya Brata Sinha in Ranchi, Ramana said media trials affect the fair functioning and independence of the judiciary.
"Media trials cannot be a guiding factor in deciding cases. Of late, 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.
"Biased views being propagated by media are affecting the people, 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 backward," he added.
Ramana said while the print media still has a certain degree of accountability, electronic media has zero accountability as what it shows vanishes into thin air. “At times, there are concerted campaigns in media, particularly on social media, against judges,” he said.
The CJI said one of the biggest challenges before the judiciary at present is prioritising the matters for adjudication as judges cannot turn a blind eye to social realities.
"I shall not fail to place on record my worries about the future of judiciary in this country... The burden on an already fragile judicial infrastructure is increasing by the day. There have been a few knee-jerk reactions in augmenting infrastructure... However, I haven't heard of any concrete plan to equip the judiciary to meet the challenges of the foreseeable future, leave alone a long-term vision for the century and ahead," he said.
"...It is only with the coordinated efforts by the judiciary and the executive that this alarming issue of infrastructure can be addressed," he said.
Speaking on a massive number of pending cases in courts, Ramana said, “False narratives are created about the supposed easy lives led by judges. It is difficult to swallow. People often complain about the long pendency of the cases at all levels of the Indian judicial system.”
He added, “On multiple occasions, I have highlighted the issues leading to the pendencies. I have been strongly advocating the need to revamp the infrastructure - both physical and personal to enable the judges to function to their full potential.”
Recently, Ramana, responding to the concerns expressed by Union minister for law and justice Kiren Rijiju over the huge case backlogs in the country, said that the non-filling up of judicial vacancies was the major reason for the pendency of cases in the country.
Ramana and Rijiju were attending the All India Legal Services Authorities Meet at Jaipur.
(With inputs from PTI, ANI)