Targeting of judges in public domain must be contained: Vice President Dhankhar

Updated on Aug 23, 2022 04:52 AM IST

Dhankhar, who took oath as vice-president on August 11, was speaking at a function organised by the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) to felicitate him when he made the remarks.

File photo of Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar(ANI )
File photo of Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar(ANI )
ByAbraham Thomas, New Delhi

Targeting judges in the public domain needs to be contained, Vice-President Jagdeep Dhankhar said on Monday, adding that dignity of judges and respect for judiciary is inviolable as they form the basis for the rule of law and constitutionalism.

Dhankhar, who took oath as vice-president on August 11, was speaking at a function organised by the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) to felicitate him when he made the remarks.

“Recent unfortunate emergence of a pernicious trend to target individual judges in public domain calls for exemplary containment,” the vice-president said at the event that was also attended by Chief Justice of India, N V Ramana and Union law minister Kiren Rijiju among others.

“Dignity of judges and respect for judiciary is inviolable as these are fundamentals of rule of law and constitutionalism,” he added.

Dhankhar, who practiced as a senior lawyer in the Supreme Court prior to his appointment as governor of West Bengal in 2019 and as vice-president this year, also said a “spinally strong, fair and independent justice system is the safest guarantee for blossoming and flourishing of democratic values.”

“...members of the bar and media have a great role to play in this,” he said.

CJI Ramana, in the past, too has raised the issue of attacks on judges in the media, particularly on social media.

Media channels are running “kangaroo courts” on issues of complicated judicial questions and their “ill-informed and agenda-driven debates” are hurting India’s democracy, the CJI said on July 24 as he called for a course correction by the industry before the courts are compelled to step in.

In November, the CJI said the attacks appeared to be sponsored and synchronized and the matter needs to be dealt with by central agencies to protect judges from such “malicious attacks”.

Meanwhile, CJI Ramana on Monday congratulated Dhankhar for his appointment as vice-president of the country.

“It is on the strength of our democracy that V-P Dhankhar could reach the second highest office in the country, in spite of hailing from a rural background and without a political father or godfather,” the CJI said.

With Dhankhar as chairman of Rajya Sabha, one can expect “constructive and progressive” laws to come in Parliament, he said.

He recalled how the dominating presence of legal professionals in the House was the reason the country got an “outstanding Constitution and flawless laws”.

“Nowadays, the number of lawyers (in the House) has dwindled and that space has been taken by others, you know. I do not want to make any controversial statement on this occasion,” he said.

Rijiju also spoke at the event. Knowing the wit, sense of human and legal brilliance of the newly-elected V-P, he will surely be an “asset” to Parliament and to the country, he said.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who also attended the event, said Dhankhar had achieved a rare distinction of being the first practicing lawyer in the Supreme Court to have ascended to the post of V-P.

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