NEW DELHI: Chief Justice of India NV Ramana on Saturday came down heavily on the tendency of “trial by media” and agenda drive debates, particularly in the electronic media.
Justice Ramana said the media often passes verdict on issues that even experienced judges find difficult to decide.
“Of late, we see 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 health of democracy,” he said while speaking at an event at the Jharkhand high court in Ranchi.
He was particularly harsh on the electronic media, saying it has “zero accountability.”
“By overstepping and breaching your responsibilities, you are taking our democracy two steps backward. Print media still has a certain degree of accountability, whereas electronic media has zero accountability,” the chief justice said.
He also insisted on the need for an infrastructure revamp of the judiciary to enable judges to function better and deal with pendency of cases.
“On multiple occasions, I have highlighted the issues leading to pendency. I have been strongly advocating the need to revamp the infrastructure – both physical & personal to enable the judges to function to their full potential,” Justice Ramana said.
He also lashed out at false narratives in the media about “easy lives led by judges.” He pointed at “prioritising matters for adjudication” as a challenge before the Indian judiciary.
“One of the biggest challenges before current day judiciary is prioritising matters for adjudication. The judges can’t turn a blind eye to the social realities. The judge has to give priority to pressing matters in order to save the system from avoidable conflicts and burdens,” he said.
(With agency inputs)