Judges becoming victims of slanderous social-media posts: Justice Ramana

New Delhi, Sep 12 (IANS) Justice N.V. Ramana of the Supreme Court on Saturday said that the judges are becoming victims of juicy gossip and slanderous social-media posts.

The judges have to balance their social life in order to be independent and it is completely upon the judge to maintain such self-imposed restrictions, he said.

“As judges are self-restrained from speaking out in their own defence, they are now being construed as soft targets for criticism. This issue is further complicated by the proliferation of social media and technology, wherein judges are becoming victims of juicy gossip and slanderous social-media posts,” said Justice Ramana, who was delivering a special talk at the virtual launch of retired Supreme Court judge Justice R. Banumathi's book — “Judiciary, Judges and the Administration of Justice”. Justice Banumathi demitted office on July 19.

Chief Justice S.A. Bobde also delivered a special talk at the virtual book release. Justice Bobde said the Covid-19 pandemic has affected each and every individual and institution significantly, and the judicial system has seen an unprecedented increase in the pendency of cases across the country.

Justice Bobde emphasised on utilising pre-litigation mediation in all matters. “For judges, and consequently the judiciary, the biggest challenge is to ensure that our nation inches towards the goals set in the Constitution. The Constitution guarantees rights, acknowledges past inequalities, accommodates diversity, prescribes functions, and grants and limits state's (executive, legislature and Judiciary) powers,” the Chief Justice said.

Both the Chief Justice and Justice Ramana underscored judges' tough life, as they have to strike a balance between the two aspects of life: professional and personal. Justice Bobde said, if the public is to give profound respect to the judges, the judges should by their conduct maintain dignified conduct and aloofness.

Justice Ramana emphasised that the judgeship in the present day requires sacrifices unparalleled in any other profession, as the country's future is dependent on strong independent judges.

“From my own experience I can state that the life of a judge is not a bed of roses. There seems to be misunderstanding that judges lead a life of luxury in their ivory towers. However, the reality is quite different and it is difficult for others to comprehend,” said Justice Ramana.

The Chief Justice said this institution belongs to the nation and its achievements are the result of unflinching dedication and commitment of numerous individuals on and off the bench, and it has been able to play a defining role in the public life in large measure because of the trust it enjoys among the public.

“Having said that I acknowledge that there are remaining areas of concerns in the working of the institution. That is natural, especially in an institution that attempts to balance, day in and day out, the firmness of law against the vagaries of human nature. However, we must also remember that neither inadequacy nor aberrations define a system, nor are hasty solutions a sensible way forward,” added the Chief Justice.



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