Chief Justice of India NV Ramanaon July 22, 2022 said the media is running “kangaroo courts” on issues even experienced judges find difficult to decide.
The CJI was delivering the inaugural lecture instituted in the memory of Justice Satya Brata Sinha in Ranchi.
Concerted campaigns against judges, particularly on social media, and media trials affect judicial functioning. Doing justice is not an easy responsibility. It is not easy to swallow when false narratives are created about the “easy life” led by judges, the CJI said.
WHAT MORE CJI SAID
In the speech, the Chief Justice said that ill-informed, biased and agenda-driven debates in the media on issues pending in courts are affecting justice delivery. He noted that new media tools had 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.
Stating that doing justice was not an easy responsibility, Ramanna said it was becoming increasingly challenging with each passing day. He also mentioned about concerted campaigns in media, particularly on social media against judges. Another aspect which affects the fair functioning and independence of judiciary is the rising number of media trials, he added.
The CJI said that it was best for media to self-regulate and “measure their words”.
“Judges may not react immediately. Please do not mistake it to be a weakness or helplessness. When liberties are exercised responsibly, within their domains, there will be no necessity of placing reasonable or proportionate external restrictions,” the CJI said.
Chief Justice Ramana expressed his worry about the increasing burden of cases piling up on a judiciary with a fragile infrastructure.
KANGAROO COURT EXPLAINED
A Kangaroo court is that ignores recognized standards of law or justice, carries little or no official standing in the territory within which it resides and is typically convened ad hoc. Without any due process, a kangaroo court come to a predetermined conclusion.
KANGAROO COURT ORIGIN
No records are found for the origin of the pharse of kangaroo court. However, it uis said that the term was found in a magazine written by Philip Paxton around 1853 in his article ”A Stray Yankee in Texas”. Ezarlier instances also show the use of the term as in 1841 articles in The Daily Picayune, New Orleans, that quotes another publication, the Concordia Intelligencer, reporting several lynchings instituted “on charges of the Kangaroo court”. The Picayune article also asks “What is a kangaroo court”.