Chief Justice of India (CJI) NV Ramana on Saturday came down heavily on the tendency of "trial by media" and said that the media is running "kangaroo courts" on issues that even experienced judges find difficult to decide.
Justice Ramana said the media often passes verdict on issues that even experienced judges find difficult to decide.
Ramana said, “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 was particularly harsh on the electronic media, saying it has "zero accountability."
"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. Print media still has a certain degree of accountability, whereas electronic media has zero accountability," the chief justice 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.
"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.
Justice Ramana also insisted on the need for media to self-regulate. He also raised concerns about judges losing their security cover after retirement.