A Judge must stand up against popular perception for justice: CJI Ramana

Talking about live streaming of court proceedings, Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana said although its a step in the right direction, one must tread the path with caution, which was a double-edged sword

Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana on Saturday said that a Judge should never get swayed by popular opinion and must stand up against the popular perception for the call of justice, remembering his commitment to the oath he took under the Constitution.

Justice Ramana expressed these views while inaugurating the live-streaming of the proceedings of High Court of Gujarat.

Talking about live streaming of court proceedings, the CJI said although its a step in the right direction, one must tread the path with caution. At times, live streaming of proceedings may become a double-edged sword. The Judges might feel the pressure of public scrutiny, which may ultimately result in a stressful environment that may not be conducive to justice dispensation.

With increased public gaze, a Judge might become a subject of multiple debates, but that should never deter him from his duty to protect the right of one against the might of many. Always remember, as a repository of people’s faith, a Judge cannot afford lose objectivity, observed Justice Ramana.

Talking about lawyers, the CJI said lawyers should not go after publicity, rather they must ensure to put in all possible efforts to protect the best interests of his clients. They must always uphold and maintain the dignity of the profession.

The privacy of the parties involved and the safety and security of the victims and witnesses must also be ensured for a free and fair trial. It is imperative to carefully calibrate the Rules governing such live-streaming by keeping in view the competing interests, he added.

“I am extremely happy to note that the High Court of Gujarat has taken up this initiative to live stream court proceedings and have formalized the same through the institution of rules. The Committee under the leadership of Justice (DY) Chandrachud is playing a wonderful role in bringing all the courts on board to unleash the transparency revolution with the aid of modern technology,” said Justice Ramana.

“As I have stated earlier while launching the access of online proceedings of the Supreme Court to the media, we are keen to start live proceedings for at least some courts in the apex court. We are working out the logistics and taking the consensus of the full court. With the aid of modern technology, we will be introduce this live streaming feature in a cost-effective manner, without imposing much of a burden on the exchequer,” he added. Chief Justice of Gujarat High Court Vikram Nath, Chairman of Live Streaming Rules Committee and Gujarat High Court Judge Justice J.B. Pardiwala, besides Judges of the Gujarat High Court, were present on the virtual occasion.

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