Panaji (Goa) [India], March 27 (ANI): Chief Justice of India SA Bobde on Saturday invoked poet Rudyard Kipling to advise judges against social media slander.
He was speaking at the inauguration event of a new building for the Goa Bench of the Bombay High Court. Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, who was also present, said "it is not fair" to target judges using social media. Justice Bobde spoke about "vested interests" involved in such campaigns.
Prasad said he was a great supporter of social media and it is empowering. "Social media enables the people of India to ask questions, criticise the PM. That is a part of a healthy democracy. Therefore, we all encourage that. Of late, I am noticing a rather disturbing trend," Prasad said.
The minister said he was a supporter of PILs but there have to be some restraints.
He said some people file a PIL and then start a campaign on social media that only a particular type of judgement is possible in the case.
"And if the judgement does not come in accordance to what they wish or what they perceive to be right, then they start not only criticising judges but also trolling the judges," he said.
"You can always criticise a judgement. That is your right, but if you start campaigning against a particular judge on social media, this is plainly not fair," he added.
Prasad also said that if the judiciary has to work and discharge its duties, it must be left completely free to decide the cases as per the rule of law, the Constitution and their conscience."This kind of 'campaign justice' is plainly not acceptable," Prasad said.
Responding to the comments made by Prasad in his speech, Chief Justice Bobde said: "The administration of justice which Mr Ravi Shankar Prasad said is often tried to be made difficult by some vested interests. But that is something we as judges have got used to."
Justice Bobde recounted Rudyard Kipling's poem 'if', to advise judges against such attacks by stating "'If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster And treat those two impostors just the same;... And--which is more--you'll be a Man, my son!'". (ANI)