New Delhi: A judge who was part of the Supreme Court bench that slammed the BJP’s Nupur Sharma for her comments on Prophet Muhammed, made strong remarks about personal attack on judges for their judgements.
“Personal attacks on judges for their judgements lead to a dangerous scenario,” said Justice JB Pardiwala — who was part of the bench that said the former BJP spokesperson needs to apologise to the whole country — at a function.
“Personal attacks on judges for their judgements lead to a dangerous scenario where the judges have to think about what media thinks instead of what the law really thinks. This harms the rule of law. Social and digital media is primarily resorted to expressing personalised opinions more against the judges, rather than a constructive critical appraisal of their Judgements. This is what is harming the judicial institution and lowering its dignity. The remedy of judgements does not lie with social media but with higher courts in the hierarchy. Judges never speak through their tongue, only through their judgements. In India, which cannot be defined as a completely mature or defined democracy, social media is employed frequently to politicise purely legal and constitutional issues.”
He added that digital and social media needs to be regulated throughout the country to preserve the rule of law under the constitution.
“In the modern day context, trials by digital media are an undue interference in process of justice dispensation and cross that Lakshman Rekha many a times.”
Justice Pardiwala cited the Ayodhya case as an example. He said, “It was a land and title dispute but by the time the final verdict came to be delivered, the issue attained political overtones. It was conveniently forgotten that someday or the other some judge had to decide the contentious civil dispute which was indisputably the oldest litigation pending in the court of the country running into thousands of pages. This is where the heart of any judicial proceeding before the constitutional court may disappear and the judges deciding the dispute may get a bit shaken, which is antithetic to the rule of law. This is not healthy for the rule of law.”
Both Justice Pardiwala and Justice Surya Kant were targeted on social media by users after their oral comments against Nupur Sharma during the hearing of her plea.
Nupur Sharma had gone to the Supreme Court demanding that all the First Information Reports registered against her across the country should be clubbed together and transferred to Delhi.
In her petition, she also said she and her family have been facing security threats and they need protection.
In their observations, the judges had also questioned why Nupur Sharma had not been arrested and held her responsible for “igniting emotions across the country”.