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Judges are becoming victims of juicy gossip and slanderous social media posts, says Justice N.V. Ramana

Supreme Court Judge Justice N.V. Ramana. File Photo.  

Supreme Court judge, Justice N.V. Ramana, said judges are becoming victims of juicy gossip and slanderous social media posts.

“As judges are self-restrained from speaking out in their own defence, they are now being construed as soft targets for criticism. This issue is further complicated by the proliferation of social media and technology, wherein judges are becoming victims of juicy gossip and slanderous social media posts,” Justice Ramana, who is the judge number two in the Supreme Court and in line to be the next Chief Justice as per the seniority criterion, said.

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Justice Ramana was speaking at the virtual launch of a book “Judiciary, Judges and the Administration of Justice” authored by former Supreme Court judge, Justice R. Banumathi, on Saturday. The book encapsulates Justice Banumathi’s experience of over three decades in the judiciary and her remarkable journey from the subordinate judicial services in Tamil Nadu to the Supreme Court.

Referring to how Justice Banumathi worked tirelessly as a judge, Justice Ramana pointed out that there is a misunderstanding that judges enjoy a luxurious lifestyle in ivory towers.

“The life of a judge is no bed of roses... The best judge of the same are the family members, who are usually torn between restraints and relationships. Judges have to balance their social life in order to be independent. It is completely upon the judge to maintain such self-imposed restrictions,” Justice Ramana said in his key note speech.

The judge quoted the words of Justice Aharon Barak, former Chief Justice of Supreme Court of Israel, who observed that a “crucial condition for judicial independence is the personal independence of the judge”.

In his presidential address at the function, Chief Justice Sharad A. Bobde announced an initiative by the Supreme Court to address mental health issues caused primarily by the stress of the pandemic.

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The Chief Justice said provisions have been made and will be announced shortly by the Secretary General, to provide professional mental health advice. The CJI said the fall-out of the pandemic includes a manifestation of depressive tendencies and unnecessary aggression.

The Chief Justice predicted a flood of cases in the apex court and a colossal increase in pendency after the virus makes its exit.

“I don’t see any way out of it [pendency]. We have to find a way through it,” the CJI said. The top judge emphasised on the need to resolve disputes through mediation.

In his speech, Justice D.Y. Chandrachud referred to a portion of Justice Banumathi’s book which said judges need to be judges 24X7 and 365 days.

“Judges also remain judges even after they retire. Justice Banumathi has shown great dignity after retirement,” Justice Chandrachud said.

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Printable version | Nov 24, 2020 12:55:30 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/judges-are-becoming-victims-of-juicy-gossip-and-slanderous-social-media-posts/article32588186.ece

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