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Personal attacks on judges harm rule of law, says Supreme Court judge who heard Nupur Sharma plea

Justice J.B. Pardiwala. Photo: main.sci.gov.in

Justice J.B. Pardiwala. Photo: main.sci.gov.in

Supreme Court judge Justice J.B. Pardiwala on Sunday criticised the use of social media to launch personal attacks on judges, saying this will evolve into a "dangerous scenario".

Justice Pardiwala was the puisne judge on the Vacation Bench led by Justice Surya Kant, which refused to entertain a plea by former BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma to club multiple FIRs against her for her alleged remarks on air about the Prophet.

The hearing had seen scathing oral remarks from the Bench directed towards Ms. Sharma, even suggesting that she was responsible for the violent incidents and protests which rocked across several States.

However, the Bench's comments had seen a backlash on social media, some directed personally against the judges on the Bench.

"Personal attacks on judges for their judgments 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," Justice Pardiwala said during his address at the Second Justice H.R. Khanna Memorial National Symposium.

The judge said social and digital media was primarily resorted to expressing personalised opinions more against the judges, rather than a constructive critical appraisal of their judgments. He said this tendency was harming the judicial institution and lowering its dignity.

The judge said "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".


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Printable version | Jul 3, 2022 11:26:40 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/justice-pardiwala-who-heard-nupur-sharma-plea-flags-agenda-driven-attacks-on-judges/article65595724.ece