‘Trial by media is contempt of court’

August 02, 2015 12:00 am | Updated March 29, 2016 12:36 pm IST

Justice Ashok Bhushan, Chief Justice, Kerala High Court, shares a lighter moment with Supreme Court judge Justice Kurian Joseph during the valedictory function of a national seminar organised by the Bar Association of India in Kozhikode on Saturday. R.K.P. Shankardass, president, Bar Association of India, is also seen.– Photo: K. Ragesh

Justice Ashok Bhushan, Chief Justice, Kerala High Court, shares a lighter moment with Supreme Court judge Justice Kurian Joseph during the valedictory function of a national seminar organised by the Bar Association of India in Kozhikode on Saturday. R.K.P. Shankardass, president, Bar Association of India, is also seen.– Photo: K. Ragesh

Justice Kurian Joseph of the Supreme Court of India has said that the trial by the media on pending cases is tantamount to contempt of court.

Media should play a constructive role in the betterment of the legal system, Justice Joseph said while delivering the valedictory address of a national seminar on “Current Issues before the legal profession and the judiciary” organised by the Bar Association of India (BAI) here on Saturday. He also had a word of caution for the judicial officers as well. Judges should not cross the Lakshman Rekha as it would result in disrespect to the Constitution and the judicial system in the country.

Judges should have clarity about their role. Their function is to deliver judgements. They should not take up the job of political executives or the media. Earlier in the day, while inaugurating the seminar, Justice Ashok Bhushan, Chief Justice, Kerala High Court, called for harnessing the potential of technology to improve legal education and legal services in the country.

The absence of skilled and legally trained persons affected legal education. Legal education means not only to make the lawyers capable to meet the requirements of law, but also to provide them adequate knowledge to serve the new needs, Justice Bhushan said. The emerging trends in globalisation and liberalisation provided more professional opportunities to the lawyers. Lawyers could discharge their duties as business advisors, negotiators, mediators and communicators of ideas in the changing era, he said.

He said that judges should be provided with training in intellectual property right, telecom and Information Technology. Lack of infrastructure and high pendency of cases should be addressed. Alternative dispute resolving system like Lok Adalat had played an important role in bringing down the number of pending cases, he added.

BAI president R.K.P. Shankardass; associate president K.N. Bhat, general secretary Rachana Srivastava and executive committee member K.A. Devarajan and Kerala High Court Advocates Association president John Varghese were present.

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