Amid personal criticisms and trolls on social media of the two Supreme Court judges who made oral comments against former BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma and her Islamophobic remarks, one of the judges who was part of the Bench has expressed concern over the use of digital and social media for “expressing personalised opinions” against judges.
Justice J B Pardiwala further called for mandatory regulation of such media to “preserve the rule of law” in the country.
Justice Pardiwala and Justice Surya Kant were the subjects of social media bullying by handles belonging to Hindu nationalists recently in the wake of the sharp criticisms made by the judges against former BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma and her derogatory comments on the prophet Muhammed.
“In India, which cannot be classified as a completely mature or informed democracy, social digital media is employed frequently to politicize purely legal & constitutional issues”, he said on Saturday.
“Social and digital media is nowadays primarily resorted to expressing personalised opinions more against the judges per se rather than a constructive critical appraisal of their judgments. This is what is harming the judicial institution and lowering its dignity,” Pardiwala added.
He was delivering an address on the topic “Vox Populi vs. Rule of Law: Supreme Court of India” in the 2nd Justice HR Khanna Memorial National Symposium, hosted by RMNLU & NLUO with the CAN Foundation.
He went on to say: “Constitutional courts have always graciously accepted informed dissents and constructive criticisms. But their thresholds have always debarred the personalised, agenda-driven attacks on the judges. This is where digital and social media needs to be mandatorily regulated in the country to preserve the rule of law under our Constitution.”
According to Justice J B Pardiwala, “attacks attempted at judges for their judgments lead to a dangerous scenario wherein judges will have to pay greater attention to what the media thinks rather than what the law actually mandates.” “This puts the rule of law on the burner ignoring the sanctity of the respect for the courts.”