‘Personal Attacks on Judges Dangerous’: SC Judge Who Heard Nupur Sharma Plea

Judge Pardiwala was part of the Supreme Court bench which came down heavily on Nupur Sharma earlier this week.

2 min read
‘Personal Attacks on Judges Dangerous’: SC Judge Who Heard Nupur Sharma Plea

Justice JB Pardiwala, part of the Supreme Court bench that came down heavily on the suspended Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Nupur Sharma for her remarks against Prophet Muhammad, has said that social media trials are not healthy for rule of law.

"A trial is supposed to be carried out by the courts. Trials by digital media are undue interference for the judiciary. This crosses the Laxman Rekha and is all the more problematic when only half-truth is pursued. Constitutional courts have always graciously accepted informed dissent and constructive criticism," Justice JB Pardiwala said.

"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," he said.

Pardiwala had stirred a lot of conversation on social media after the SC bench made oral comments on Nupur Sharma earlier this week.


What Had the Apex Court Said?

The bench of Justices Surya Kant and JB Pardiwala made the remarks during Sharma's plea to move all the First Information Reports (FIRs) registered against her over the matter to Delhi. Her plea was dismissed by the court.

"The way she has ignited emotions across the country. This lady is singlehandedly responsible for what is happening in the country. We saw the debate on how she was incited... She should apologise to the whole country," Bar and Bench quoted Justice Surya Kant as saying.

Meanwhile, Justice Pardiwala noted:

"Social and digital media has primarily resorted to expressing personalised opinions more against the judges, rather than a constructive critical appraisal of their judgments. This is what is harming the judicial institution and lowering its dignity."

Pardiwala made these remarks at a virtual event titled "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.

Pardiwala called for the Parliament to look into the issue of regulation of social and digital media especially in the case of sub-judice trials in sensitive cases.

"The remedy of judgments does not lie with social media but with higher courts in the hierarchy. 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 said.

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