From criticising media to lashing out at political parties: 5 times CJI NV Ramana minced no words

Mohammad Bilal
Mohammad BilalAug 04, 2022 | 16:07

From criticising media to lashing out at political parties: 5 times CJI NV Ramana minced no words

Chief Justice of India N V Ramana speaks during an event organised by Supreme Court Bar Association for celebration of Holi in New Delhi, India on March 15, 2022. Photo: Getty Images

From lashing out at media for misreporting and doing agenda-driven journalism, to reprimanding political parties, Chief Justice of India (CJI) Nuthalapati Venkata Ramana has always spoken his heart out.

Unlike previous CJIs, NV Ramana has been quite blunt. He minced no words when it came to voicing his opinion. 

Here are 5 strong statements made by CJI during his tenure:

1. 'Media running kangaroo courts': In his latest dressing down to the Indian media, CJI Ramana accused it of running ill-informed and agenda-driven debates on issues involving justice, which can affect the health of the democracy. "Of late, we see the media running kangaroo courts, at times on issues even experienced judges find difficult to decide," NV Ramana said at an event in Ranchi on July 24, Indian Express reported. He said that at times there are concerted campaigns in media, particularly on social media, against judges. He also said that media trials these days also affect the fair functioning and independence of judiciary.

2. 'Flawed thinking of political parties': Recently, NV Ramana came down heavily on political parties for expecting the judiciary to deliver as per their expectations. The CJI was speaking at an event in San Francisco for the Association of Indian Americans on on July 1

He said that the party in power believes that every government action is entitled to judicial endorsement, while the opposition parties expect the judiciary to advance their political positions and causes, India Today reported.

 Ramana further said that this flawed thinking flourishes in the absence of proper understanding of the Indian constitution and functioning of the democratic institutions.

Chief Justice of India Justice N V Ramana during a visit at Partition Museum on April 14, 2022 in Amritsar, India. Photo: Getty Images

3. 'Laws passed without detailed deliberations and scrutiny': At an event in Jaipur on July 17, CJI Ramana said that the quality of legislative performance is on a decline in the country. "Sadly, the country is witnessing a decline in the quality of legislative performance and laws are being passed without detailed deliberations and scrutiny," he said.

He also said that there there used to be a mutual respect between the government and the opposition, which is lacking today. "Unfortunately, the space for opposition is diminishing" Ramana said.

4. 'Judges appointing judges a myth': Last year in December, at an event in Andhra Pradesh, CJI Ramana said that the notion that judges are themselves appointing judges is a myth because judiciary is just one of the many players involved in the process of selecting judicial officers. He was delivering the fifth Sri Lavu Venkatewarlu Endowment Lecture on "Indian Judiciary - Challenges of future" at Siddhartha Law College in Vijayawada.

"It is now fashionable to reiterate phrases such as 'judges are themselves appointing judges'. I consider this to be one of the widely propagated myths. The fact is judiciary is one of the many players involved in the process," The Print reported him as saying.

5. 'Mixing news with views a dangerous cocktail': In December 2021, CJI Ramana had said that "nothing can be more lethal to democracy than the deadly combination of confrontational polity and competitive journalism", The Print reported. Ramana was speaking at the 10th RedInk Awards for Excellence in Journalism, organised by the Mumbai Press Club.

Ramana said that a fearless media is essential for healthy functioning of democracy.

NV Ramana became the CJI on April 24, 2021 and will demit his office on August 26. Ramana has recommended Justice UU Lalit's name as his successor to the Ministry of Law and Justice.

Last updated: August 04, 2022 | 16:08
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