SC Judge cites Nirbhaya case, says no to media trial

Chennai, Jul 25: Citing pressure on the judiciary during the Nirbhaya rape case, Supreme Court Judge Kurian Joseph today said media trials in pending cases should be avoided and thereby judges saved of the enormous strain created by it.

"Please stop trying (cases) in the media till a case is over. Never try a case in the media, it creates a lot of pressure on judges, they are also human beings," he said addressing a meet held by the Bar Council of India here.

SC judge says no to media trial

Referring to "the amount of pressure that is built," he recalled how a judge who dealt with the case had once told him that "had he not given that punishment, they would have hung him."

The judge had said "If I had not given that punishment they would have hung me, the media had already given their verdict, (like) it is going to be this only," according to Kurian.

He, however, added, "he (the Judge who went into Nirbhaya case) had reasons to give the punishment, not because the media said it, but because he had reasons."

He said that the judge who dealt with the sensational case "was also making a casual remark that had it not been done, the people would have hung him because that was the type of pressure... (hence) never ever resort to media trial, you do it after the judgement is delivered."

He also appealed to the media to "never ever quote or criticise or work upon oral comments of judges in benches... just ignore comments."

"A judge is expected to speak only through his judgement. While performing work as a judge, if he makes a comment in the bench, never ever build upon that," said Kurian.

By following such things, the media will do a "great service to the nation and democracy," he said.

The judge also urged lawyers not to seek adjournment more than once and to look into modes of protest other than strikes as there were judgements against it.

On the duration of judgement, he said, "a judge who hears a case should deliver verdict preferably in a month and in any case in three months."

If a judge has judgements pending for more than three months, work should not be allocated to him, he said.

He appealed to Union Law Minister Sadananda Gowda, who was present, to inspect mofussil courts. Gowda later said he would do so and submit a report to the Judge.


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