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Courts are establishments of governance, have to be open to criticism, says Harish Salve – India News , Firstpost

Salve made the remarks whereas addressing the 16th Justice PD Desai Memorial Lecture on ‘Criticism of judiciary, contempt jurisdiction and its use within the age of social media’

File picture of senior Supreme Court lawyer Harish Salve. ANI

Ahmedabad: Senior Supreme Court lawyer Harish Salve has stated courts have to be open to public scrutiny and criticism as “institutions of governance”.

Addressing a lecture organised in Ahmedabad via video-conference on Saturday, Salve stated criticism of judges, judicial overreach and the style of functioning just isn’t scandalising courts, and the language wherein such criticism is addressed needs to be handled with a smile.

“We today have accepted that judges, or rather courts, and especially constitutional courts, have become institutions of governance. As an institution of governance it must be open to public scrutiny and public criticism,” he stated.

“We have always accepted that the decisions of courts can be criticised, including in language which may be impolite. So the decisions can be criticised. Can we criticise the decision-making process? Why not?” Salve stated.

He was addressing the 16th Justice P D Desai Memorial Lecture on ‘Criticism of judiciary, contempt jurisdiction and its use within the age of social media’.

“Governance has to be under the sharp blaze of sunlight…in fact, I think a time may come when the Supreme Court may seriously consider a very large number of provisions of the Official Secrets Act, how far do they square with democracy,” he stated.

Most of them have fallen into disuse, stated Salve, who was final yr appointed the Queens Counsel for the courts of England and Wales.

To say an establishment has misplaced its independence, to say that an establishment is appearing on the behest of somebody, to allege corruption–that, whether it is established to be unfaithful, is clearly undermining public religion, Salve added.

“This residue of energy to take care of those that are able to influencing public opinion…you might be in public life, influencer.

“Those are cases where courts must retain with itself this slender jurisdiction of addressing any rupture in public faith which may be caused,” he stated.

Salve additional stated “if we do need the principles of contempt, where do we draw the lines?”

The strains have to be drawn in a approach that the general system of governance–the establishments and the criticism of the institutions–helps everyone march ahead on this march of democracy.

“There is one area where I think judges need to be protected. And that area is casting aspersions on an institution in consistent with its character as an independent institution,” the previous solicitor basic of India stated.

He stated courts needn’t pay heed to tweets by those that don’t have anything higher to do however to take a seat with a cell phone of their fingers and cross judgments, particularly on issues which they don’t perceive.

At the identical time, criticism by a politician or those that can affect public opinion raises a distinct concern, he stated.

These are the instances “where the courts must retain with itself this slender jurisdiction of addressing any rupture in public faith which may be caused,” he stated.

He additionally stated the Bar should act towards judges and courts being criticised, and should take care of ill-informed criticism as part of the system

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