The Chief Justice pointed out that quotes from judges are posted on social media in real time and are constantly being evaluated, leaving a judge silent has dangerous implications for decision-making
Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud – who took over as India’s 50th Chief Justice on November 9 – said on Saturday that social media was one of the biggest challenges for constitutional court judges.
Chief Justice Chandrachud said while speaking about the different types of cases dealt with in the Supreme Court at the 20th edition of the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit in New Delhi, one of the biggest challenges facing judges is expectations.
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Taking to social media, he said: “Everything a judge says during the course of a case hearing is not the final opinion … So there is free-flowing dialogue when a case is being heard. Real-time reports – on quotes from judges – are published on Twitter or Telegram and Instagram and you are continuously rated.”
“When a judge remains silent, it has dangerous implications for decision-making,” the chief justice said.
He highlighted the role of technology, which has “enabled it to replace the model where citizens access courts and allows courts access to litigants.” The technology has helped judges rethink traditional ways of working, he was quoted as saying by the Hindustan Times.
Noting that e-court services are now reaching not only subways but also villages, the Chief Justice said: “We need to redesign, catch up and rethink how we adapt to (the) challenges of our time. We live in a country where access to the internet is not robust.”
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Chief Justice Chandrachud also spoke about the live streaming of High Court and Supreme Court cases. “They create a sense of responsiveness towards citizens. We need to live stream county court proceedings as this is the first interface for citizens. Citizens have the right to know how the judiciary thinks. One of the greatest dangers for institutions in a constitutional democracy is being opaque,” he said.