JUDICIARY AND VISUAL MEDIA
A healthy and independent press is considered as one of the pillars of a successful state every citizen has right to have access to basic information regarding the world they live in and their state in particular. No state is immune to criticisms by the opposition party but in a democratic country like India the functioning of the state is only complete when the people have a chance to express their opinions and suggestions regarding the actions of the state. An active press is a tool to people not only for information but also as an agent of their opinions.
Judiciary is also said to be another important pillar of a state, if any right of an Individual has been infringed judiciary is bound to restore it. Media has a limit while publishing the matters pertaining to matters of the court. Nowadays, visual media gives importance to engaging a news rather than delivering it. Debates, discussions and talk shows are often conducted on the basis of an ongoing case which sometimes curtails the independent nature of the judiciary.
It’s true that judiciary is not above criticisms but its also important to note that these opinions should be genuine and not aimed to disrupt the smooth trial of the case. Popular cases often tend to attract public attention and in order to keep them engaged news channels exaggerates whatever little information they get their hands on, which results in false information.
Kerala high court while addressing a sexual assault case of an actress stated about the media that “The case has generated a lot of media attention. Mainstream television media and social media have commented upon the way this court went upon its business in handling this case. Observations made in court during the course of hearing has been dissected and made subject matter of intense discussion. The existence of a vibrant, independent and free press is no doubt essential to democracy. The constitutional courts in this country have been zealous to protect the freedom of speech and expression but this cannot be a license for persons armed with half-baked facts with little or no knowledge of how the judiciary functions and little or no knowledge of the fundamental legal principles that govern it, abuse the justice delivery system”
In this covid era, court proceedings are often held in virtual platforms where general publics have access to the proceedings and will be able to express their views which may contradict the judgement. They can even sabotage the case.
Judiciary possesses an independent and somewhat private nature to boost the smooth functioning of the courts. Its true that media play a major role in democratic setup of a county but not to the extent where it interrupts the matters of judiciary. Increase in the number of news channels and social media platforms results in competition among them and eventually they will lose their credibility and might broadcast cooked up stories to increase rating and would even make reality shows about it.