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Critique judgments, not judges: CJ Mridul

“The area of dissonance, in my view, is where certain quarters concentrate on issues extraneous to what was before the court. The criticism has to be of the judgment and not the judge, is my belief,” Justice Siddharth Mridul said.

ByIFP Bureau

Updated 15 Jun 2024, 5:49 am

(PHOTO: IFP)
(PHOTO: IFP)

Chief Justice of the High Court of Manipur Justice Siddharth Mridul on Friday emphasised the necessity of fair and just critique of judicial decisions while cautioning against criticism on judges.

He made the statement during an interaction programme with legal correspondences on “Challenges in Legal Reporting and the Role of Media”, organised by the High Court of Manipur in collaboration with the Manipur State Legal Services Authority (MASLSA) at the Judges Lounges of the High Court in Imphal.

“Criticism is always welcome, so long as it is just and fair. We welcome criticism,” the chief justice stated adding, “The area of dissonance, in my view, is where certain quarters concentrate on issues extraneous to what was before the court. The criticism has to be of the judgment and not the judge, is my belief.”

Mridul also stressed the importance of translating legal terms into language comprehensible to the general public.

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“Judgments need to be translated into words which can be understood by laypersons, and that is where the expertise and the experience of legal reporters come into force,” he remarked.

Utkarsh Anand, the legal editor of Hindustan Times, as a resource person, shared his insights on the crucial role of accuracy and knowledge in court reporting.

He highlighted the importance of reporting precisely what the court has ruled or declared without mixing opinions with the court’s rulings.

“When you are covering court, the issue of accuracy becomes very important,” he emphasised adding, “A court reporter will not go beyond what the court has ruled or declared. We’ll keep our reportage confined to what the court has said, exactly what the court has done, why it was done, how it was done and how the court arrived at a decision.”

Highlighting the role of legal reporters in promoting public legal education, he argued that legal reporters have a responsibility to inform the public about their rights and entitlements, as well as the decisions made by the courts that affect them.

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Additionally, Anand stressed the importance of following significant cases from their inception to their conclusion.

“If you don’t follow an important case, a high-profile case, a case which is important for people, a case which is important for the state, then you will lose track of it,” he noted.

The interaction programme marked as an initial step towards improving the relationship between the judiciary and the media by ways of introduction accreditation for legal reporters in the high court, which will facilitate the journalists to easily access information from the court.

According to Ojesh Mutum, the registrar general of the High Court, the court is working on introducing its orders in Meetei Mayek and Bengali script in consulting with experts to ensure that the orders are easily understood by the public.











 

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manipur high courtmanipur chief justiceJustice Siddharth Mridullegal reporting

IFP Bureau

IFP Bureau

IMPHAL, Manipur

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