Supreme Court Justice DY Chandrachud today said that one must strive to ensure a press free of the influence of any kind- political or economic that provides information in an unbiased manner. Justice Chandrachud was speaking on the topic of ‘Truth to Power: Citizens and the Law’ during the 6th Chief Justice MC Chagla Memorial Lecture.
“We must strive to ensure that we have a press free of influence of any kind- political or economic which will provide us information in an unbiased manner…As citizens of a democracy, we need to commit ourselves to the search for truth as a key aspiration of our society,” Bar and Bench quoted Justice Chandrachud as saying.
Justice Chandrachud also noted that the phenomenon of fake news is on the rise and cited the example of the World Health Organisation terming the Covid-19 pandemic also as an ‘infodemic’. “It is often noted that even on the internet, the largest portion of the blame is often laid on the largest corporations like Facebook and Twitter. Part of the problem is that these platforms allow users to create their own networks and communities, it also leads to homogeneity between those networks, creating an echo chamber,” said Justice Chandrachud.
He said that the truth became the belief and opinion of upper-caste men after independence. He said that the opinions of women, Dalits and other marginalised communities are slowly being regarded as truths with progress in society and the annihilation of the notions like patriarchy and caste supremacy. “As responsible citizens, we should put these truth providers through intense scrutiny and questioning to convince ourselves of the veracity of the claims made by them. It is equally important for those making truth claims to be transparent,” said Justice Chandrachud.
Justice Chandrachud also said that truth is important in modern democracies. “…any decision must be backed by adequate reason and because a reason based on falsehood, would be no reason at all,” said Justice Chandrachud adding that the motto of our nation has been Satyameva Jayate.