Reporting public views on corruption in judiciary not contempt: Supreme Court

By: | Updated: February 22, 2017 1:50 PM

The Supreme Court has observed that the report on public views relating to corruption in judiciary may not invite action on contempt of court action and such surveys actually gave chance to address the disease in the system

The apex court was answering to a submission by the counsel for Jammu and Kashmir government. (PTI)

The Supreme Court has observed that the report on public views relating to corruption in judiciary may not invite action on contempt of court action and such surveys actually gave chance to address the disease in the system, a report by ‘The Indian Express’has said. A bench, which was led by Chief Justice of India J S Khehar said that the contempt law would not encompass any person or organisations which interview people and collect their views on whether judiciary was also affected with corrupt practises like exercising influences and bribing.

“How do you understand society? You raise questions; ask people in the society; record their views and then compile it to see how people think…what is their perception of a particular institution or an issue. Where will research go if this is contempt?” the paper quoted the bench as questioning. It further said that data collection by individuals or organisations will not invite contempt. “Are you saying that if there is a malady, whether it is expediting a case or delaying it, and other such acts, should we close our eyes? If somebody collects data, we think, someone should look at it closely and find ways to remedy the problems,” it added.

The apex court was answering to a submission by the counsel for Jammu and Kashmir government which had sought to defend a show-cause notice issued to Transparency International (India) and Centre for Media Studies (CMS) for coming out with a report on corruption in the state’s subordinate judiciary.

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It was based on a survey of litigants. Most respondents complained of corrupt practices like bribes to delay cases or assign them to other judges, to lose or misplace files, for opposing lawyers to work against the interest of their client, delay in execution of court orders, lack of public access to records of court proceedings and delay in delivery of judgments

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