“Criticizing judges does not mean contempt of court”: DY Chandrachud

Debjit Mukherjee: Criticizing judges does not mean contempt of court. Chief Justice DY Chandrachud made it clear. In an interview given to a press, he said that the law of contempt of court is not to protect the judges. Rather, for the punishment of those who willfully do not want to obey the court’s verdict.

In that interview, the Chief Justice said that the law of contempt of court is not meant to protect judges from criticism. Criticism of a judge will never amount to contempt of court. The relevant section of the law will not apply. Rather, it will be contempt if someone willfully obstructs the trial or refuses to comply with the court’s rules. But judges are not protected by the contempt clause if they criticize the judgment or the judicial process.

Chief Justice’s clear words, judges must also protect the dignity of the post through their work. Every judge should take pride in their work. India is the largest democracy in the world. And the judiciary has a great role to protect it. The Chief Justice said that it is true that in today’s social media era one has to digest a lot of criticism, which is unwanted.

This comment of the Chief Justice is quite significant. The Calcutta High Court is currently criticizing several judgments of Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay. Many are attacking the judge personally. According to the Chief Justice, Abhijit Gangopadhyay’s criticism is not contempt of court.