New Delhi, Feb 22 (IANS) Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Saturday expressed concern over a “sinister campaign” on social media attempting to influence the judiciary.
Speaking at the inaugural session of the International Judicial Conference, Prasad said, “In a sinister trend, some people have started campaigning on social media on certain issues,” adding this section is trying to influence the judiciary, especially attempting to establish what kind of judgement should be on sensitive issues.
Prasad said this is a serious concern as the judiciary is independent. “They campaign in social media… on what kind of judgement they expect”, he added.
The Law Minister refrained from naming the protests or campaign against the Citizenship Amendment Act, especially the Shaheen Bagh protest which has been going on for more than two months.
“I am a great supporter of social media and freedom, I know it is empowering. But, judges should be left completely independent to deliver judgement. Some people start campaigning as to what kind of judgement they expect, and if judgement is not in accordance with that, then they unleash forces of criticism”, said Prasad.
The Law Minister also said that the right to privacy is very important and that it must be protected as it flows from Article 21 — the right to life and right to live with dignity.
“But, terrorists and the corrupt cannot claim right to privacy”, said Prasad.
He said the right to privacy has acquired a critical proportion in the wake of digital landscape expanding globally. He emphasized that the internet is one of the greatest innovations of humankind, and attempts to abuse it cannot be allowed.
“We have given constitutional right to privacy… We should not allow anybody to kill this innovation (internet)…Terrorists should not be allowed to abuse the internet”, he added.
Prasad also praised the recent Supreme Court judgment giving women officers in the Army the right to command, and termed it a great initiative towards gender empowerment.