CJI expresses concern over 'media trial'

Altamas Kabir

Chief Justice of India Altamas Kabir today expressed grave concern over growing practice of "media trial" and said it could prejudice against the accused.

"(Media trial) it is a matter of grave concern. This should not happen," Kabir told reporters on the sidelines of East Zone Regional Judicial Conference on 'Administration of Criminal Justice: Issues and Challenges' here.

"It (media trial) can prejudice against an accused in a case," he said.

"The issue should be left to the courts to decide," the CJI added.

In reply to a question on reducing the age of juvenile from exisiting 18 years to 16, the demand for which came from different corners in view of involvement of a juvenile in Delhi gangarape case, Kabir said, "It can be only done by Parliament and nobody else can do it."

On the issue of witness protection, the CJI said there should be proper protection for witnesses.

"Witness protection should be there," he said.

Asked if he was satisfied with the level of witness protection now, Kabir said it should be more developed.

Earlier, addressing the conference, Kabir said the concept of witness protection in the country was almost not available.

"There is not even proper sitting arrangement for witness in courts...we are not providing even minimum facilities to witnesses," he said.

The three-day conference organised by Patna High Court Bihar Judicial Academy and National Judicial Academy was inaugurated here yesterday.

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