Lawyers are supposed to read Judgement prior to criticising it: Kerala High Court

kerela high court law insider

Nishka Srinivas Veluvali

Published On: February 10, 2022 at 18:26 IST

The Kerala High Court held that it is obligatory for Lawyers to read the Judgement before criticising the same in public domain.

Justice PV Kunhikrishnan held this ruling while Quashing the Plea opposing the Malayalam movie Churuli for its reported use of foul language.

Justive Kunhikrishnan in the Order stated that, Lawyers should show the path to the society about the manner in which a Judgment of a Court is to be dealt with and how a Judgment is to be criticized if it deserves such criticism. They can read the Judgment and criticize the Judgment if they want and of course not the Judges who wrote the Judgment.If the Lawyers started to comment about a Judgment without reading a Judgment, nobody can blame the poor citizens who make comments about Judgment and Judges on social media”.

He further on added that the criticism towards the Judgements start even before the Judgement is completely delivered.

The Court asserted that, “At least hereafter, the Lawyers should take an oath that they will make comments in print media, visual media, and social media about a Judgment of a Court of Law only after reading the Judgment. As I said earlier, the Bench and Bar are two sides of a coin. The Lawyers should be the mouthpiece of the Judiciary. They should protect the interest of the Judiciary. The Judges may come and go. But Judiciary should stand. The Lawyers are part and parcel of the Judiciary. Anyway, I leave it to the conscience of all Lawyers”.

The Court observed that the Malayalam movie received criticism from the crowd who did not even see the movie completely. The behaviour of the “Denizens” on the social media platforms was also brought to the focus of the Court.

The Court in response to this stated that the citizens before criticising a movie or any form of art are supposed to watch the same completely, before exercising their Right to Freedom of Speech and Expression awarded under Article 19(1)(a) of the Indian Constitution.

The Plea filed before the High Court requested the removal of the Malayalam movie “Churuli” directed by Lijo Jose Pellissery, from the OTT platform SonyLiv for the Alleged use of foul and uncivilized language in the movie.

The Court in the previous ruling held that it cannot intervene with the artistic Right of the Director until and unless it violates any Law. It also stated that it would be advantageous if the State Police watch the movie and verify if any violation towards Law is been made.

However, this ruling was misinterpreted by many netizens on the social media platforms.

The State Police although did not find any violation of Law or any Criminal Offence executed in the film.

The Court thus inferred that it did not direct any police teams to find out whether the said Allegations are true or not. It had felt the Decision to the discretion of the Authorities itself. But still the story cooked and displayed on the social media tells a different tale.

Thus, the Court dismissed the Plea as it was vague and according to the Information Technology Rules, 2021 the Petitioner was given an effective alternate remedy to the grievance redressal.

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