The Supreme Court today came out strongly against repeated attempts and misleading campaign being made to defame the judiciary, saying great damage is being done to democracy.
"There is a misleading campaign going across to defame the judiciary and repeated attempts have been made to spread incorrect information," a bench headed by Chief Justice R M Lodha observed.
The remarks were made while dismissing a PIL seeking to declare the decision of the collegium to recommend the name of Karnataka High Court judge, Justice K L Manjunath as Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court as non-binding.
The PIL filed in the apex court by Ram Shankar had sought that in future all recommendations of the collegium on appointment of judges should be put on the apex court website.
At the outset of the hearing, the bench wanted to know from the petitioner as to who informed him about the name recommended by the collegium.
"Who told you that his (Manjunath) name has been recommended for elevation. Because I am the Chief Justice and I head the collegium, I am not sure and I don't know whether there is any other collegium," the CJI said.
The CJI further said that "the collegium never recommended the name of Manjunath" and there is some misleading campaign going on.
"If there is a campaign to defame judiciary in the eye of public, you are doing a great damage to democracy.
"Don't shake people's confidence in judiciary. For God's sake don't try to defame judiciary," the CJI, who was heading a bench of justices Kurian Joseph and R F Nariman, observed. The CJI said as an institution the collegium had its limitations in selecting persons.
"After all judges too come from the same society. But to carry on a campaign just because of allegations against one or two judges is unfair," he said.
The CJI said he was one of the first products of collegium system and Nariman, who is sitting along with him, is the latest one to be elevated as apex court judge following the collegium system.
"If you say that the system has failed, then its products have also failed. If you say so, we have also failed and everybody has failed," the CJI observed.
"All judges at present are the products of collegium system," the CJI said.
He said the way a concerted campaign is being carried out to bring judiciary to disrepute, a great disservice is being done to the country.