Judges should use utmost discretion while making remarks in courtrooms, President Ram Nath Kovind said on Saturday during Constitution Day celebrations in Delhi.

“Indiscreet remarks, even if made with good intentions, give space for dubious interpretations to run down the judiciary,” Kovind said while addressing Supreme Court judges.

Kovind quoted late United States Supreme Court judge Felix Frankfurter to say that the essential quality of courts is detachment.

“History teaches us that the independence of the judiciary is jeopardised when courts become embroiled in the passions of the day, and assume primary responsibility in choosing between competing political, economic and social pressure,” Kovind quoted Frankfurter as saying.

The president added that India has had judges who were known for their sagacious comments. “I am happy to note that the judiciary has been adhering to those highest standards,” he said.

Kovind said at the event that he was pained to see some disparaging remarks made about the judiciary on social media platforms. “These platforms have worked wonderfully to democratise information, yet they have a dark side,” the president said. “The anonymity granted by them is exploited by some miscreants.”

The president said people see judiciary as the most trusted institution. However, only a small section of the citizens can afford to approach courts, Kovind added. “I wish to see increased access to legal aid and advisory services for all,” he said.

He expressed concern about pending cases in courts. “The issue of pendency has ramifications for economic growth and development too,” the president said. It is high time all stakeholders find a way out by keeping national interest above all. Technology can be a great ally in this process.”