Former Supreme Court judge BN Srikrishna on Friday said that democracy suffers if the independence of judges and journalists falters, PTI reported.

“Two professions have to be necessarily independent, a judge and a journalist,” Justice Srikrishna said. “A journalist who loses his independence is as bad as a judge who has lost his independence.”

He made the remarks at the annual RedInk Awards for Excellence in Journalism, instituted by the Mumbai Press Club.

At Friday’s event, Justice Srikrishna noted that the press is the fourth estate in a democracy and said that journalism is a profession where honesty is really the best policy.

“We all know about the four pillars of democracy: judiciary, legislature executive and the press or the fourth estate,” he said, according to PTI. “If the first three cosy up, it is the duty of the fourth estate to take them to the task.”

The former Supreme Court judge had headed the Srikrishna Commission that investigated the Mumbai riots of 1992-’93.

At this year’s RedInk awards for excellence, the Press Club’s ‘Journalist of the Year’ award for 2021 was given to the National Editor of Dainik Bhaskar, Om Gaur, for the newspaper’s coverage of deaths due to Covid-19 in Uttar Pradesh in 2021.

The RedInk Award for lifetime achievement was conferred to journalist TJS George.