Another ground breaking judgment! The Supreme Court has upheld live streaming of court proceedings. While giving the go-ahead for live streaming of court proceedings, Supreme Court has also stated that rules will have to be followed, and that the live streaming of court proceedings will bring accountability into the judicial system. A batch of pleas regarding this had come up before the court, with the key arguments citing that such a step would make justice more accessible and transparent to the common man. It was also put forth that such a move would be beneficial for litigants, law students and the public to watch court proceedings as it happens real-time.
In August, the apex court had reserved its verdict on the same. As per earlier reports, both the Centre and the bench seem to have indicated a favourable stance regarding the same. The general consensus seems to be that the live streaming of court proceedings, except in cases pertaining to matrimonial disputes and rape cases, can be introduced on a pilot basis in the CJI’s court.
Live Streaming of Court Proceedings: How does it help common man?
Representing the Centre, Attorney General K.K. Venugopal had first suggested that this can be introduced as a ‘pilot project’ first in the court of the Chief Justice of India in connection with cases that are of constitutional significance. He also proposed the Central government’s willingness to launch a dedicated TV channel that can live-telecast Supreme Court proceedings. He also stated that a live telecast will keep a tab on lawyers seeking adjournments.
Citing the principle of ‘Open Justice’, a PIL filed by Indira Jaising had also sought for live telecast of Supreme Court proceedings in matters of national importance as such a step can benefit litigants and the public and it can also put an end to errors and misreporting of apex court verdicts. She has also given specific examples of cases that are of “national importance” such as the Aadhaar case as well as as the women’s entry to Sabarimala case. She highlighted that international courts already permit video and audio recordings of court proceedings.
Represented by its lawyer Virag Gupta, the NGO Centre for Accountability and Systemic Change had also sought a direction from the Ministry of Law and the Ministry of Information Technology so that the proceedings of all courts should be video-recorded and these are made available to the public and to the parties.
Other countries such as the UK and South Africa have allowed the live streaming of its apex court proceedings.