Live-streaming to include hearings on socially important issues, says Supreme Court

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New Delhi | Published: August 3, 2018 10:31:52 PM

The Supreme Court on Friday said that the proposed live- streaming of its proceedings will include, besides important matters before constitution bench, socially important issues requiring interpretation of legal provisions.

Supreme Court, Justice Dipak Misra, installation of CCTV, live streaming of socially important issuesThe court did not elaborate when the Attorney General wanted to know what it meant by socially important issues. (PTI)

The Supreme Court on Friday said that the proposed live- streaming of its proceedings will include, besides important matters before constitution bench, socially important issues requiring interpretation of legal provisions. A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud directed Attorney General K.K. Venugopal to prepare holistic guidelines on the issue while considering the ones suggested by the petitioner and the intervenors.

The court did not elaborate when the Attorney General wanted to know what it meant by socially important issues. The AG reiterated that the live-streaming, to begin with, should start with Court Number 1 presided over by the Chief Justice of India. Justice Chandrachud said that the guidelines suggested by Venugopal provide for recording of proceedings, after one of the lawyers sought it.

As another lawyer drew the court’s attention to its direction for the installation of CCTVs and audio recording of proceedings in two trial courts each in all states and Union Territories, Chief Justice Misra said that the “trial court proceedings are different and the Supreme Court proceedings are entirely different.”

The court directed for next hearing in the matter on August 17. The top court had, on February 9, sought Venugopal’s assistance while dealing with three petitions, including those filed by senior counsel Indira Jaising and lawyer Mathews J. Nedumpara. Jaising had pleaded for live-streaming and videotaping of court proceedings in cases of national importance having a bearing on a large section of people.

Jaising had based her PIL on the right to receive information under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution and the principle of open courts and access to justice as protected under Article 21. Pointing to the principle of law that justice should not only be done but also seen to be done, Jaising had contended that the best possible way to achieve this was to live-stream the proceedings in important cases so that arguments of all counsel and interaction between Judges and lawyers during hearings was “recorded accurately and without distortions”.

Meanwhile, when a law intern urged the court for permission to watch court proceedings on Mondays and Fridays, known as miscellaneous matter days in court parlance, the Chief Justice pointed to space constraint and said the court was seized of the matter and will do something.

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