Broadcasting SC proceedings for citizens to watch is a good move, helps judicial transparency
Justice must be seen to be done—it is almost as if the Supreme Court has interpreted this edict literally. Acknowledging a litigant’s “right to know”, the apex court has asked the Centre to prepare a blueprint of the costs, the technology and the parameters within which court proceedings can be aired live. A separate channel for the SC, not unlike Lok Sabha TV and Rajya Sabha TV, is a welcome move. The move opens up the top court to the citizenry, a move in the interest of judicial transparency. Airing the proceedings live will let the public judge if the course of the trial has been fair—of course, this will also need higher levels of legal awareness among the citizens. It will help counter claims of bench fixing, etc, and serve to increase the citizens’ trust in the institution.
This will also force lawyers to conduct their courtroom business as per the Code of Conduct—forceful interventions lead to frequent adjournments that delay the course of justice; judicial pendency can come down if lawyers and judges are aware that each move of theirs is being watched by the commons. Also, stakeholders in a case who are unable to come and watch the proceedings will get some relief as they can stream it on their devices or watch it on their TV. The SC has dealt with the concern of privacy, suggesting that matrimonial matters, family-related matters and matters involving children be kept private. If planned and implemented properly, this move will help establish a transparent judicial system in the country. Given how allegations of judicial corruption and bias have become polarising points within the general populace, it will provide both citizens and the judiciary a basis to rekindle trust.