Supreme Court favors live-streaming of proceedings

Jaising had said courts around the world allowed their proceedings to be recorded, though they differed in their ways.

New Delhi: A Supreme Court Bench, led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, on July 9 favored live-streaming of court proceedings.

The Bench asked Attorney General K K Venugopal, who also agreed with the prospects of airing court proceedings for global viewing, to make his submissions on the issue on July 23, the next date of hearing.

In an earlier hearing, the bench, also comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, asked the Attorney General to assist the court on a plea to live-stream Constitution Bench proceedings in nationally important cases such as Aadhaar and decriminalization of gay sex in the Supreme Court.

The petition was filed by senior advocate Indira Jaising in her personal capacity.

Jaising had said courts around the world allowed their proceedings to be recorded, though they differed in their ways.

She had said that some judges in constitutional court in India have historically been reluctant about the idea of recording court proceedings because it would “capture every sentence” in the banter between judges and lawyers which are merely a way to elicit responses and not a sign of how the judge would finally decide the case.

Jaising however said there were different methods to resolve such reluctance and illustrated means adopted by courts globally.

“Some courts allow publication after a gap of 30 minutes, some ban recording of proceedings only in trial courts as that would compromise witnesses, some give edited versions of the proceedings, some record the proceedings but do not air it in public, some give out transcripts of proceedings,” Jaising had explained.

She had said such apprehensions should not create a roadblock in the public’s right to information.

The Supreme Court, in a bid to usher in transparency, had earlier allowed the installation of CCTV video recording with audio in trial courts and tribunals.

Jaising said citizens have the right to information and matters of constitutional and national importance can be live-streamed. If live streaming of top court’s proceedings is not possible, then alternately the video recording should be allowed, she had argued.

“This Writ Petition is filed as Pro Bono for enforcement of public interest, to advance the rule of law and bring accessibility and transparency in the administration of justice,” her plea said.

“The petitioner submits that the live streaming and videography of the proceedings of the Supreme Court in matters of great public importance will be in keeping with the principle of open access to justice and will ensure justice is not only done but it is seen to be done,” Jaising’s petition said.

Source: The Hindu

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