SC allows live streaming of court proceedings

The three-judge bench of the Supreme Court allowed live streaming of court proceeding in public interest. It also directed the Centre to make rules for balancing rights of public and protecting dignity of the litigants to be added to Article 145 of the Constitution.

It will encourage the principle of open court, effectuate the public’s rights to know and reduce dependence on second-hand views,” said Justice D.Y. Chandrachud while pronouncing the judgment. The bench also included Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice A.M. Khanwilkar.

The bench quoted, “Sunlight is the best disinfectant”, while passing the judgement. The judgement will push for greater accountability transparency in judicial proceedings. It would also result in increased access to justice. It will also instil confidence in the functioning of the judicial system.

The judgement followed petitions filed by senior advocate Indira Jaising, law student Snehil Tripathi and NGO ‘Centre for Accountability and Systemic Change’ among others. The petitions seeked for streaming of cases specifically the ones of constitutional and national importance having an impact on the public.

Advocate Indira Jaisingh’s petition said that “live streaming and videography of the proceedings of the apex court in matters of great public importance would be in keeping with the principle of open access to justice and would ensure justice is not only done but is seen to be done”.

Calling it “need of the hour”, the SC said the streaming will begin in phases and will start at the SC itself. It asked Attorney General K.K. Venugopal to frame “comprehensive and holistic guidelines” on the issue.  Attorney General K.K. Venugopal suggested that the Centre could set up a television channel for live-streaming of court proceedings along the lines of Rajya Sabha TV.

Abha Boyal

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