SC Pushes for Live-Streaming Of Top Court Proceedings as it is “Need Of The Hour”

As justice becomes conceived less as an act of state authority and more as a public service, so the demands for accountability for the system grow” says the legal scholar John Bell.

The live streaming of Supreme Court of India Proceedings in matters of national importance could certainly be effected in the near future with the Top Court giving a green signal to the proposal and asking the Attorney General Mr. K.K. Venugopal to frame guidelines in this regard. The Attorney General is to make his next submissions on the issue on 23rd July 2018 which is the next date for hearing of the matter.

A three judge Bench of the Apex Court comprising of the Hon’ble Chief Justice Dipak Misra along with Justices A.M. Khanwilkar and D.Y. Chandrachud remarked the said move as “need of the hour” in the present circumstances and gave an indication that the pilot project would be initiated from the Top Court itself.

Although there is a provision for installation of CCTV Cameras in the court complex, the world has a very restricted access to the Supreme Court Proceedings. Reliance is placed mostly on second hand knowledge in this regard making most of us prey to “authority worship” where there is a blind acceptance of ‘facts‘ as narrated by others paving way for ill-informed opinions and baseless rumors.

Technology has been a game changer in India pushing for transparency and answerability to the citizenry. Live-streaming for both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha proceedings is in place since 2004. All State Assembly Proceedings are similarly live-streamed in India.

A writ petition was filed pushing for live-streaming and videography in the Supreme Court by Senior Advocate Indira Jaising emphasizing the cardinal principle that “Justice should not only be done, but should manifestly and undoubtedly be seen to be done“. The petition was 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.

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It was requested in the petition that after recording of proceedings, the same be uploaded on the YouTube channel of Supreme Court of India.

It is argued that the right to seek, receive information including live streaming of Supreme Court proceedings is a fundamental right available to the citizens under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution Of India that is the Right to Speech and Expression.

The proceedings of Highest courts in various Common Law Jurisdictions like Canada and Australia as well as in international courts like the International Court of Justice are recorded and are available to the general public.

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