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Supreme Court Allows Live Streaming Of Court Proceedings, Says It Would Bring Transparency

ANANYA BHATNAGAR | 0
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| September 26 , 2018 , 14:33 IST

The Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled in favour of the live streaming of court proceeding. The court has allowed the live streaming of matters pertaining to the constitutional nature.

A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and comprising of Justice AM Khanwilkar and Justice DY Chandrachud was hearing the matter.

The Bench while pronouncing the verdict, said, “Sunlight is the best disinfectant. Live-streaming of court proceedings will effectuate the “public right to know” and bring in more transparency in judicial proceedings.”

The judgment came in a batch of petitions, one of which was filed by Swapnil Tripathi, and another by Senior Advocate Indira Jaising.

What Had Happened Till Now?

On July 9, the idea of live streaming of court proceedings in all matters, excep in rape cases and matrimonial disputes, had found favour with the bench as well as Attorney General K. K. Venugopal.

 Earlier in August this year, the apex court directed the Centre to frame guidelines regarding the live streaming of the proceedings of the court.

AG Venugopal said, “It would also go a long way in the training of the interns who wish to learn from the highest court of the country and who are the future lawyer. Ultimately, the suggestion is that the proceedings of all courts and not merely the Chief court or the Constitution benches should be shown.”

He further said, “Knowing that the entire country can watch them, there will be fewer interruptions and raised voices on the part of the advocate. It will be a great lesson for them, if we observe the hearings in the British courts, we can see how sober and dignified they are.”

Accessibility Benefits

Attorney General KK Venugopal had said that the live streaming of court proccedings would enable litigants commuting from distant states such as Tamil Nadu and Kerala to conveniently follow the Supreme Court proceedings. The bench will hear the matter next on August 17.

Adjournment Issue

Justice DY Chandrachud said, “It will also check the tendency of advocates to seek adjournments. The litigants will be able to see how many times the advocate requested and for an adjournment and why.”

Commenting further on this, CJI Misra said, “When the counsel seeks an adjournment, it means he is not prepared and this is not admissible”

Transparency & Open Courts

Citing yet another advantage of the live streaming Indira Jaisingh said, “Live streaming would also serve as an official record, in the light of the rising trend of live tweeting which may be inaccurate and misguiding.”

“Our courts anyway have open access, the need for an entry pass is only a minimal security requirement, when we already have open courts and public hearings and live streaming is only an extension of the concept.”