Supreme Court Directs Centre To Frame Guidelines For Live Streaming Of Court Proceedings

| August 3 , 2018 , 14:22 IST

The Supreme Court on Friday granted a two week period to the central government to frame guidelines regarding the live streaming of the proceedings of the court.

A three judge bench headed by CJI Dipak Misra along with Justice D.Y. Chandrachud and Justice A.M. Khanwilkar was hearing the matter.

The bench was of the opinion that such live streaming would also address the grievance of law interns who are restrained from entering courtrooms on miscellaneous days to prevent a congregation of crowds in the courtrooms.

The bench also asked the parties--including senior advocate Indira Jaising, who has filed the PIL seeking video recording of proceedings in important constitutional matters--to provide their suggestions to AG KK Venugopal.

Jaising in her submissions had said citizens had the right to information and matters of constitutional and national importance could be live-streamed.

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.”