CJI also clarified that sensitive cases like Ayodhya dispute and reservation would not be live streamed.
New Delhi: Observing that live streaming of court proceedings would ensure transparency and bring about an “open court” system, the Supreme Court on Friday reserved its order in the petition seeking a direction in this regard.
A three-judge Bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A.M. Kanwilkar and D.Y. Chandrachud reserved verdict after taking on record the suggestions submitted by the Attorney General K.K. Venugopal, who said live streaming of Court proceedings be started as a pilot project for cases of Constitutional importance in Court No. 1 (CJI’s court).
The petitioner Senior Advocate Indira Jaising wanted a declaration for permitting live streaming of Supreme Court case proceedings of constitutional and national importance having an impact on the public at large and a direction to make available the necessary infrastructure for live streaming and to frame guidelines for the determination of such cases, which are of constitutional and national importance.
At the outset the CJI assured counsel that the option of uploading the cast on You Tube was not being considered. CJI also clarified that sensitive cases like Ayodhya dispute and reservation would not be live streamed. The CJI said “we never said we will save it in You Tube.” “We will save it on our website.” added Justice Chandrachud.
When counsel Virag Gupta, argued that live streaming of court proceedings can add to the problem of fake news and said that persons watching the proceedings on the web cast can circulate statements made by judges without giving context, Justice Chandrachud said that this is an even bigger problem in the absence of live streaming.
Justice Chandrachud said “this problem is worse without live streaming. There are people live tweeting from inside the court and there is no official or authentic record to it. We have an open court system where anybody can come and sit and through this, we will be truly implementing this system for the people outside the court.”
There is a flip side to the technology, but we should also look the positive side.”
CJI Misra observed, “If a judge is making a certain remark, it should be recorded. As of now people outside the court can only read about court proceedings, but with live streaming they can use their eyes and ears.”
Justice Chandrachud added that there are dozens of websites, which give a detailed account of Court proceedings with quotes of what each judge has said. When a lawyer wanted that everything should be live streamed, the Bench said that everything cannot be implemented at once, and that this exercise can start as a pilot project for now.
The AG said to ensure that all persons including litigants, journalists, interns, visitors and lawyers are able to view the live streaming of the proceedings, a media room should be designated in the premises of the court with necessary infrastructural facilities. This will also ensure that courts are decongested. Provisions may also be made available for the benefit of differently abled persons.