In A First, Supreme Court Will Live-Stream Future Proceedings

In A First, Supreme Court Will Live-Stream Future Proceedings

In a hearing on Monday, 9th July 2018, the Supreme Court, in response to a petition filed by lawyer and human rights advocate Indira Jaising declared that it was ready to live-stream its proceedings.

Reportedly, the petition called for live-streaming of Supreme Court hearings “to further the principle of access to courts, and particularly in the advancement of the right to information, which is a significant part of freedom of speech and expression guaranteed under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution of India.”

The petition was originally filed in early 2018, with the first hearing on the matter taking place in January. At the initial hearing, a Bench of three judges, led by Chief Justice India Dipak Mishra, requested the Attorney-General K.K. Venugopal’s opinion on the matter. According to a report in The Hindu, the Bench and Attorney General said live streaming would be a suitable option for the Supreme Court as it “is only an extension of the ‘open court’ system.” They further suggested that a separate TV channel could be set up to watch Supreme Court proceedings.

In a petition, Jaising says that “live streaming Supreme Court hearings will help increase awareness and bring transparency in the decision-making process. Ordinary Indians will be able to see and understand how decisions are made. It will inspire confidence in the judiciary.”

She hopes that it would encourage more public interest and allow for a better understanding of the law. Attorney-General K. K. Venugopal agreed and stated that live streaming would promote better conduct among lawyers in court.

The Supreme Court’s decision to live-stream its proceedings is in line with the norms of some international courts. The International Court of Justice and the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom both live stream their proceedings in order to maintain accessibility and transparency. The Indian Supreme Court’s move will be along the same lines.

However, The Hindu quoting the Attorney-General reported that “the hearings on matters such as domestic abuse and rape cases should not be live-streamed as that could be a violation of the right to privacy.”

A follow-up hearing has been scheduled for July 23rd, where the court will deliberate on the guidelines for live-streaming proceedings.

Feature Image Courtesy: PakistanNewsViews

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