In a historic move today, the Supreme Court for the first time, live streamed the hearing of the Constitutional Benches. Three Constitution benches of the Supreme Court are currently hearing urgent cases involving constitutional legislation.
On Monday, a bench headed by Chief Justice Uday Umesh Lalit said the top court will soon have its own “platform” to live-stream its proceedings instead of having to use the YouTube.
On September 27, 2018, the then Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra had delivered the landmark judgement on the live telecast or webcast of important proceedings in matters of constitutional importance, saying “sunlight is the best disinfectant”.
The three constitutional benches live streamed their proceedings.
Earlier Senior Advocate Indira Jaising had written a letter addressed to the Chief Justice of India U. U. Lalit and his companion judges pleading for the live streaming of the proceedings before the Constitution Benches in the Supreme Court.
The letter added that she had also filed a writ petition in the court titled, “Indira Jaising versus Secretary General of Supreme Court and others”, asking that live streaming be recognized as a component of every citizen’s right to access to justice and freedom of information.
It was the Swapnil Tripathi vs Supreme Court of India judgement on 26 September 2018, which paved the way for live streaming of the court hearings except for sensitive matters which involved sexual offenses and matrimonial disputes.
The judgement was delivered by a three-judge bench which consisted of the then Chief Justice of India Deepak Mishra, Justice D.Y. Chanrachud, and Justice Khanwilkar.
The first and only time the Apex Court witnessed live streaming was on the last working day of former Chief Justice of India Justice N V Ramana when the proceedings of the ceremonial bench were live streamed to the public. It was a ceremonial proceeding as Justice Ramana was to demit office that day.