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SC reserves verdict on live streaming of court proceedings

The top court, said that it aims to implement the concept of open courts which in turn would help to reduce the crowd in the court. It said live streaming may also be a help for academic purposes.

Statesman News Service | New Delhi |

The Supreme Court on Friday reserved its verdict on “video recording and live streaming of court proceedings”. A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud said it would pass appropriate orders after Attorney General K K Venugopal suggested that live streaming of the important cases in the Chief Justice’s court can be started on a pilot basis.

The top court, however, said that it aims to implement the concept of open courts which in turn would help to reduce the crowd in the court. It said live streaming may also be a help for academic purposes.

The apex court had earlier termed the proposal of live streaming of the court proceedings as the “need of the hour”. The Attorney General said the process can be adopted in other courtrooms depending on the success of the pilot project.

Venugopal said it may be “advantageous to build an appropriate infrastructure for live-streaming or audio/video recording of court proceedings to enable the court proceedings to be viewed without the constraints of time or place”.
This would uphold the tradition of “open justice”, he said.

Venugopal reiterated a suggestion he had made in the court in July, that the proceedings of cases heard by the chief justice’s court, in Constitution bench references, can be live-streamed initially on an experimental basis.

A decision on replicating the system in other courtrooms at the Supreme Court may be taken if this project is successful, the recommendations said.
A “media room” with necessary infrastructure in the court premises can help decongest courts, he said.

The court may also issue guidelines to safeguard and limit the broadcasting and recording of proceedings, the recommendations said.

The court was hearing two pleas on the matter. Advocate Indira Jaising had sought video recording of proceedings in important constitutional matters, saying citizens deserve to be updated about matters of constitutional and national importance.

A student of National Law University of Jodhpur, Swapnil Tripathi, had also filed a plea demanding live streaming of hearings in the top court and increased courtroom access to legal interns.