The Supreme Court of India witnessed an intriguing set of deliberations while hearing the matter related to live streaming of court proceedings. A bench comprising of Hon’ble Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice A. M. Khanwilkar and Justice D. Y. Chandrachud heard valuable inputs given by Attorney General of India Mr. K. K. Venugopal, Ms. Indira Jaising and various other advocates who contributed too. The next date for further hearing has been set to 23rd July 2018; but the last hearing brought with it numerous important observations like-
- Live streaming will help litigants be aware and updated regarding their case as well as the performance of their lawyers;
- Litigants who live far away from the capital city where the Hon’ble Supreme Court is situated will be spared unnecessary traveling as they will be enable to follow their case via live streaming;
- It will help discipline the advocates appearing before the Hon’ble Court and to avoid raised voices, whereas to develop sober and dignified manner of appearance before the court;
- It will also create a check on the number of adjournments availed by the advocates, as the litigants will be aware about the reasons when and why the adjournments were taken;
- It will also be utilized in handling the unnecessary crowd in the courtrooms consisting of unrelated advocates, litigants and others;
- Live streaming will also be beneficial in training interns across the country who aspire to become future lawyers and can help develop their skills;
- It was also observed that live streaming of constitutional bench will be instrumental in imparting legal education in Law Schools;
- It will also lead to creation of official records;
- It is just an augmentation of the principle of access to justice which is one of the most important in this arena;
With these observations also came certain safeguards that has to be kept in mind like, matters relating to matrimonial disputes, rape cases, security concerns or any matter which is closely knit with privacy of individuals shall be excluded from the purview of live streaming. Caution must be taken with respect to unauthorized reproduction of the content of the court proceedings or making it a source to mint money. Hon’ble Supreme Court requested Ms. Jaising to provide the Attorney General with the guidelines pertaining to live streaming as prepared by her. It was also observed that live streaming shall not be limited to only matters before constitutional bench but it shall be open to all courts. Therefore, highlighting the importance of live streaming as well as being cautious of its exploitations, it was opined by the Attorney General that there can be a separate channel of Supreme Court as that of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.
23rd of July 2018, which is the next date for hearing, might bring forward different perspectives on the subject matter, hence is closely followed by the country as the Apex Court is about to take a revolutionary step.
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