Supreme Court judge DY Chandrachud on Saturday said justice will seem to be done only when judicial proceedings are opened for public viewership.
He said unless judicial proceedings are opened to public, it would not be possible for people to understand the nature of work undertaken by courts.
Justice Chandrachud was speaking at a virtual release event for a book titled My Journey with Law and Justice, authored by Professor Balram K Gupta.
“A judge is to be judged not only by the number of judgments delivered and the disposal rate but also by her conduct within the walls of the Courtroom. When a judge begins to hear a case, she must do so with an open mind, unbridled by her prejudices. Not only is it imperative that justice is done but it should also seem to be done. Justice seems to be done only when judicial proceedings are opened for public viewership. This not only provides legitimacy to the judicial institution but also furthers the democratic principle of accountability,” Justice Chandrachud said.
If judicial proceedings are open to the public, Justice Chandrachud said, it will not only give legitimacy to the judicial institution but also further the democratic principle of accountability.
“While data on disposal rate and judgments is easily available in the public domain, the behaviour of a judge in the courtroom is not easily ascertainable… Unless this important indicator of performance evaluation is publicly available, it would be difficult to evaluate the performance of a judge and would pose challenges to judicial accountability,” the judge said.
He gave the example of the Dalai Lama, who said lack of transparency results in distrust and a deep sense of insecurity.
“Though legal journalism is on the rise and reporting of judicial proceedings has gained traction, it has its limitations.”
This is not the first time Justice Chandrachud has supported opening courtroom proceedings to the public. In October last year, he said live streaming rules had been made so that courts could live telecast its proceedings.
He had also written to the chief justices of high courts to request that by this month, cases must be e-filed in district and high courts