Hight court cases may be streamed live soon; SC panel to frame rules

The committee will submit its report to the Supreme Court’s e-committee, headed by Justice D Y Chandrachud

Supreme Court
Besides seeking protection for the Republic TV media group, Arnab Goswami and its employees, the petition had said that Maharashtra government should be stopped from 'hounding them' and all FIRs lodged against them be either quashed or transferred to the CBI.

A four-judge panel has been set up by the Supreme Court’s e-committee to frame rules for live streaming of hearings of high court and trial court cases.

“The judges will draw inspiration from the practise prevalent in other countries, if there is any, and also study the 2018 verdict in the Swapnil Tripathi case as well as the suggestions that were furnished by the Attorney General in that matter,” a senior court officer familiar with the development told The Print on Tuesday (November 3).

“Although his (AG’s) note was specifically meant for Supreme Court cases, the panel will include points from the comprehensive guidelines he had recommended,” he said.

In August 2018, the Supreme Court had said that live streaming of judicial proceedings in matters of “constitutional importance” can be undertaken and asked the attorney general to frame “holistic” guidelines for its perusal and approval.

Related news: Supreme Court on media reporting – ‘Freedom of speech most abused liberty’

A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra had asked parties, including senior advocate Indira Jaising who had filed a PIL for video-recording of proceedings in matters of national importance, to submit their suggestions to Attorney General K. K. Venugopal.

The panel is likely to submit its report within a week to the e-committee, headed by Justice DY Chandrachud.

Last month, the Chief Justice of India (CJI) S A Bobde had said live streaming will be misused and that he is receiving complaints about the proposal. “In principle, I agree that there should be live streaming but in practice, you must hear me. As CJI, I have to deal with so many complaints over virtual court proceedings.”

In February, the Calcutta High Court became the first to allow live streaming of proceedings in a case seeking entry of children born to Parsi women and non-Parsi men into a fire temple, a Zoroastrian place of worship, in Kolkata.

In April, due to the coronavirus-induced lockdown, the Bombay High Court, for the first time, live streamed case hearings being conducted via video conference to allow public access to the proceedings.

Justice Gautam Patel heard nine matters listed before him and over 450 people, including lawyers, petitioners and government officials, participated in the proceedings. The video conference was held via Zoom app.

Last week, The Gujarat High Court started live streaming of proceedings of its first court on an experimental basis. Anyone willing to view the live proceedings could access the link of the Youtube channel from the homepage of the Gujarat High Court website, Chief Justice Vikram Nath said in an order.

(With inputs from PTI)

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