The Supreme Court on Friday reserved its verdict on petitions seeking video recording and live streaming of court proceedings, PTI reported. During the hearing, Attorney General KK Venugopal presented the Centre’s recommended guidelines for the purpose, as the court had asked him to do earlier.
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”, Live Law reported. 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 Centre also suggested prohibiting the broadcast of proceedings of matrimonial cases, cases involving juveniles and matters of national security, sexual assault or rape. Cases where publicity would harm the process of justice must also not be broadcast, according to the recommendations.
Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud agreed that the practice would help implement the concept of open courts and this would help reduce the crowd at courts. This may also be of use for academic purposes, the court 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 had also filed a plea demanding live streaming of hearings in the top court and increased courtroom access to legal interns.