The court was hearing a batch of PILs demanding that court proceedings be live-streamed.
Favouring live-streaming of its proceedings, the Supreme Court on Monday asked Attorney General K K Venugopal to submit a holistic report containing guidelines which can be adopted for the same. A bench of Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud said this was the “need of the hour” and there has to be “promptness” in such things. The court was hearing a batch of PILs demanding that court proceedings be live-streamed.
Appearing for the Centre, Venugopal backed the demand for live-streaming, saying it had several benefits. Besides bringing in more transparency, it will benefit litigants and also reduce the rush in court when important matters are heard, he said.
Favouring live-streaming of proceedings of all courts, the A-G submitted that it could first be experimented in the CJI’s court before being taken to other courts after evaluating the pros and cons.
Justice Chandrachud said it will help litigants keep track of what happened to their case in court. “It will also help the client know how many times their lawyer takes adjournments,” he said, adding that he did not mean to be critical of the Bar as he too had come from it.
Venugopal said the lawyers will have to discipline themselves once the live-streaming is in place.
The CJI said there was no reason why proceedings should not be live-streamed when there is a system of open courts in place. Justice Chandrachud added, “…we have formally adopted the open court, by extrapolation, we are only enforcing the system, a virtual open court.”
Venugopal and Justice Chandrachud also said it will help legal education. Petitioner advocate Indira Jaising said there should be guidelines to ensure that the feed is not misused for commercial gains.
Venugopal then pointed out that the feed from the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha is transmitted without advertisements.
The CJI said the government will have to provide the required mechanism. Venugopal said the government will take a policy decision once the court comes out with guidelines. The court will now hear the matter on July 23.