Public Has Right To Know; Supreme Court To Live Stream Court Proceedings
In a landmark judgement, the Supreme Court of India allowed the live streaming of court proceedings. The Bench observed that live streaming would ensure judicial accountability and add transparency. The Bench added that relevant rules would be added to Article 145 of the Constitution.
“Sunlight is the best disinfectant,” the bench said while allowing live streaming of court proceedings, reported Live Law. A bench comprising of Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, Justice AM Khanwilkarand and Justice DY Chandrachud passed the judgement. On August 24, the Supreme Court had said that the issue was “need of the hour”.
The fight for transparency
In March 2018, Senior Advocate, Ms Indira Jaising, has asked the Supreme Court to video record or live stream cases of only national importance or those that impact the public at large. Apart from making the courts more accessible, archiving the rich debate, and arguments placed by the lawyers would also be of great value as an educational resource.
To increase accessibility to courts and enhance transparency of judiciary, many countries all across the world have permitted variants of recording of proceedings of their courtrooms. Whilst some countries permit live streaming, the others have agreed upon video recording that is published in a few days.
There are also differences in terms of forums from which such recordings are permissible; for example, countries such as the United Kingdom only have live streaming from their Supreme Court, whereas Canada is now agreeing to live stream proceedings from its trial courts as well.
She wrote: “The law and judicial processes play a huge role in all our lives. It governs our behaviour, it protects our rights and property. I am a lawyer and I strongly believe that all Indians should be able to see and understand how the Supreme Court of India functions…When people understand how the judiciary functions it gives them more power, it gives them the tools to protect their rights, it gives them more respect and confidence in the judiciary.”