In a bid to increase transparency in the country’s highest judicial body, senior advocate Indira Jaising moved the Supreme Court on January 18 for live streaming or video recording court proceedings.
An online petition on the same was also launched by Ms Jaising on Change.org (Support live-streaming of proceedings in the Supreme Court of India).
She wrote: “The law and judicial processes play a huge role in all our lives. It governs our behavior, 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.”
The Supreme Court has agreed to hear the petition. A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A.M. Khanwilkar and D.Y. Chandrachud said the matter will be listed in due course of time.
Last month, the apex court asked for the Attorney-General’s opinion on the plea.
Last year, in March, the Supreme Court directed the installation of CCTV cameras at important locations within the court premises in at least two districts in every state and union territory.
Furthermore, it opined that it was desirable for cameras to be installed in all subordinate courts as well.
Proceedings in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha have been telecast and live streamed for over 10 years now, Ms Jaising noted in her online petition. This has brought awareness about the functioning of Parliament, all State Assemblies and our elected representatives.
The higher judiciary all over the world provides means for viewing their courtroom proceedings, which enhances the transparency in its working. Live streaming of cases of national importance would do the same for the Supreme Court of India, Ms Jaising argued.
“If the Supreme Court approves of the prayers in my petition, it will help increase awareness and bring transparency in the decision making process. Ordinary Indians will be able to see and understand how decisions are made. It will inspire confidence in the judiciary. The people of this country, can hear first-hand arguments and concerns raised in the court. The next generation of lawyers and citizens will also gain from the immense educational and archival value of the landmark cases.”
If you want to sign and share Indira Jaising’s petition on Change.org, click here.
To read Ms Jaising’s petition to the Supreme Court, click here.