SC does not agree live streaming could foment fake news

SC does not agree live streaming could foment fake news

The Supreme Court on Friday disagreed with a contention that live streaming of court proceedings could be abused for creating fake news in  sensitive cases such as Ayodhya dispute, reservation for SC/STs and the like.

“We understand the danger of technology but we have to keep pace with it. We intend to implement the concept of open court. People would not have to crowd the courts if there is live streaming,” a bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud said.

The top court was responding to apprehension expressed by advocate Virag Gupta, that in the age of fake news, anyone could use a part or clip of the court proceedings and misuse it for creating opinions against particular judges, who make adverse remarks during the hearing of PILs and other important matters.

Justice Chandrachud, speaking on behalf of the bench, said, “We often find in lunch breaks that so many people have live tweeted the proceedings and so many other websites are running news based on the proceedings.”

The court said the problem would be compounded without live streaming. “At least there would be a record of who said what during the proceedings,” the bench said.

'Let's pilot it'

“We don't perceive any difficulty in live streaming. Let us first start with it and see how it goes. We are just on a pilot project. We are not ruling out anything and will improve with time. We cannot have everything together,” the bench observed, reserving its judgement on PILs filed by senior advocate Indira Jaising, law student Swapnil Tripathi and others.

Attorney General K K Venugopal said live streaming can be introduced as a pilot project in the Chief Justice of India's court in matters of constitutional importance and its success would determine its extension to other courts.

He said that live streaming should be delayed by 70 seconds to allow the judges to mute the sound when a lawyer misbehaves or in sensitive matters involving  individual privacy or national security.

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