SC to hear plea for adhering to live streaming schedule

SC to hear plea for adhering to live streaming schedule

Representative image. (Reuters Photo)

The Supreme Court on Tuesday expressed its readiness to consider a plea to adhere to the schedule given in 2018 for live streaming of its proceedings.

Senior advocate Indira Jaising asked a bench presided over by Chief Justice S A Bobde to follow the schedule given in the September 26, 2018, judgement, for the live streaming of court proceedings in important Constitutional matters. The bench, also comprising Justices B R Gavai and Surya Kant, agreed to fix the application filed in this regard by her for consideration, after two weeks.

In a major step towards transparency, the top court had allowed live-streaming of court proceedings of cases of constitutional and national importance, saying the openness was like "sunlight" which is the "best disinfectant".

The court had then passed its judgement on a Law student, Swapnil Tripathi, and others, saying live streaming of the court proceedings will effectuate people's right to know, reduce reliance on second-hand narrative, serve educational purposes, enhance Rule of Law and legal understanding, remove physical barriers and enhance accountability of judicial institutions.

To begin with, only a specified category of cases or cases of constitutional and national importance being argued for final hearing before the Constitution Bench would be live-streamed as a pilot project, it had said.

For live-streaming, the permission of the concerned court will have to be sought in writing, in advance, in conformity with the prescribed procedure.

The concerned court would retain its power to revoke the permission at any stage of the proceedings suo motu (on its own) or on an application filed by any party to the proceeding, if the situation so warrants.

The top court had said, "There must be a reasonable time-delay (say ten minutes) between the live court proceedings and the broadcast, in order to ensure that any information which ought not to be shown, as directed by the court, can be edited from being broadcast".

It said that till a full-fledged module and mechanism for live streaming of the court proceedings of the apex court over the internet is evolved, the first phase of live streaming would start from designated areas in the apex court.

The court listed the designated areas as a dedicated media room for litigants, interns and advocates, having special provisions to accommodate differently-abled people.

Other designated areas include the Supreme Court Bar Association room, the Supreme Court Advocates-on-Record Association room, official chambers of the Attorney General, Solicitor General and Additional Solicitor Generals, advocate chambers and the Press Reporters room.

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