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SC to examine plea to live stream its proceedings

New Delhi, Jan 14 (IANS) Will the Supreme Court go live? The apex court on Tuesday expressed its willingness to examine a plea seeking its adherence to the schedule given in 2018 for the live streaming of its proceedings.

Senior advocate Indira Jaising asked a bench headed by Chief Justice S.A. Bobde and comprising Justice B.R. Gavai and Surya Kant, to comply with the schedule given in the September 26, 2018 judgement, to live stream court proceedings, especially in important constitutional matters. The bench agreed to examine this plea and scheduled the matter for consideration after two weeks.

The apex court had allowed the live-streaming of court proceedings connected with matters pertaining to constitutional issues and also issues involving national importance. In a step towards bringing transparency, the court had said the openness was like “sunlight” which is the “best disinfectant”.

The court’s judgement came on a plea by law student, Swapnil Tripathi, and others, saying live streaming of the proceedings will allow people to access first-hand information. It will reduce dependence on second-hand narrative, serve educational purposes, and enhance the Rule of Law and legal understanding. The plea had sought of initiation of a pilot project where a specific category of cases, constitutional and national importance, argued for final hearing before the Constitution Bench.

Former BJP leader and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) ideologue K.N. Govindacharya, in a plea to a bench headed by the then Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, had sought live streaming or audio/video recording of the day-to-day proceedings in the Ayodhya dispute case, but the apex court turned it down saying it was not feasible now.

Govindacharya had also cited the Supreme Court’s September 2018 judgement, saying that despite around a year having gone by, the implementation of the SC ruling in the matter was yet to take place.

The court on Tuesday said: “There must be a reasonable time-delay (say 10 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.”

Upholding a batch of petitions, in 2018, a three-judge bench comprising then Chief Justice Dipak Misra, and Justices A.M. Khanwilkar and D.Y. Chandrachud directed the framing of rules to regulate the live streaming. A pilot project was to start with a telecast of proceedings of the Chief Justice’s Court.

–IANS

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