Live-streaming court proceedings
- The Supreme Court (SC) e-Committee has released the ‘Draft Model Rules for Live-Streaming and Recording of Court Proceedings’.
- Recently, the Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana had said that the process to make live stream a reality was actively under consideration.
- The Rules are part of the National Policy and Action Plan for implementation of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the judiciary.
- The Rules would cover live-streaming and recording of proceedings in High Courts, lower courts, and tribunals.
- The rules intend to balance between access to information and concerns of privacy and confidentiality. Following are the recommendations made by the SC e-Committee.
- A 10-minute delay in transmission.
- Exclusion of communally sensitive cases.
- Exclusion of matters that involve sexual offences and gender violence against women.
- Matrimonial matters, cases under the POSCO and under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act would also be exempted from live stream.
- The Bench can exempt any case it considers antithetical to the administration of justice. The reasons must be recorded in writing.
- The final decision as to whether or not to allow the live streaming of the proceedings or any portion thereof will be of the Bench, however, it will be guided by the principle of an open judicial process.
- Personal information such as date of birth, home address, identity card number, bank account information, and the personal information of related parties, such as close relatives, witnesses, and other participants, will be deleted or muted.
- Amidst the national lockdown, the Supreme Court and several other courts have been holding virtual proceedings. Live streaming of court proceedings will help those even in distant places to witness court proceedings.
- It has the potential of throwing up an option to the public to witness proceedings which they otherwise could not have due to logistical issues and infrastructural restrictions.
- The issue of limited media access can also be resolved through live streaming.