Mains Paper 2: Polity | Structure, organization & functioning of the Executive & the Judiciary
From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:
Prelims level: Particulars of the Judgment
Mains level: Need for propagating exact hearings of the judiciary to enhance understanding of a particular Judgment involving Public Interest.
- Ushering in more transparency in the judiciary’s work, the Supreme Court gave its nod to live-streaming of court proceedings.
- The court held agreement with the recommendations submitted by Attorney General K K Venugopal regarding live-streaming.
- The judgment pointed out that the Supreme Court Rules, 2013, will have to suitably amended to provide for the regulatory framework to incorporate the changes.
Importance of the ruling
- Although courts in India are ordinarily open to all members of the public, sometimes they are denied the opportunity to witness the proceedings due to logistical issues and infrastructure restrictions.
- By providing ‘virtual’ access of live court proceedings to one and all, it will effectuate the right of access to justice or right to open justice and public trial
- It will also put to affect the right to know the developments of law and including the right of justice at the doorstep of the litigants.
- The court expected that this does not interfere with the administration of justice or the dignity and majesty of the court hearing the matter and/or impinge upon any rights of the litigants or witnesses.
Impact of Broadcasting
- It will reduce the public’s reliance on second-hand narratives to obtain information about important judgments of the court and the course of judicial hearings.
- Society will be able to view court proceedings first-hand and form reasoned and educated opinions about the functioning of courts.
- This will help reduce misinformation and misunderstanding about the judicial process.
Starting on Pilot basis
- As a pilot project, only cases of constitutional and national importance being argued for final hearing before the Constitution Bench are live-streamed initially, the court said.
- For this, permission of the court concerned will have to be sought in writing in advance.
- Consent of parties to the proceedings must be insisted upon, and if there is no unanimity between them, the court concerned can take the appropriate decision in the matter.
- The court concerned will also have the power to revoke permission at any stage of the proceedings.
- There must be a reasonable time-delay (say 10 minutes) between the live court proceedings and the broadcast.
- This is to ensure that any information which ought not to be shown, as directed by the court, can be edited from being broadcast.
- The judgment touched on the placement of cameras in the courtroom and reproduction, re-broadcasting, transmission, publication, re-publication, copying, storage and/or modification of any part(s) of the original broadcast of court proceedings, in any form, physical, digital or otherwise, must be prohibited.
- It will also attract prosecution.