“Justice should be administered in an open court”
Supreme Court: In the matter concerning live streaming of court proceedings, the Attorney General KK Venugopal suggested “Guidelines for Live Streaming of Court proceedings in Supreme Court”.
A writ petition was filed seeking a declaration for permitting live streaming of Supreme Court case proceedings of constitutional and national importance having an impact on the public at large and further to frame guidelines for the determination of such cases which are of national and constitutional importance.
The recommendations placed by AG Venugopal were as follows:
- Live streaming should be introduced as a pilot project in Court No. 1 and only in the Constitution Bench references.
- Media room should be established on the premises of the court in order to ensure that all persons including journalists, interns, visitors, and lawyers have access to live streaming.
- Supreme Court in the future may also provide for transcribing facilities and archive the audio-visual record of the proceedings to make the webcast accessible to litigants and interested persons.
- Recommendations for the safeguarding and limiting of the broadcasting and recording of the proceedings are:
- Court must have the power to limit, temporarily suspend or disallow filming or broadcasting, if such measures are likely to interfere with the rights of the parties to a fair trial and administration of justice.
- Guidelines for the determination of proceedings consisting of constitutional and national importance matters.
- Broadcasting must not be permitted in the cases involving matters such as matrimonial, interests of juveniles, national security, protection of confidential or sensitive information, cases provoking sentiments, etc.
- The footage of live streaming would be restricted for the purpose of news, current affairs, and educational purposes.
- Without the proper and prior authorization of the Supreme Court of India, live streaming should not be reproduced, transmitted, uploaded, posted, modified, published or re-published to the public.
- Unauthorized usage of the live streaming or webcasts will be punishable as an offence under the Indian Copyright Act, 1957 and the Information Technology Act, 2000.
- Courts may also lay down the rules of coverage.
- Case management techniques should also be introduced for a speedy manner of disposal.
- Supreme Court should also lay guidelines for having only two camera angles, one on the judge and the other on the lawyer.
The recommendations were filed by the Attorney General in relation to the petition filed by advocate-activist Indira Jaising. [Indira Jaising v. Supreme Court, WP(C) No. 66 of 2016, dated 24-08-2018]