SC to live stream Constitution bench proceedings from today
Cases likely to be live-streamed include challenges to EWS quota law, religious practice of excommunication in Dawoodi Bohra community, SC’s power to dissolve marriages on the ground of irretrievable breakdown to name a few
Starting today, all constitution bench hearings before the Supreme Court will be live-streamed.
A full court, comprising all the judges of the top court, deliberated upon the matter on 20 September and took a decision to live-stream constitutional bench proceedings from this week.
The full court meeting was presided over by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Uday Umesh Lalit wherein all the judges were unanimous that live-streaming, on a regular basis, should commence with broadcasting constitutional cases.
The constitutional bench cases which are likely to be live-streamed include challenges to the EWS quota law, religious practice of excommunication in the Dawoodi Bohra community, Supreme Court's power to dissolve marriages on the ground of irretrievable breakdown and the Centre's petition on enhanced compensation for victims of 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy.
Two weeks back, senior advocate Indira Jaising had written to the CJI and his companion judges requesting the Supreme Court to begin live streaming of proceedings of matters of public and constitutional importance. She was one of the petitioners in 2018 requesting the declaration of live-streaming as part of the right to freedom of information and the right of access to justice for every citizen.
It was in August last week when the Supreme Court had telecast its first proceedings, more than three years after a Supreme Court ruling recommended live-streaming its hearings. The move was, however, confined to the proceedings of a ceremonial bench that had to bid adieu to then CJI NV Ramana.
By a judgment in September 2018, the Supreme Court had declared live telecast of court proceedings part of the right to access justice under Article 21 of the Constitution.
Subsequently, Supreme Court's e-Committee, headed by Justice Dhananjaya Y Chandrachud, came out with model guidelines to regulate live-streaming of court proceedings in India.
Currently, six high courts in the country, namely Gujarat, Orissa, Karnataka, Jharkhand, Patna, and Madhya Pradesh, live-stream their proceedings through their own channels on YouTube.
The Supreme Court's e-Committee has been working on a proposal to launch an exclusive platform for live-streaming court proceedings, HT has learnt.
The proposition to have an exclusive platform to live-stream apex court proceedings formed part of the third phase of the e-courts project, which is an ambitious initiative to implement the use of information and technology in India's judiciary.