A parliamentary panel on Friday recommended live-streaming of court proceedings in cases of national importance and constitutional matters, supporting the notion that such telecasts would go a long way in promoting transparency and openness.
The 103rd report on functioning of virtual courts stated that live-streaming will help reinforcing public faith in the judicial system, as has been observed by the Supreme Court itself in many of its judgments.
“The committee agrees with the observation made by the apex court that live-streaming court proceedings, especially cases of constitutional and national importance having an impact on the public at large or a section of the public will promote transparency and openness,” read the report.
The report was submitted to Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu by chairman of the parliamentary panel, BJP MP Bhupender Yadav. It referred to a 2018 judgment by the Supreme Court, in which it espoused the benefits of adopting technology in the judicial system, particularly live-streaming of court proceedings in an identified category of cases.
The panel took on record the information from the Department of Justice that a committee of five judges was set up by the top court after this judgment to oversee and assist the e-committee of the Supreme Court in preparing guidelines for live-streaming of cases to make the justice delivery mechanism more transparent. But the final report of the committee is awaited.
More recently, the Gujarat High Court, by passing a judicial order, facilitated setting up of a committee of two High Court judges for the purpose of working out the modalities to facilitate the people at large, including the media, to watch the virtual hearing.
“The committee notes that world over, court proceedings are recorded in some form or the other. The apex court has time and again emphasised the significance of live-streaming of court proceedings in promoting openness and transparency, which in turn reinforce public faith in the judicial system,” noted the report.
It added that live-streaming would ensure litigants may not come to the court to watch the proceedings and thus will also help reduce crowd inside the court. According to the report, the judiciary may also consider broadcasting virtual hearings of certain specified categories of cases to further the principle of open justice and open court.