Supreme Court To Live Stream Constitution Bench Proceedings

Supreme Court To Live Stream Constitution Bench Proceedings

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September 23, 2022 - 10:40 am

Decision Of Live Stream Made In Light Of A Supreme Court 2018 Ruling


In response to requests that the Supreme Court's hearings on constitutional issues be open to the public and live-streamed, the court will begin doing so on September 27. The decision was made in light of a Supreme Court ruling from 2018 that supported arguments for live-streaming court proceedings as a component of individuals' basic right to free speech and information. Swapnil Tripathi and activist-lawyer Indira Jaising filed the applications. In a recent letter to the Chief Justice of India, U.U. Lalit, and other Supreme Court justices, Jaising called attention to the 2018 decision. The Supreme Court's authority to dissolve marriages on the grounds of irretrievable breakdown, the religious practices of excommunication in the Dawoodi Bohra community, challenges to the economically backward class quota law, the Centre's petition on increased compensation for victims of the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy, and others are among the cases that are likely to be streamed live online.

                                                     

Live Streaming in High Courts

The Supreme Court aired its proceedings live on August 26, the day that former Chief Justice of India (CJI) N V Ramana announced his retirement. However, the first steps toward the decision were made in 2018, when a three-judge bench made up of the then-chief justice of India, Dipak Misra, Justice A. M. Khanwilkar, and Justice D. Y. Chandrachud agreed to hear a public interest litigation that sought to stream live judicial proceedings on issues of constitutional and national significance. The Gujarat High Court started live streaming its proceedings in July 2021 as a result of the Supreme Court's ruling. The high courts in Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, and Patna currently broadcast their proceedings live. It is rumoured that the Allahabad High Court is thinking of doing the same. 


Guidelines of Live Streaming

An expert committee was previously established by the Apex Court's e-committee to prepare guidelines for the High Courts' adoption of live streaming of sessions. According to the Bar and Bench, the Supreme Court Registry is currently analysing data on the guidelines imposed by the High Courts so that when the top court begins live broadcasting, it will do so with the best practices in mind. The e-courts project, an ambitious effort to incorporate the use of information and technology in India's judiciary, is in its third phase. As part of this phase, the proposal to create a dedicated platform to stream proceedings of the Supreme Court was put out. The judges also discussed a better way to list cases during their meeting on Tuesday in order to give themselves enough time to wrap up a case once it has begun. A Supreme Court bench recently brought attention to the difficulty of finally determining a dispute due to the new listing method through a judicial order. A new listing mechanism has been implemented when CJI Lalit assumed control in an effort to expedite the resolution of cases, especially those that have been lingering at the highest court for an extended period of time. Over 5,000 cases were resolved by the Supreme Court in his first 13 days in office.

                                                      

Effect of Live Streaming

Although live streaming court sessions raises questions about how it may affect judges and others watching, it is a step toward greater transparency and public access to the legal system. YouTube and other social media sites already include video excerpts of court sessions from Indian courts with spectacular headlines and scant background information, such as "HIGH COURT very angry on army officers." There are worries that the public may become misinformed as a result of irresponsible or motivated content use. In a 2018 article titled "Television and Judicial Behaviour: Lessons from the Brazilian Supreme Court," Felipe Lopez examined the Brazilian Supreme Court and came to the conclusion that when given free television time, justices behave like politicians and act to maximise their individual exposure.


Studies on Broadcasting of Proceedings                                                       

Studies that looked into how the introduction of C-SPAN in the US House of Representatives and US Senate affected lawmakers' behaviour came to the conclusion that the frequency of filibusters increased as a result of the broadcasting of proceedings. However, the broadcast of judicial hearings has occasionally made it possible to make constructive systemic reforms. Researchers at Northwestern University found in a 2017 study of US Supreme Court audio proceedings archives that "judicial interactions at oral argument are highly gendered, with women being interrupted at disproportionate rates by their male colleagues, as well as by male advocates" that the interactions between the judges and the parties are highly biassed toward men. The study's gendered disruptions had been addressed, according to Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor last year, and now Justices ask questions in accordance with seniority rather than randomly interrupting.

                                                          

In House System for Live Streaming

Under the National Policy and Action Plan for Implementation of Information and Communication Technology in the Indian Judiciary, the Supreme Court and the Union Ministry of Law and Justice jointly decided to live-stream the proceedings. Kiren Rijiju, the Union's minister of law, had additionally urged the judiciary to permit live broadcasting. The Supreme Court might construct an "in-house" system with the support of the National Informatics Centre, but no decision had yet been made regarding this matter. Alternatively, the live broadcast could take place on a website like YouTube.

Questions and Answers Questions and Answers

Question : What was the Supreme Court's decision regarding live streaming of court proceedings?
Answers : The Supreme Court decided that live streaming of court proceedings is a component of individuals' basic right to free speech and information.
Question : How many high courts in India stream their proceedings live?
Answers : As of July 2021, five high courts in India stream their proceedings live.
Question : What is the e-courts project?
Answers : The e-courts project is an ambitious effort to incorporate the use of information and technology in India's judiciary.
Question : How has live streaming court sessions affected judges and other spectators?
Answers : While it is difficult to say definitively how live streaming has affected those who watch court sessions, it is likely that it has increased transparency and public access to the legal system.
Question : How has the broadcasting of judicial hearings affected systemic reforms in the US?
Answers : Studies have found that the broadcasting of judicial proceedings has occasionally made it possible to make constructive systemic reforms. However, the broadcast of judicial hearings has also been found to be highly gendered, with women being interrupted at disproportionate rates by their male colleagues, as well as by male advocates.
Question : Why was the live streaming of Supreme Court proceedings halted?
Answers : The live streaming of Supreme Court proceedings was halted because Justices ask questions in accordance with seniority rather than randomly interrupting.
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