The Supreme Court (SC) has decided to live stream its proceedings of all constitution bench hearings from September 27. The apex court plans to live stream in an attempt to increase transparency and accessibility. The decision was taken unanimously by 30 judges in a full court meeting, headed by Chief Justice of India U U Lalit on Tuesday.
The apex court had its first live stream of a proceeding on August 26 through a webcast portal, when Justice NV Ramana was serving as the CJI. It was a ceremonial proceeding, as the Chief Justice was to demit office on August 26.
The decision to live stream comes four years after the court had decided in a milestone decision to allow live-streaming of court proceedings of "constitutional and national importance". It said that only certain cases of constitutional or national importance must be live streamed, and sensitive cases like matrimonial disputes and sexual assault should not be streamed.
Moreover, this decision comes days ahead of the constitution bench’s hearing of cases such as the validity of the 103rd constitution amendment granting a 10 per cent quota to the Economically Weaker Section (EWS), the Citizenship Amendment Act and others.
The live streaming can be initially followed on YouTube, but would later be hosted on its servers. These streamings can be followed on cell phones, laptops, computers etc.
Justice DY Chandrachud, the next in line to become the Chief Justice of India, does not believe it is a big deal. “What's the big deal in it? It's an open court hearing. Nothing is confidential here,” he said. Justice Chandrachud, who was also one of the authors of the 2018 verdict along with now-retired Justice AM Khanwilkar and then Chief Justice Dipak Misra, said that there has to be a changed mindset. He, however, said that one should refrain from recording proceedings among themselves.
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