Recently ,The Supreme Court enabled the live streaming of the hearing of cases.
- It will run through the webcast of the National Informatics Centre (NIC).
- In 2018 a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court allowed live-streaming in cases of constitutional and national importance.
- Attorney General KK Venugopal, who has for long advocated the idea of regional benches of the Supreme Court to improve access to justice, also batted for live-streaming.
Relevance of the Decision
- Development of Trust : Enabling the ordinary people of the country to view, without any barrier, the workings of the highest court of the land will go a long way in instilling faith in the judiciary as well as fostering a critical dialogue with judicial functionaries.
- Informed citizenry: Enabling citizens to watch the live proceedings of the Supreme Court is also an important step toward developing an informed citizenry.
- The decision will enable people to understand the importance of the rule of law and it has the potential to build a culture of respect for the rule of law.
- The decisions taken by the judges are seldom fully understood by common people.
- Transparency : It will promote transparency in judicial decision-making.
- Transparency and accessibility of the process of justice delivery will strengthen the country’s democracy.
- Quality and standards: The decision could raise the quality and standards of the legal profession. Lawyers will be better prepared to appear before the court and they will be mindful of not making irresponsible remarks.
- An inclusive approach to public scrutiny could nudge and enable lawyers to take the justice delivery mechanisms far more seriously than they may have in the past.
- Level playing ground for youngsters : It also creates a level playing ground for the younger members of the legal profession as their preparedness and intellectual prowess will be apparent to all.
- Watching courtroom proceedings — actual arguments by lawyers and searching questions by judges — could inspire law students to take up this relatively neglected field.
- Broadcasting court proceedings is a step in the direction of transparency and greater access to the justice system, but there are concerns around the impact of live streaming both on judges and the people watching the proceedings.
- Video clips of proceedings from Indian courts are already on YouTube and other social media platforms with sensational titles and little context, such as “HIGH COURT super angry on army officers”.
- There are fears that irresponsible or motivated use of content could spread disinformation among the public.
- Security Related Concerns: Lack of comprehensive guidelines might lead to the misuse of live access or there are chances of it getting hacked in absence of proper cybersecurity.
- There is a greater likelihood of lawyers aspiring to publicise themselves through their addresses to the Bench.
- Technical glitches: The lack of technical infrastructure, internet connectivity in particular, is a major concern and the technical glitches can make it worse.
Conclusion and Way Ahead
- Technology is a great instrument for forging solidarity and overcoming the obstacles of distance. Live-streaming of the Court’s proceedings will hopefully perform this task and translate the terms of legal justice into public and everyday discourse.
- The telecast will enliven judicial labour for the public at large to strengthen constitutional values, democracy, and citizenship.
Mains Practice Question
[Q] Livestreaming Supreme Court proceedings is an accountability tool for a check on populist statements by lawyers and for ensuring that judges begin proceedings on time and give equal opportunity to all sides. Discuss