Livestreaming of Court Proceedings Crucial for Dissemination of Info: CJI Ramana

CJI Ramana said it is high time to de-mystify the justice system in India and further access through open court.

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<div class="paragraphs"><p>File photo of CJI Ramana.</p></div>

Chief Justice of India NV Ramana said on Saturday that it was high time to de-mystify the justice delivery system in the country and hinted that the Supreme Court may begin live streaming of court proceedings for some courtrooms in the apex court.

Speaking at the official launch of live streaming of court proceedings in the Gujarat High Court, the Chief Justice said: "While launching access of online court proceedings to the media, we are keen to start live proceedings at least for some of the courts in the Supreme Court. We are working out the logistics and working on the consensus of the full court."

He congratulated the Gujarat High Court for opening the courts for everyone to watch the justice delivery system in action – live, unfiltered and unedited – as envisioned by the founding fathers of the nation.

He emphasised that constitutional courts of the country, the largest democratic republic in the world, are the guardians of the constitutional mandate.

"Truth be told, even after 74 years of Independence, multiple incorrect notions still prevail in the minds of the public regarding the justice delivery system," he added.

"It is high time for de-mystifying the justice delivery system in the country and furthering access through open courts. Access to justice will become a true reality when litigants and interested parties get to witness, understand and comprehend justice dispensation firsthand," Ramana said.

He cited that at times, live streaming of proceedings may become a double-edged sword. Judges might feel the pressure of public scrutiny, which may ultimately result in a stressful environment that may not be conducive to justice dispensation.

"A judge must remember that even if justice commands standing up against the popular perception, he must do so out of his commitment to the oath he took under the Constitution. A judge cannot be swayed by popular opinion," Ramana said.

He further said that the formalisation of live streaming of court proceedings is the best cure for the aforesaid malady.

"Live-streaming of proceedings is crucial for dissemination of information which is a sacrosanct aspect of Article 19. Through such direct access, people can get first-hand information about the entire proceedings and the opinions of the judges, leaving little room for any mischief," he added.

Justice Ramana pointed out that currently, public obtains information about court proceedings through the media and in effect, the information from the courts is being filtered by agents of transmission.

"In the process, there is sometimes a transmission loss leading to misinterpretation of questions asked and observations made by the bench, due to the absence of context. Vested interests are eager to amplify these misinterpretations in order to embarrass or discredit the institution," he said.

Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice MR Shah also participated in the inauguration event and addressed the audience virtually.

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