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DAILY NEWS ANALYSIS

  • 08 June, 2021

  • 15 Min Read

Draft rules for live-streaming and recording court proceedings

Draft rules for live-streaming and recording court proceedings

  • Draft Rules released by the Supreme Court e-Committee for live-streaming and recording court proceedings propose a 10-minute delay in transmission and exclusion of communally sensitive cases and matters that involve sexual offences and gender violence against women.
  • The right of access to justice, guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution, “encompasses the right to access live court proceedings”.
  • The Supreme Court in Swapnil Tripathi v Supreme Court of India (2018) had ruled in favour of opening up the apex court through live streaming.
  • Earlier, the Chief Justice of India (CJI) launched an Artificial Intelligence (AI) based portal ‘SPACE’ in the judicial system aimed at assisting judges with legal research.
  • The Rules are part of the National Policy and Action Plan for the implementation of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the judiciary.
  • Gujarat High Court was the first high court to livestream court proceedings followed by Karnataka high court.

Provisions:

  • The Rules would cover live-streaming and recording of proceedings in High Courts, lower courts and tribunals.
  • The Rules intend to balance between access to information and concerns of privacy and confidentiality.
  • All proceedings in high courts can be telecast except for cases relating to matrimonial disputes, gender-based violence, those involving minors and “cases, which in the opinion of the Bench, may provoke enmity amongst communities likely to result in a breach of law and order”.
  • The final decision as to whether or not to allow the Live-streaming of the Proceedings or any portion thereof will be of the Bench, however, the decision of the Bench will be guided by the principle of an open and transparent judicial process. The decision of the Bench shall not be justiciable.
  • The rules allow for objections to be filed against live streaming in specific cases at the stage of filing of the case or at a later stage.
  • Matrimonial matters, cases under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) and under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act would also be exempted from livestream.
  • The Bench can exempt, for reasons recorded in writing, any case it considers antithetical to the administration of justice.
  • Personal information such as date of birth, home address, identity card number, bank account information, and the personal information of related parties, such as close relatives, witnesses and other participants, will be deleted or muted.
  • Discussion amongst judges, notes made by judges during hearings or communication between the advocate and her client will neither be telecast live nor archived.
  • The rules also prohibit recording or sharing the telecast on media platforms, including social media and messaging platforms, unless authorised by the court.
  • Recordings will not be used for commercial, promotional purposes or advertising in any form.

e-Courts Project

  • The eCourts Project was conceptualized on the basis of the “National Policy and Action Plan for Implementation of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the Indian Judiciary – 2005” submitted by eCommittee, Supreme Court of India with a vision to transform the Indian Judiciary by ICT enablement of Courts.
  • Ecommittee is a body constituted by the Government of India in pursuance of a proposal received from Hon'ble the Chief Justice of India to constitute an eCommittee to assist him in formulating a National policy on computerization of Indian Judiciary and advise on technological communication and management related changes.
  • The eCourts Mission Mode Project, is a Pan-India Project, monitored and funded by Department of Justice, Ministry of Law and Justice, Government of India for the District Courts across the country.
  • The Project envisages
  1. To provide efficient & time-bound citizen centric services delivery as detailed in eCourt Project Litigant's Charter.
  2. To develop, install & implement decision support systems in courts.
  3. To automate the processes to provide transparency in accessibility of information to its stakeholders.
  4. To enhance judicial productivity, both qualitatively & quantitatively, to make the justice delivery system affordable, accessible, cost effective, predictable, reliable and transparent.

Source: TH


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