The Supreme Court’s e-Committee has released the Draft Model Rules for live-streaming and recording of court proceedings. According to a press release, the Department of Justice, Government of India, and e-Committee of the Supreme Court is working under the National Policy and Action Plan for implementation of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the Indian judiciary.
Justice Dr Dhananjaya Y. Chandrachud, Supreme Court Judge and Chairperson of the e-Committee, has written to all high court chief justices, calling for inputs and suggestions on the Draft Model Rules for Live-Streaming and Recording of Court Proceedings. He mentions in the letter that the right of access to justice, guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution encompasses the right to access live court proceedings.
“To imbue greater transparency, inclusivity and foster access to justice, the e-Committee has undertaken the project of live streaming of court proceedings on priority. This will enable access to live court proceedings, including on matters of public interest to citizens, journalists, civil society, academicians and law students on a real time basis, which was not otherwise possible owing to geographical, logistical or infrastructural issues,” reads the press release.
A sub-committee consisting of judges of the Bombay, Delhi, Madras and Karnataka High Courts was constituted to frame model live streaming rules. The sub-committee has held extensive deliberations. It took into account the principles enunciated in the decision of the top court in Swapnil Tripathi v Supreme Court of India,(2018) 10 SCC 639 including the concerns of privacy and confidentiality of litigants and witnesses, matters relating to business confidentiality, prohibition or restriction of access to proceedings or trials stipulated by Central or State legislation and in some cases to preserve the larger public interest owing to the sensitivity of the case.
These model rules provide a balanced regulatory framework for live streaming and recording of court proceedings. Suggestions and inputs on the Draft Model Rules for Live-Streaming and Recording of Court Proceedings are invited on or before June 30.