Chief Justice of India NV Ramana today launched the Mobile Application for Journalists, giving them access to all Court proceedings.
Speaking on the occasion through video-conferencing, Justice Ramana said, “Transparency is a time-honoured principle, when it comes to the judicial process in our country. Hearing of cases have always taken place in public courtrooms, with access being allowed not only to the lawyers and the litigants in a particular case, but also to the general public. The only restrictions that were ever imposed earlier were because of space and security considerations.
“This access to the public is important, as the rulings of the Courts of law, and more particularly the Supreme Court, have a bearing on the lives of people throughout this country. The role of the media assumes importance in the process of disseminating information.
“Unfortunately, when the COVID-19 pandemic struck, the systems which were earlier in place, could no longer be relied upon. The shift to holding Courts through video-conferencing has not been an easy process. Over the past year, we have all faced various issues, while attempting to hold hearings and deciding cases.
“One of the issues that arose related to the difficulties in access to video proceedings by the media. Earlier, some provision was made to allow the media to watch proceedings at specific locations. However, due to certain difficulties and issues, many persons in the media had sent me requests to make changes to the system to enable them to observe Court proceedings more conveniently. I requested my brother Judges in the Supreme Court E-Committee, the Secretary General, Registrars and the technicians to come up with a solution, which they did in just seven days, despite facing hardships and some of them even contracted Covid-19.
“I would also like to highlight another feature we are introducing today on the official website and mobile application of the Supreme Court. This new feature, called ‘Indicative Notes,’ is aimed at providing concise summaries of landmark judgements in an easy-to-understand format. This will serve as a useful resource for media persons and the general public, who wish to be better informed about the rulings of the Court. Thanks are due to my predecessor Justice SA Bobde for initiating this.
“Apart from the above, with respect to the media, I have given directions to further rationalise the policy of granting accreditation to persons. I am also actively considering the proposal to telecast live the proceedings of the Supreme Court. However, before initiating concrete steps in this regard, I plan to seek general consensus among my colleagues in the Court.
“I am also contemplating to appoint a senior officer to be a single point of contact between the Supreme Court and the media. I must thank the Registry, and the entire technical team, for all their efforts in developing this application and instituting the ‘Indicative Notes’ feature in such a short time, in spite of all the personal hardship everyone is going through,” he added. ILNS/KR/RJ