Actively considering plan to telecast live SC proceedings, says CJI

Justice N.V. Ramana  

Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana on Thursday said he was “actively considering” the proposal to telecast live the proceedings of the Supreme Court. 

The CJI, however, said concrete steps in this regard would be taken only after seeking a general consensus among his colleagues in the Supreme Court. 

Chief Justice Ramana made the announcement in a virtual address while launching a mobile app which would allow media persons to view the Supreme Court’s virtual proceedings live on their mobile phones. 

“Transparency is a time-honoured principle when it comes to the judicial process in our country. Hearing of cases has always taken place in public courtrooms, with access being allowed not only to lawyers and litigants in a particular case, but also to the general public,” Chief Justice Ramana said. 

Role of media 

The CJI said public access to court hearings was important as the rulings of courts, more particularly the Supreme Court, had an impact on the lives of people across the country. 

“The role of the media assumes importance in the process of disseminating information,” Chief Justice Ramana underlined. 

The CJI said the initiative to launch the mobile app for journalists came after he heard that the Press was depending on lawyers for video links of virtual hearings. 

The CJI said media persons should remain safe while working amid the surge of infection in the second wave of pandemic. The Chief Justice said he had received requests to create an independent mechanism for journalists to access court hearings without endangering their health. 

“I was a journalist for a brief time. During that time, we did not have car or bikes. We used to travel on bus as we were directed not to avail conveyance of organisers of the event,” Chief Justice Ramana recalled. 

Teething issues

The CJI urged media persons to use the mobile app responsibly, He said there might be some teething issues concerning the app and requested the media persons to be supportive. 

The CJI also launched a new feature in the Supreme Court’s official website called ‘Indicative Notes’, aimed at providing concise summaries of landmark judgments 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,” Chief Justice Ramana explained. 

With regard to granting accreditation to media persons, Chief Justice Ramana said he had given directions to further rationalise the policy. The CJI also said he was contemplating the appointment of a senior officer to serve as a single-point of contact between the Supreme Court and the media. 

“We hope that this facility which CJI unveils will keep you all safe. Journalists are exposed so much to the outside world,” Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, who heads the Supreme Court’s e-committee, said on the occasion. 

Justice A.M. Khanwilkar said the facility, which is now temporary, could be made permanent in the future depending on the operational issues. 

Justice Hemant Gupta said access to media to court proceedings would increase transparency. 

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Printable version | Jun 14, 2021 12:30:19 PM |

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