On Friday, the Supreme Court said it was considering creating an independent live streaming courtroom platform to institutionalize the entire process for future generations.
Listening to Senior Counsel Indira Jaising’s Statement on Live Broadcast of Issues of Public and Constitutional Concern, Chief Justice of India D. Y. Chandrachud verbally said,
“Most of the high courts do it on YouTube. Now we thought we could have our own live streaming platform… We want to have an institutionalized process. During the pandemic, we “had” to do this on a case-by-case basis. Now what we do will be for posterity. It is a complex and large country with varying degrees of access to interest. We must also keep this in mind.“
Supreme Court hearings are currently streamed live on the YouTube channel of the National Informatics Center (NIC).
CJI stated that the SC e-committee wants to issue an Expression of Interest and set up an agency to build its own live streaming platform.
During the hearing, Senior Attorney Indira Jaising also urged the court to ensure easy access to links to VK. “Several HCs put links on the cause list. If it can be a single policy.“
The CJI asked the Registry to look into this proposal.
Jazing also required the court to keep transcripts of the hearings. However, CJI replied that the cost of the same is very high.
“If you need to physically transcribe, we need a large number of people… The cost of decryption services is quite high. It is currently used in some arbitration cases.“
The CJI also raised concerns about the proliferation of small videos of court hearings on social media. “Clips are often taken out of context. We must ensure that the integrity of the institution is maintained in the process,“, – he said. He said that after the regular platform is put into operation, only live videos will be broadcast, and access to the archives will be granted only to genuine persons after the application is submitted. “After the proceedings, access can only be granted bona fide persons such as a researcher, plaintiff, etc.,” said CJI.
Jaising noted that the 2018 Supreme Court ruling provided that the copyright of live broadcast recordings would remain with the court. CJI said that Jaising could give his proposals to the secretary general of the Supreme Court while the rules for the live broadcast were finalized.
Earlier, the Supreme Court also announced its intention to create a “national infrastructure” so that even high courts and other instances can use it. In September, the Supreme Court took the historic step of broadcasting live hearings before the Constitutional Courts. The live broadcast received a huge public outcry, with hundreds of people watching the video.
Last month the court petition notice which demanded instructions to retain the Supreme Court’s copyright on live videos uploaded to YouTube.