SC releases draft model rules for live-streaming and Recording of court proceedings

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The Supreme Court e-Committee headed by Justice D.Y. Chandrachud has released the “Draft Model Rules for Live-Streaming and Recording of Court Proceedings”.

Note: Right to access live court proceedings is a part of the right of access to justice guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution.

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Draft Rules for Live-Streaming and Recording of Court Proceedings:
  • Prepared by: The Model Rules were framed by a sub-committee consisting of judges of the Bombay, Delhi, Madras and Karnataka High Courts.
  • Part of: The rules are part of the National Policy and Action Plan for implementation of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the judiciary.
  • Coverage: The rules would cover live-streaming and recording of proceedings in High Courts, lower courts and tribunals.
  • Significance: The draft rules are a step towards implementing Swapnil Tripathi and Indira Jaising 2018 judgement of the Supreme Court.
    • In this judgement, SC held that telecast of important cases to an audience outside the courtroom would usher in greater transparency and aid accountability.
Key Features of the Draft Rules:
  • Prior information of live-stream: The Court has to duly inform the parties before the commencement of proceedings that the proceedings are being live-streamed. If any objections are there, they should be mentioned before the concerned bench. However, the final decision lies with the bench.
  • Delay of 10 minutes: There shall be a delay of 10 minutes in live-streaming, which may be changed as per directions of the Court.
  • No reveal of personal information: Personal information such as date of birth, home address, identity card number, bank account information and the personal information of related parties will be deleted or muted.
  • The judge can pause or stop the live stream: A remote-control device shall be provided to the presiding judge on the bench to pause or stop the live streaming at any time.
  • Unauthorized usage of Livestream will be punishable: The unauthorized usage of the live stream will be punishable as an offence under the Indian Copyright Act, Information Technology Act and other provisions of law, including the law of contempt.

Exemption of Cases: The following cases will be excluded from live-streaming:

  • Matrimonial matters and cases concerning sexual offences and gender-based violence against women.
  • Matters registered under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 (POCSO) and Juvenile Justice Act,2015.
  • Cases that may provoke enmity amongst communities, likely to result in a breach of law and order.
  • Recording of evidence, including cross-examination.
  • Any other matter in which a specific direction is issued by the Bench or the Chief Justice.

Source: The Hindu

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