‘Sunlight is the best disinfectant,’ says SC while allowing live streaming of court proceedings

In a landmark verdict, the Supreme Court has allowed live streaming of its court proceedings on matters of national importance. The Court said that it will issue necessary rules for balancing rights of public and protecting dignity of litigants soon.

“We don’t perceive any difficulty in live streaming. Let us first start with it and see how it goes. We are just on a pilot project. We are not ruling out anything and will improve with time. We cannot have everything together,” the bench, comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra, A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, has observed.

The apex court said it was of the opinion that live streaming of proceedings will bring in transparency and serve the public interest. “Sunlight is the best disinfectant, let people get first-hand information about what is going on in courtroom proceedings,” the Court said.

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The Center, while supporting the idea, said that certain cases must not be streamed live. Matrimonial cases, matters involving interests of juveniles or protection and safety of the private life of young offenders and cases involving national security were some that were mentioned in this regard. Attorney General K.K. Venugopal said that live streaming must be disallowed in matters that may provoke communal clashes and in some cases to ensure privacy and security of victims, witnesses or defendants such as in rape cases.

Earlier this year, the Center had suggested that live streaming of court proceedings could be undertaken and would benefit all. The Supreme Court agreed with the suggestion and had called it the “need of the hour”. The Attorney General had also proposed a dedicated TV channel for the Supreme Court along with the lines of Lok Sabha TV and Rajya Sabha TV and was of the opinion that live streaming of events would also keep a check on the conduct of the lawyers.

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