Favouring transparency, the Central Government of India has suggested the Supreme Court to launch experimental live-streaming of proceedings of cases that are heard by the Constitution Bench and the Chief Justice of India (CJI).

After the allegations on CJI Dipak Misra, Attorney General KK Venugopal had filed a petition suggesting live-streaming of Supreme Court case hearings. In a significant development, on July 9, the apex court including CJI Dipak Misra, Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud favoured the suggestion of live-streaming proceedings – calling it a “need of the hour”. The matter was agreed upon as long as sufficient safeguards were implemented to ensure security of clippings and that they are not circulated or used commercially in any condition.

Today, the Central Government urged the Supreme Court for launching the pilot project, saying that live streaming can be undertaken on an experimental basis for one to three months to check how it functions technologically. After the experimental phase, needed updates can be made and the system can then be implemented permanently. Which means, all the cases – except those of rape cases, matrimonial disputes and in-camera hearings – that will be heard by the Supreme Court’s constitutional bench and the CJI are likely to be live-streamed.

The live-streaming of court hearings will “increase access to courts and negate the chances of any misreporting, errors or second-hand information”, as per petitioner advocate Indira Jaising. However, the live telecast needs to be extremely safeguarded to avoid it from getting into the reaches of social media – protecting the confidentiality of the constitutional proceedings.

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