Says if parliamentary proceedings can go live, why can’t courts’
New Delhi, Dec. 5 (Delhi Crown): Supreme Court of India judge Justice Abhay Sreeniwas Oka has supported the idea of live-streaming of court proceedings.
Speaking at a function in Mumbai, Justice Oka said live-streaming will increase the transparency of court proceedings. “I personally feel live streaming should be there in limited form in selected cases. Let us have transparency. Nothing wrong in transparency. If Parliamentary proceedings are live streamed, why not court proceedings, of course with all the constraints,” he added.
He added that the Chairman of the Supreme Court E-Committeee, Justice DY Chandrachud, also has the same views regarding live-streaming.
Delivering a lecture on the topic “Importance of Ethics in Legal Profession” at the Bombay High Court, he said that there was a need for evolution of a new code of ethics for live-streaming.
Justice Oka shared his experiences as the Chief Justice of the Karnataka High Court where he had launched the live-streaming of the hearings of Court Number 1 in public interest litigation matters.
He said that many senior lawyers and some judges had reservations about live-streaming. Lawyers expressed the apprehension that making fair concessions before the Court might be difficult in a situation where clients are watching the proceedings live.
Acknowledging that some of the concerns are valid, Justice Oka said that he still supported live-streaming, considering the larger interest of transparency it advanced.
“Except in cases of purely personal nature and family disputes, live-streaming should be there in cases involving larger public issues,” Justice Oka stated.
He further stated – “I personally believe, this is my personal view and not the view of the institution of judiciary, that it is high-time that, at least in selected cases, we should start live-streaming. Once there is live-streaming, everybody will know how the courts are being conducted, how the lawyers are arguing.”
“We have small court rooms. So, some constraints will be there. But the concept of open court hearing is there. So somehow Bar and Bench will have to work wherein they ensure that there is some kind of transparency. We need to tell the members of the public that we are available…that we are available on public domain, you can see what is happening in the Court,” Justice Oka said.