NEW DELHI: Chief Justice N V Ramana on Thursday said he was giving priority to commencement of live telecast of Supreme Court proceedings as public access to court hearings engenders transparency which is vital for the health of any institution in a democracy.
Launching a mobile app for media personnel to view SC proceedings, CJI Ramana and Justices A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Hemant Gupta were unanimous that media and public access to court proceedings infused transparency in the working of the institution.
The CJI said, “I am actively considering the proposal to telecast live the proceedings of the Supreme Court. However, before initiating concrete steps in this regard, I plan to seek general consensus among my colleagues in the court.”
In a landmark judgment in the ‘Swapnil Tripathi’ case, a three-judge bench of the SC on September 26, 2018, had agreed for live telecast of apex court hearings and had laid down guidelines for its phased commencement. The SC had also said the live telecast should be time lagged and the court would have the right to stop such telecast if any untoward incident took place in the courtroom. Justices Khanwilkar and Chandrachud were part of the three-judge bench and had written separate but concurring judgments.
On Thursday, CJI Ramana said, “Transparency is a time honoured principle when it comes to judicial process in our country. Hearing of cases have always taken place in public courtrooms, with access being allowed not only to the lawyers and the litigants in a particular case, but also to the general public. The only restrictions that were ever imposed earlier were because of space and security considerations.