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Draft Model Rules for Live-Streaming and Recording of Court Proceedings

  • Posted By
    10Pointer
  • Categories
    Polity & Governance
  • Published
    9th Jun, 2021

Context

The e-Committee, Supreme Court of India has released the Draft Model Rules for Live-Streaming and Recording of Court Proceedings.

Model Rules

  • Subject to the exclusions contained within these Rules, all Proceedings will be Live-streamed by the Court.
  • The following will be excluded from Live-streaming:
    1. Matrimonial matters, including transfer petitions arising thereunder.
    2. Cases concerning sexual offences, including proceedings instituted under Section 376, Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC).
    3. Cases concerning gender-based violence against women.
    4. Matters registered under or involving the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 (POCSO) and under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015.
    5. In-camera proceedings as defined under Section 327 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (CrPC) or Section 153 B of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (CPC).
    6. Matters where the Bench is of the view, for reasons to be recorded in writing that publication would be antithetical to the administration of justice.
    7. Cases, which in the opinion of the Bench may provoke enmity amongst communities likely to result in a breach of law and order.
    8. Recording of evidence, including cross-examination.
    9. Privileged communications between the parties and their advocates
    10. Any other matter in which a specific direction is issued by the Bench or the Chief Justice.
        • Live-streaming in certain cases may be restricted to final arguments.
        • The final decision as to whether or not to allow the Live-streaming of the Proceedings or any portion thereof will be of the Bench, however, the decision of the Bench will be guided by the principle of an open and transparent judicial process. The decision of the Bench shall not be justiciable.
        • In cases where the Proceedings are not Live-streamed, the Recording shall be maintained for usage by the Court and the Appellate court(s).
        • In criminal matters, the testimony of victims and witnesses will be recorded for the exclusive use of the concerned Bench and the Appellate court(s).
        • Audio-video recording or recording of Proceedings by any other means, beyond the mandate of the present Rules is expressly prohibited.

        Who framed the rules?

        • A sub-committee consisting of judges of the Bombay, Delhi, Madras and Karnataka High Courts was constituted to frame model live streaming rules.
        • The sub-committee took into account the principles enunciated in the decision of the Supreme Court in SwapnilTripathi v Supreme Court of India,(2018) including the concerns of privacy and confidentiality of litigants and witnesses, matters relating to business confidentiality, prohibition or restriction of access to proceedings or trials stipulated by Central or State legislation and in some cases to preserve the larger public interest owing to the sensitivity of the case.

        Need for the live proceedings

        • Right of access to justice, guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution encompasses the right to access live court proceedings.
        • Hence, to imbue greater transparency, inclusivity and foster access to justice, the e-Committee has undertaken the project of live streaming of court proceedings on priority.
        • This will enable access to live court proceedings, including on matters of public interest to citizens, journalists, civil society, academicians and law students on a real time basis, which was not otherwise possible owing to geographical, logistical or infrastructural issues.

        The e-Committee of the Supreme Court, along with the Centre’s Department of Justice, is working under the National Policy and Action Plan for the implementation of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the Indian judiciary.

        About e-Committee of the Supreme Court

        • The e-Committee is the governing body charged with overseeing the e-Courts Project conceptualized under the “National Policy and Action Plan for Implementation of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the Indian Judiciary-2005”.
        • E-Courts is a pan India project monitored and funded by the Department of Justice, Ministry of Law and Justice.
        • Its vision is to transform the judicial system of the country by ICT enablement of courts.