"With a view to effectuating and broadening the implementation of Open Court concept even during the virtual hearings of the Court," the Gujarat High Court has announced that it will commence live streaming of Court proceedings on YouTube from today, i.e. October 26, 2020.
It is intimated that the proceedings of the First Court, i.e. of the Bench headed by Chief Justice Vikram Nath shall be broadcasted live on YouTube, "for the benefit of members of the bar".
The set up is purely on experimental basis and its continuity will be decided on the basis of the outcome of this trial.
This initiative is first of its kind in India, and is expected to bring in more transparency in court proceedings, especially during the pandemic when all proceedings are being conducted through video conferencing.
The decision has been taken in the backdrop of the Supreme Court's verdict in Swapnil Tripathi v. Supreme Court of India, permitting live streaming of court hearings.
"Sunlight is the best disinfectant", the Top Court had remarked therein.
Significantly, the High Court had formed a Committee of Judges to deliberated upon live streaming of Court proceedings on the administrative side. While disposing of a PIL filed in this regard, the bench comprised of Chief Justice Vikram Nath and Justice JB Pardiwala had said,
"To observe the requirement of an open Court proceedings, the members of the public should be allowed to view the Court hearings conducted through the video conferencing, except the proceedings ordered for the reasons recorded in writing to be conducted in-camera."
It had also informed,
"For the purpose of working out the modalities to facilitate the people at large including the media to watch the virtual hearing, a Committee of two Honourable Judges of this High Court has been constituted pursuant to the decision taken by the Standing Committee in its meeting held on 25th June 2020.
…Once the report is received, the further action to allow access to the public at large including the media persons of print digital and electronic media shall be finalized."
Read Press Note