July 20, 2021 4:16:10 am
The Gujarat High Court (Live Streaming of Court Proceedings) Rules, 2021, made public and notified on July 17 states that no content of the live-streamed feed or videos or any observations made during the course of such streaming will be treated as authorised or certified or official version of anything relating to the court proceedings and only the orders or judgments pronounced by the respective Benches and the process or certified copies issued by the High Court Registry will be treated as authentic and authorised.
The rules also mandate that the live streamed feed or videos of the court proceedings “are not to be considered as part of the case or court record or for reliance by any subordinate court of the state in any adjudication”, and that it “will not be allowed to be treated as evidence of anything relating to the court proceedings and will also not be considered admissible as such, in any court proceedings in the High Court or Subordinate Courts.”
The rules stipulate that Gujarat HC “shall hold copyright over live streamed feed and videos, prohibiting any unauthorised copying of the live feed or videos” and unauthorised use/reuse, capture, editing/ reediting, distribution/redistribution, or creating derivative works or compiling the live streamed feed / videos or using the same for any commercial purpose, in any form, will not be permitted. Requests for copy of live-streamed videos will not be entertained for any purpose, but weblinks to entire live-streamed videos are permitted to be used or embedded for any informational, educational and/or academic purposes.
It is also clarified that any participant “found to be misusing the access to the court for undue publicity through live streaming facility, may be muted or removed from video conferencing session; or asked to leave the court if participating in person,” and if required, the presiding judge can also direct “to stop the live streaming of the court proceedings of the particular case for the day.” Such an event will be noted by the assisting ministerial personnel of the court, in the Register.
Violations of stipulations under the rules will entail proceedings under the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971 and “other applicable penal laws”.
The rules bar live-streaming of proceedings of cases involving matrimonial disputes, cases of offences of sexual assault and Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012, cases, cases relating to Official Secrets Act, 1923 or involving national security, cases of habeas corpus petitions and case proceedings ordered, with reasons recorded in writing, to be conducted in-camera. Judges may also exercise their own discretion based on “their own wisdom,” to opt not to live stream or may not permit live stream of specific matters with due intimation to the Chief Justice of Gujarat HC.
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