The Supreme Court on Tuesday referred an application seeking implementation of its earlier order on live-streaming of proceedings in nationally important cases to Chief Justice of India S A Bobde for a decision on the administrative side.
A bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra told advocate Indira Jaising, who had moved the plea, that it is for the CJI to take a call on the September 2018 judgment of the court, which had favoured live-streaming and that no compulsory directions can be given.
Justice Mishra said the administrative side cannot be compelled to frame rules by way of a judicial order. The court noted that what was okayed by the court in 2018 was a pilot project. “Let’s see if the pilot project works…but not like this. You can’t compel us to enforce anything.”
Attorney General K K Venugopal suggested that the matter be referred to the full court reference, but the court reiterated that it is for the administrative side to do whatever required.
Jaising’s plea referred to the September 2018 judgment, wherein the court had given its nod to live-streaming of court proceedings and said this will bring more accountability and enhance the rule of law. On the benefits of allowing this, the court had said, “Above all, sunlight is the best disinfectant.”
The project, it ordered, “must be implemented in a progressive, structured and phased manner, with certain safeguards to ensure that the purpose of live-streaming of proceedings is achieved holistically and that it does not interfere with the administration of justice or the dignity and majesty of the court hearing the matter and/or impinge upon any rights of the litigants or witnesses”.
As a pilot project, only cases of constitutional and national importance being argued for final hearing before the Constitution Bench be live-streamed initially, the court said. For this, it said, permission of the court concerned will have to be sought in writing in advance.
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