Supreme Court E-Committee released the Draft Rules for live streaming court proceedings

The Rules released by the Supreme Court E- Committee are part a of the National Policy and Action Plan for implementation of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the judiciary.

These Rules would cover live-streaming and recording of proceedings in High Courts, lower courts and tribunals.

The Rules intend bring to balance between the right to access to information and concerns of privacy and confidentiality.

The Rules drafted are as follows:

1. Matrimonial matters, cases under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) and Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act would also be exempted from livestream.

2. Any case can be exempted for reasons recorded in writing by the Bench if it antithetical to the administration of justice.

3. For the live streaming, the cameras would be positioned in 5 different angles, focusing on the Bench, lawyers on both sides, accused and witnesses.

4. The presiding judge on the Bench would be provided with a remote control device to pause or stop the livestream at any time.

5. Personal information such as date of birth, home address, identity card number, bank account information and such details of the parties, their families or the witnesses will be deleted or muted during live-streaming.

6. The content of the recording would be vetted and posted, usually within three days of the conclusion of the proceedings.

7. The recording would be posted on the court website or made available on digital platforms authorised by the court.

8. No person/entity (including print and electronic media, and social media platforms) shall share and/or disseminate live-streamed proceedings or archival data, unless they are authorised to do so.

The final decision regarding the posting of the live-streaming of the proceedings or any portion will be of the Bench.

The decision of the Bench will be guided by the principle of an open and transparent judicial process.

Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, the head of the Supreme Court e-Committee, has sought to the Chief Justices of the High Courts for their feedback on the draft Rules.

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