Tribune Web Desk
Chandigarh, October 26
In a first-of-its-kind decision, the Gujarat High Court has started live-streaming of proceedings from Chief Justice Vikram Nath’s court from Monday.
The proceedings before the Bench headed by the Chief Justice was streamed on YouTube.
In its press release, the high court referred to a Supreme Court judgment which ruled that the public should be allowed to view court hearings conducted through video-conferencing.
The press release also references a PIL filed by Nirma University School of Law student Pruthviraj Sinh Zala that sought the high court to issue directions for live-streaming the court proceedings to keep with the principles of open court and access to justice.
The release said: “All Benches of High Court of Gujarat are functioning through video-conferencing throughout the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic crisis situation from March 24. Apart from all advocates of the parties of both the sides, the parties, victims, corpus etc also, as and when their presence is required during the course of the hearing, are taken in the video hearing for interaction or viewing the proceedings.”
Referring to the Supreme Court to allow the public to view court hearings, it said: “In the model video-conferencing rules as prescribed by the eCommittee of the Supreme Court, it has been provided that public will be allowed to view the court hearing conducted through video-conferencing. In the judgment of writ petition, the Supreme Court has directed for live-streaming of the court proceedings. Accordingly, with a view to effectuating and broadening the implementation of Open Court concept even during the virtual hearings of the court, this High Court has already taken up on the administrative side, to work out the modalities that can be adopted for giving access to anyone who wishes to watch the court proceedings live.”
“As part of the said exercise, in order to ascertain the feasibility and workability of the available options for the same, this is to direct that, court proceedings of the Division Bench No 1 [First Court] of the High Court will be telecast live, purely on an experimental basis, from October 26, on YouTube, the link of which would be available from the homepage of the website of the High Court. The aspect of continuing with or adapting the modality of live court proceedings will be decided based on the outcome of this trial starting today and any other trial of any other modality that may be taken up in due course.”