Gujarat: Livestreaming of Proceedings of District Judges’ Courts Begins

The Gujarat High Court on Wednesday launched livestreaming of the proceedings of courts of all 33 principal district judges in the state.

A portal for judicial officers was also launched on the occasion.

This pilot project was inaugurated by Supreme Court Justices M R Shah and J B Pardiwala at a virtual function attended by Chief Justice of the Gujarat High Court Aravind Kumar.

The Gujarat High Court is the first in the country to livestream proceedings of all district courts.

Justice Pardiwala noted that it was also the first in the country to launch livestreaming of court proceedings on a pilot basis from October 26, 2020, and that of the proceedings of all its benches from July 17, 2021.

“Change is the only constant. Indeed, we have to keep moving and evolving because the only thing constant is change. Ultimately, we are doing all this for whom? We are doing it for the people at large. Courts in a democracy do not belong to the lawyers or judges, they belong to the people,” he said.

Justice Shah said that every citizen has the right to know what is going on in courts, and every judicial officer will have to realise they are being watched by people for whom the system has been made.

With livestreaming, litigants would be able “to know and watch how their case is being conducted and processed by the courts and by their advocates,” he added.

Chief Justice Kumar said state funding for such initiatives has never been a problem for the High Court.

A request has been made to the state government and e-Committee of the Supreme Court for funds to implement livestreaming in all the courts of the district courts and senior civil judges, he added.

Livestreaming should not remain confined to constitutional courts but should reach the litigants at the district court level, Justice Kumar said.

The judges’ portal or judicial officers’ portal would be a “path-breaking initiative in the area of judicial administration by the High Court relating to the service and career of judicial officers,” he said.

Justice Sonia Gokani of the Gujarat High Court said the project is expected to be a game changer in the country, “inspiring and emboldening many of the other high courts to follow this.”

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