Chief Justice of India (CJI) Justice D Y Chandrachud Friday underscored the importance of live-streaming of court proceedings in reaching out to the citizens and said it was incumbent on the high courts to ensure that the funds released by the “extremely receptive” Centre in this regard are productively used.
Advocating for making live-streaming of court proceedings a “permanent part” of the judicial system, CJI Chandrachud said the first tranche of nearly Rs 2,000 crore allocation is expected to be released by the Centre in June.
“I think it is important that we reach out to citizens by ensuring live-streaming of our proceedings and I have no manner of doubt that this is now a mission which is not confined to the personal preferences of your present CJI who is fond of technology but something which we will incorporate as a permanent part of our judicial system,” CJI Chandrachud said.
“The Union government has been extremely receptive in providing us funds. The challenge now is before the high courts to ensure that funds are productively deployed. We are expecting the first tranche of nearly Rs 2,000 crore to be released in June.
“We will have about nine months of the current financial year to expend those funds (It is now for courts) to ensure that the funds which are released by the Union government are effectively deployed and are utilised,” he said.
The CJI was speaking at the virtual launch of two IT projects of the Delhi High Court ‘Digital Courts for Contested Traffic Challans’ and ‘Bail Orders Sharing Module’ on e-Prison platform.
In his address, he said he was told that the live-streaming of Supreme Court proceedings has enabled citizens all over the country to understand the seriousness of judicial work and the quality of input which goes into it.
“Live-streaming has already been adopted in several courts. In the Supreme Court, we have been ensuring live-streaming in constitutional bench hearings.
“And one thing that I have heard across the country during my travels is the uniform statement of everyone that live-streaming important hearings by the Supreme Court has truly enabled the country at large to understand the seriousness with which work is rendered by our judiciary,” he said.
“Citizens can truly understand the nature of the work which we do, the seriousness which we attach to all their problems and the quality of input which goes into judicial proceedings,” the CJI stated.
For the first time since its inception, the Supreme Court live-streamed its proceedings on August 26, 2022.
The proceedings of the bench headed by then CJI N V Ramana were live-streamed through a webcast portal.
The top court had in 2018 allowed live-streaming of court proceedings of cases of constitutional and national importance, saying this openness was like “sunlight” which is the “best disinfectant.”
It had said as a pilot project, only a specified category of cases which are of constitutional or national importance and are being argued before a constitution bench, should be live-streamed.