The Supreme Court is all set to live-stream its constitution bench proceedings from today, and the hearing of pleas challenging reservation for the Economically Weaker Sections and the row over control of services between the Centre and the Delhi government will be the first regular webcast.
Exactly four years ago, on September 27, 2018, the then Chief Justice of India CJI Dipak Misra, heading a bench had delivered the landmark judgement on live telecast or webcast of important proceedings in matters of constitutional importance, saying “sunlight is the best disinfectant”.
The proceedings can be accessed at webcast.gov.in/scindia/, said an official.
Earlier in the day, a bench headed by Chief Justice Uday Umesh Lalit said the top court will soon have its own “platform” to live-stream its proceedings instead of having to use the YouTube.
The bench said this when former BJP leader K N Govindacharya’s counsel argued the copyright of Supreme Court’s proceedings cannot be surrendered to private platforms.
“YouTube has clearly sought the copyright over the webcast,” lawyer Virag Gupta told the bench that also comprised Justices S Ravindra Bhat and J B Pardiwala.
“These are the initial stages. We will certainly have our own platforms…We will take care of that (copyright issue),” the CJI said and listed Govindacharya’s interim plea for hearing on October 17.
Referring to a 2018 judgement, the lawyer said it was held that “the copyright over all the material recorded and broadcast in this court shall vest with this court only”.
In a unanimous decision taken at a recent full court meeting headed by the Chief Justice, the Supreme Court decided to live-stream proceedings of all constitution bench hearings from September 27, four years after the path-breaking announcement by Justice Misra in 2018.
The Supreme Court may live-stream proceedings through YouTube and later host them on its server, sources had said. People will be able to access the proceedings on their cell phones, laptops, and computers without any hassle.
On August 26, for the first time since its inception, the Supreme Court live-streamed proceedings of a bench headed by then Chief Justice (since retired) N V Ramana through a webcast portal. It was a ceremonial proceeding as Justice Ramana was to demit office that day.
Several important cases are to be heard by five-judge constitution benches of the Supreme Court. These include the validity of the 103rd constitution amendment granting 10 per cent quota to the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) and pleas challenging the constitutional validity of the Citizenship Amendment Act.