CJI bench directs Supreme Court to consider Indira Jaising’s plea for sharing video links of hearings

The CJI-led bench agreed with Jaising that the clips of the court proceedings on the internet without context must be curbed.


THE Supreme Court on Friday directed its registry to look into the suggestion made by senior advocate Indira Jaising urging the court to share links of video conferencing of court hearings on the cause list published by the registry every day.

A division judge bench comprising Chief Justice of India (‘CJI’) Dr. D.Y. Chandrachud and Hima Kohli passed the order to this effect on an application filed by Jaising way back in 2020 during the COVID-19 crisis, when the court had adopted virtual hearings.

Jaising told the bench that she saw no reason why the video conferencing links could not be made part of the cause list instead of people asking around for the links.

Jaising also flagged the issue of videos of court proceedings that were clipped and uploaded on the internet without context. She urged that rules need to be framed to penalise such sharing of videos. CJI Dr. Chandrachud agreed with Jaising and revealed that the court was already looking at how to curb the misuse of videos of court proceedings.

“To maintain the sanctity of the judicial institution, the Court was looking into the issue of clips on the internet that are often without context”, CJI Dr. Chandrachud told Jaising.

Jaising drew the attention of the bench to the original judgment of the court which allowed the live-streaming of the court proceedings. The judgment recognised that the copyright of the court proceedings would vest in the Supreme Court.

CJI Dr. Chandrachud also informed Jaising that the Supreme Court, with the assistance of the National Informatics Centre, plans to have its own platform to livestream its proceedings, which can then be carried to the high courts as well. He also mentioned that the Chief Justice of the Gujarat High Court now wants to extend live streaming of the court to the district courts.

Jaising also urged the court to have a permanent record of its court proceedings. However, the CJI observed that it would be very expensive to do so and might require an army of people only to maintain the record.

In 2018, the Supreme Court allowed the live streaming of cases of national importance on a plea filed by Jaising. The court had said that “live streaming of Supreme Court proceedings at least in respect to cases of Constitutional and national importance, having an impact on the public at large or on a large number of people in India, maybe a good beginning”. 

However, the decision was not implemented for three years. It was only after Jaising wrote a letter in September this year to the Supreme Court judges, requesting the court to begin live streaming of proceedings of matters of pblic and constitutional importance, the full court of the Supreme Court gave a go-ahead to live streaming proceedings of Constitution bench matters.