(a) whether the live telecast of the proceedings of the High Court, Supreme Court and District Courts would bring transparency in their functioning as has been observed in the working of the Government after starting live telecast of proceedings of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha; (b) if so, the details thereof; (c) whether the Government proposes to take any step to bring such transparency in the judiciary; and (d) if so, the details thereof and the time by which it is likely to be done?
ANSWERANSWER MINISTER OF STATE FOR LAW AND JUSTICE AND CORPORATE AFFAIRS (SHRI P. P. CHAUDHARY)
(a) to (d): A Writ Petition was filed in the Hon’ble Supreme Court, seeking declaration for permitting live streaming of Supreme Court case proceedings of constitutional and national importance having an impact on the public at large and a direction to make available the necessary infrastructure for live streaming and to frame guidelines for the determination of such cases which are of constitutional and national importance. The Hon’ble Supreme Court vide its Judgment dated 26th September, 2018 in Writ Petition (Civil) No. 66 of 2018 – Indira Jai Singh versus Secretary General of Supreme Court & Others has inter-alia observed that : (i) it is important to re-emphasise the significance of live-streaming as an extension of the principle of open justice and open courts; (ii)The process of live-streaming should be subjected to carefully structured guidelines, (iii) Initially, a pilot project may be conducted for about three months by live-streaming only cases of national and constitutional importance which can be expanded in due course with availability of infrastructure.
In Writ Petition (Criminal) No. 99 of 2015 (Pradyuman Bisht versus Union of India & others), Supreme Court of India, inter-alia, directed that CCTV cameras (without audio recording) may be installed inside the subordinate courts and at such important locations of the court complexes as may be considered appropriate in at least two districts of every State / Union Territory (with the exception of small States / Union Territories where it may be considered to be difficult to do so by the concerned High Courts). The Hon`ble Supreme Court further directed that it is desirable that CCTV cameras are installed in all subordinate courts in such phased manner as may be considered appropriate by the High Courts. In pursuance of the above direction of the Hon’ble Court, a copy of the order of the Hon’ble Supreme Court was forwarded to Registrars General of all High Courts and Chief Secretaries / Administrators of all States / UTs by the Department of Justice, Ministry of Law and Justice on 28th August, 2017 for taking action to install cameras in all Subordinate Courts. The respective High Courts are to decide and take action for installation CCTV cameras in the subordinate courts in their jurisdiction. It has been further directed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court that the footage of the CCTV cameras will not be available under R.T.I. and will not be supplied to anyone without permission of the concerned High Court.