In a first-of-its-kind decision, the Gujarat High Court has begin live streaming of proceedings from Chief Justice Vikram Nath's Court from Monday onwards.
Proceedings before the Bench headed by the Chief Justice will be streamed on YouTube, the High Court Registrar General said in a press release.
The High Court referred to a Supreme Court judgment which ruled that the public should be allowed to view court hearings conducted through video conferencing.
The press release also referred a PIL filed by Nirma University School of Law student Pruthviraj Sinh Zala that sought the court to issue directions for live streaming court proceedings to keep with the principles of open court and access to justice.
“All the Benches of High Court of Gujarat are functioning through video conferencing throughout the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic crisis situation from 24-03-2020. Apart from all Ld. Advocates of the parties of both the sides, the parties, victims, corpus etc. also, as and when their presence is required during the course of the hearing, are taken in the video hearing for interaction or viewing the proceedings," the court said.
"In the Model Video Conferencing Rules as prescribed by the eCommittee of Honourable the Supreme Court of India, it has been provided that public will be allowed to view the Court hearing conducted through video conferencing. In the judgment of WRIT PETITION (CIVIL) NO. 1232 OF 2017, Honourable the Supreme Court of India has directed for live streaming of the Court proceedings. This Court has also observed on judicial side in R/WRIT PETITION (PIL) NO. 99 of 2020, relating to working out
the modalities of live streaming of Court proceedings for media personnel," it added.
Accordingly, with a view to effectuating and broadening the implementation of Open Court concept even during the virtual hearings of the Court, this High Court has already taken up on administrative side, to work out the modalities that can be adopted for giving access to anyone who wishes to watch the Court proceedings in live, Registrar General said.
"As part of the said exercise, in order to ascertain the feasibility and workability of the available options for the same, this is to direct that, court proceedings of the Division Bench No. 1 [First Court] of the High Court will be telecast live, purely on experimental basis, from today the 26th October, 2020 on Youtube, link of which would be available from the homepage of the website of the High Court," it further said.
The experimental live streaming of the First Court has accordingly started today.
Watch the live stream here: