IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis

Live Streaming of Court Cases

2nd December, 2021 Polity

Figure 3: No Copyright Infringement Intended


  • Same Sex Couples are seeking proceeding’s live streaming To recognise marriage.

Need for the live streaming:

  • Space crunch in the courtroom made it difficult for the law students to attend the live session of court.
  • Virtual hearing of the court has made it completely impossible for others to listen.
  • In the earlier verdict in Swapnil Tripathi vs. Supreme Court of India, the court recommended that proceedings be broadcast live.
  • The public has a right to know, about court proceedings in constitutional courts as well as trial and appellate courts.

Benefits of Live Streaming:

  • Live streaming proceedings are part of the right to access justice under Article 21 of the constitution.
  • Publishing court proceedings is an aspect of Article 129, which state that the Supreme Court is a court of record.
  • Journalists, young lawyers, civil society activists and academics would all benefit from live streaming.
  • Open courts help foster public confidence in the judiciary.

International Experience:

  • Internationally, constitutional court proceedings are recorded in some form or the other.
  • In Australia, proceedings are recorded and posted on the High Court’s website.
  • Proceedings of the supreme courts of Brazil, Canada, England and Germany are broadcast live.
  • The Supreme Court of the US does not permit video recording, but oral arguments are recorded, transcribed, and available publicly.
  • In china, court proceedings are live streamed from trial courts up to the supreme people’s court of china.

Issues arising due to non-recording of court transaction process:

  • Court hearings can be turning points in the life of a nation: ADM Jabalpur comes readily to mind.
  • The court craft of legal stalwarts like HM Seervai, Ram Jethmalani, or Ashok Desai is already lost to future generations for want of recording.
  • Documentation is essential to preserve our history.

Supreme Court steps to make Hearing available:

  • The Court started providing vernacular translations of its judgments.
  • Non-accredited journalists were permitted to live-tweet court proceedings.
  • During the lockdown, journalists have been permitted to view virtual court proceedings in real time.

Government steps:

  • Government is developing the modalities and rules to make it accessible to all.
  • Supreme Court has said that Chief Justice of India will decide the administrative side of live streaming of cases.
  • Recently, High court of Calcutta has permitted live streaming of a case.


Openness and transparency reinforce the public’s faith in the judicial system. As Swapnil Tripathi noted, “sunlight is the best disinfectant” — even more important during a pandemic.