Delhi HC Notifies Live Streaming & Court Proceedings Recording Rules To Foster Access To Justice
The Delhi High Court has notified the Live Steaming and Recording of Court Proceedings Rules.
These Rules shall apply to the Delhi High Court and to the Courts and Tribunals over which it has supervisory jurisdiction.
The Court has notified the Live Steaming and Recording of Court Proceedings Rules to imbue greater transparency, inclusivity, and foster access to justice.
As per the Rules, Live streaming means and includes a live television link, webcast, audio-video transmissions via electronic means or other arrangements whereby any person can view the proceedings as permitted under these rules.
The Rules provide that all proceedings will be live-streamed by the court except the following-
• Matrimonial matter;
• Cases concerning sexual offences;
• Cases concerning gender-based violence against women;
• Matters under Juvenile Justice Act;
• Matters under or involving the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act;
• Cases which may provoke enmity amongst communities;
• In-camera proceedings under Section 327 of the Code of Criminal Procedure or Section 153 B of the Code of Civil Procedure;
• Matters where publication would be antithetical to the administration of justice;
• Recording of evidence, including cross-examination;
• Privileged communications between the parties and their advocates;
• Any other matter in which a specific direction is issued by the bench or the Chief Justice.
The Rules also provide that objections to Live streaming may be raised at the time of institution of the case or any later stage and the final decision will be of the bench.
In cases where the proceedings are not live streamed, the recording shall be maintained for usage by the Court and the appellate court(s) provided that-
• access to the recording of the testimony of witnesses will not be given until such time that the evidence is recorded in its entirety;
• transcript of the recordings would be made available to the advocate or litigant-in-person;
• In case of litigant-in-person, who is also a witness in the matter, the bench in its discretion will decide as to the stage at which the litigant-in-person should have access to the recordings of the testimonies concerning the other witnesses in the matter.
In case the judge concerned on the bench is desirous of opting out of live streaming while dictating the order/oral judgment, live streaming will be paused during that period.
Further, there shall be a delay of ten minutes in streaming, which may be changed as per the direction of the Court.
Person/entity including print and electronic media, and social media platforms are prohibited from recording, sharing and/or disseminating live streamed proceedings or archival data.
The Rules also state that during proceedings, no one will engage in audio/video recording, taking screenshots or using mobile communication tools to relay the proceedings.
In order to decongest the court rooms, rules provide for dedicated room(s) for viewing the live stream within the court premises. Law researchers, staff, litigants, academicians, and media personnel authorised shall be given access to enter the court premises upon receipt of necessary permissions/approvals.