The Supreme Court said on Monday it is very easy to criticize someone or throw a stone at somebody after a petitioner contended that the apex court registry has not followed its verdict on live streaming of court proceedings.

A bench of Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice PS Narasimha asked Advocate Virag Gupta, appearing for former RSS ideologue K N Govindacharya, what modalities can be followed for live streaming at a time when the National Informatics Centre (NIC) is saying it does not have sufficient technical and infrastructure wherewithal to live-stream court proceedings without third party applications.

"It is always easy to criticise others and it is always easy to throw a stone at somebody. You tell us, what are the modalities which can be followed to live-stream?" the bench told Gupta.

The lawyer said a special agreement can be made with the Youtube platform for safeguarding the copyright over the court's live-streamed proceedings as held in a 2018 judgment of the Apex Court.

"Do you want live-streaming of court proceeding to be stopped?" asked the Court. Gupta responded in the negative and added it was the original prayer of the petitioner that live streaming of the proceedings should be done but with appropriate safeguards.

The bench then listed the matter for August, saying the Apex Court is in the process of strengthening the mechanism of live-streaming of the proceedings.

The Court had on October 17 issued a notice to its Registry on a plea by Govindacharya seeking a direction for a special arrangement with YouTube for safeguarding the copyright over the court's live-streamed proceedings as held in a 2018 judgment.

"The technology is constantly improving and the respondent no. 1 (SC Registry) has been persistently working to develop a self-reliant system. It may be brought to the kind notice of the Court that not only the Registry, but NIC as well, at present, does not have the sufficient technical and infrastructure wherewithal to host the live streaming completely on its own without third-party applications and solutions," H S Jaggi, Registrar of the Computer Cell of the Supreme Court, has said in an affidavit.

Govindacharya has contended that live-streaming of the Supreme Court's proceedings has to be done in accordance with the apex court judgment which said the copyright over the live-streamed proceedings cannot be surrendered and the data can neither be monetized nor used commercially by a platform like YouTube in the present case.

The registrar, in the affidavit, said the top court registry is constantly working towards achieving the goal of a "self-sustained, self-contained and self reliant live-streaming platforms".

The reply said the dependence on third-party applications is "inevitable" to offer live-streaming services to a larger audience.

On November 25 last year, a bench headed by CJI D Y Chandrachud had said it will be taking steps to have its own infrastructure to start live-streaming of the proceedings whose access will be given to bona fide persons like litigants, asserting it has to be ensured that the "sanctity of the institution is maintained".

With PTI Inputs