Truly A Court Of Record Where Every Word Is Recorded: Supreme Court On Starting Live Transcription Of Proceedings
For the first, a Constitution Bench led by CJI DY Chandrachud, hearing a batch of cases relating to the 2022 Maharashtra political crisis, will utilize Artificial Intelligence (AI) for displaying the live transcription of court proceedings.
A screen displaying live transcription has been installed in Court Room 1, facing the lawyers, on an experimental basis.
“We’ll just see how it works, at least, in the Constitution Bench matters. We’ll have a permanent record of arguments. Of course, it will help the judges and lawyers, it will also help law colleges so they can analyse how matters are argued. It is a huge resource”, said CJI DY Chandrachud who led the Constitution Bench.
The CJI also said that if two people speak at the same time, it will be difficult to transcribe.
Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal in a lighter vein said “Posterity we will get to know what foolish arguments we made (laughs)” and termed the initiative as “a wonderful idea”.
“Truly, a court of record. Where every word is a record”, said Justice PS Narasimha who was part of the Constitution Bench, also comprising Justice MR Shah, Justice Krishna Murari and Justice Hima Kohli, when the Bench assembled.
Kapil Sibal then shared his experience when he practiced in New York and everything said during the course of the examination was recorded.
“I can share something with you. When practicing in New York, we had these EBT proceedings i.e. Examination Before Trial. I am talking about the 70s. They would record everything that was spoken in the course of that examination, even then. Lawyers knew what was going to happen”, he said.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said that in Gujarat Sessions e-courts, even internal whisperings get recorded.
“That's very dangerous. Hazardous, completely hazardous”, said Kapil Sibal.
The CJI said by the evening errors in transcription will be cleaned up.
“During the course of the day, the Counsel will get a link. So the Counsel can look at it (transcription). By the evening, they (the transcription agency) would have cleaned up the entire transcript and given it to us”, he added.
“Closed captioning (transcription) is active”, is mentioned on the Video Conferencing link of the Supreme Court. The transcription process utilizes Artificial Intelligence (AI) and a technology driven by Natural Language Processing.
The transcription service is being done by TERES, a company which has been providing such a facility in arbitration proceedings.
On January 16, during the hearing of a plea filed by Senior Advocate Indira Jaising regarding live-streaming of proceedings of the Supreme Court, the Senior Advocate, inter-alia, made a suggestion before the Apex Court that Audio scripts of proceedings may be allowed and archived like in the United States.
“Karnataka High Court (Video Conferencing) Rules provide for the transcript to be maintained. I request this should also be considered. Transcripts are more important when it comes to a Court which is subject to appeal. We know, Supreme Court is not subject to appeal. Relevance of transcripts in Supreme Court would not be as much as in the High Court or District Court or Trial Court”, Singh said.
“Physical transcription of proceedings will be a huge process. The cost is very steep for transcription. Yet, we will look into that. We’ll list it after four weeks. We are taking administrative steps”, CJI DY Chandrachud had said.