A law student filed a petition in Gujarat High Court for live streaming of court proceedings. He filed the petition under Article 21 and 19(1)(a) which states that people have a right to get fair justice and the right to be informed.
Brief Facts of the Case
The case in hand is Pruthvirajsinh Zala v. High Court of Gujarat. The petitioner is a student at Nirma University, Ahmedabad. The student moved a petition for establishing live-streaming of Gujarat High Court’s proceedings.
The student filed a petition in the interest of the public. The petitioner stated that due to COVID-19, the High Court started virtual hearings. But it is not accessible to the public including media, law students and litigants etc.
The petitioner further stated that —
“The right of access to justice flows from Article 21 of the Constitution. The concept of justice at the doorstep would be meaningful only if the public gets access to the proceedings and in particular, the opportunity to witness live proceedings in respect of matters having an impact on the public at large or section of people.”
The petitioner stated that Section 327 of CrPC and Section 153-B of CPC lays down provisions for open trials to the public. He added that live streaming is possible due to the development of technology. In light of the current pandemic, the UK and the USA has adopted live streaming of court proceedings. The petitioner further mentioned that within our country itself, the Kerala High Court is live streaming. Additionally, the Bombay High Court provides public video conferencing hearing. The petitioner already made representation through the mail in this regard.
Grounds for moving a petition
The petitioner filed this application on grounds of Article 21 and 19(1)(a), which provide free access to justice. Citizens also have the right to information.
For his arguments, the petitioner relied upon the nine-judge bench case of the Supreme Court of Naresh Shridhar Mirajkar v. the State of Maharashtra and Ors. The Apex Court held that all the civil, criminal or other cases must be available in open courts. It is essential to keep the public’s confidence in the judiciary. It is also a must to keep the public’s confidence in the fair administration of justice.
Thus, the petitioner submitted that there is a need to make proceedings available to all. The Court should give interim relief in this case.
The Court will hear this matter on July 10, 2020.
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