Cuttack: The Orissa High Court is soon going to live stream hearings in a bid to broaden the scope of open court concept.
This will enable a person to see the live streaming of court proceedings including physical, virtual and hybrid hearings. The proceedings will be streamed on webcast portals, which will be selected and notified by the HC.
Mode of live streaming
The live streaming will be done by authorized High Court personnel only, directly to the live streaming platform/portal or through HC official accounts of any video conferencing platform to the live streaming platform/portal, as may be required depending upon the situation of virtual hearing or physical hearing.
The live streaming of the court proceedings may be with latency/delay of up to two minutes from the actual proceedings.
The web link of accessing the live streaming of the court proceedings will be published on the website of the High Court and may also be published in the cause list of the respective court and Bench.
General provisions relating to live streaming
However, some cases will not be live-streamed in line with specific directions by the bench or the Chief Justice.
Such cases will include matrimonial matters, children and juveniles, sexual offences, violence against women, Official Secrets Act, 1923, or involving national security, Habeas Corpus petitions, in-camera proceedings, cases that may provoke enmity amongst communities, privileged communications between the parties and their lawyers and cases with reasons not to be fit for live streaming.
The proceedings of the court conducted through video conferencing, physical or in hybrid hearing mode may be covered for live streaming.
Whenever there is a difference of opinion between the presiding judges of a bench as to whether a proceeding may be live streamed or not, then in such cases the relevant proceeding may not be live-streamed.
The Court may direct tagging of cases that may not be live-streamed as per these rules to be heard separately during the course of the day.
The videos of live streaming of court proceedings may be allowed to remain on the live streaming platform or portal except when specifically directed by the concerned presiding Judge(s) to delete or remove the same. Copy of videos so deleted/removed will be securely kept in the live streaming platform without public access.
The presiding Judges of Benches may mute their microphones while discussing with each other any aspect of the case or while passing any administrative instructions to the assisting ministerial personnel.
Any oral comments or remarks made by the Bench during the live streaming shall not be treated as part of the case or of the case record and only the contents of the not be treated as part of the case or of the case record and only the contents of the signed order of the Court shall be treated as final and as part of the record.
The parties or advocates may request for pausing or stopping live streaming of a proceeding and if the Bench deems it fit and proper, it may direct to stop/pause live streaming of such proceeding. Such fact shall be recorded by the Court Master in a register with noting on the date, time, case details and reasons of stopping/pausing live streaming under his/her signature.
In case of any urgent need, the presiding Judge may direct the technical personnel to stop/pause the live streaming, if the same is found to be necessary in the interest of the administration of justice. Any such event of stopping or pausing shall be noted by the Court Master, in a register with noting on the date, time, case details and reasons of stopping/pausing live streaming under his/her signature.
Restrictions and limitations
—Live streaming of court proceedings shall not be claimed by any person as a matter of right.
—No live commenting or live chat will be allowed on the live streaming being done of the court proceedings.
—Any remarks appropriate, relevant and useful for the purpose of live streaming may be communicated to the High Court through usual means of contact.
—The High Court or its officials will not be responsible for any delays, breakdown or disruption during the live streaming or its quality on the part of the live streaming platform/portal due to reasons attributable to technology or to any such other factor beyond the control of the court.
—Any delay/breakdown/disruption/outage of the live streaming due to any reason at the court end, will be noted with details by the Court Master in a register with noting on the date, time, case details and reasons of stopping/pausing live streaming under his/her signature.
—The High Court shall have copyright over live-streamed feed and videos, including the feeds and videos retained in the live streaming platform after live streaming is over, prohibiting any unauthorized copying of the live feed/videos.
—Unauthorised use/re-use, capture, editing/re-editing, distribution/redistribution, or creating derivative works or compiling the live-streamed feed/videos or using the same for any purpose, in any form, will not be permitted.
—The live-streamed feed/videos of the court proceedings are not to be considered as part of the case or court record for the purpose of reliance in any proceeding of any nature before any court of law.
—The live-streamed feed/videos of the court proceedings will not be allowed to be treated as evidence of anything relating to the court proceedings and will also not be considered admissible as such, in any court proceedings before any court of law.
—Requests for a copy of any live-streamed feed/videos will not be entertained for any purpose whatsoever.
—No content of the live-streamed feed/videos or any observations made therein will be treated as authorized/certified/official version of anything relating to the court proceedings. Only the orders/judgments pronounced by the respective Benches and the process/certified copies issued by the High Court Registry accordingly will be treated as authentic and authorized.
—Anyone participating in the proceedings whether in person or through video conferencing, will have to maintain utmost discipline and decorum in consonance with the dignity and majesty of the court. Any participant found to be misusing the access to the court for undue publicity through a live streaming facility, may be muted or removed from a video conferencing session, or asked to leave the court if participating in person. In such a situation, if required, the presiding Judge may direct to stop the live streaming of the court proceedings of the particular case for the day. Such an event will be noted by the Court Master, in a register with noting on the date, time, case details and reasons of stopping/pausing live streaming under his/her signature.
—In case of stopping the live streaming for any of the foregoing reasons/circumstances, the live streaming, when resumed, may have a fresh link, which would be notified through the High Court website and/or the live streaming platform/portal.
—Violation of any of these provisions will entail proceedings under the provisions of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971 and other applicable penal laws.
Power to Relax
The Chief Justice may, if satisfied that the operation of any provision of these Rule is causing undue hardship, by order, dispense with or relax the requirements of that Rule to such extent and subject to such conditions as may be stipulated to deal with the case in a just and equitable manner.
Matters concerning which no express provision is made in these Rules shall be decided consistent with the principle of furthering the interest of justice.