The Orissa High Court has decided to begin live streaming of its proceedings as soon as possible. The High Court of Orissa Live Streaming of Court Proceedings Rules, 2021, were issued on Wednesday to that end, and will take effect on August 2, 2021. The Rules were implemented with the goal of implementing the concept of open court. “The High Court of Orissa hereby makes the following rules with the goal of implementing and broadening the Open Court concept during physical, virtual, and hybrid hearings.” The Rules state that the High Court will notify the platform and mode of live streaming on a regular basis. Sensitive disputes, on the other hand, will not be streamed live. This included matrimonial cases, cases involving children and juveniles, sexual offence cases, cases involving gender-based violence, matters protected by the Official Secrets Act or involving national security, habeas corpus petitions, and so on.
The Rules also state explicitly that if there is a disagreement among judges on a bench about whether proceedings may be live-streamed, the proceedings will not be live-streamed. Re-use of recordings for unauthorised purposes or as evidence has also been restricted. “Unauthorised access use/re-use, capture, editing/re-editing, distribution/re-distribution, or creating derivative works or compiling the live streamed feed/videos or using the same for any purpose, in any form, will be prohibited. The live streamed feed will not be admissible in any court of law proceedings.” The Rules, on the other hand, allow for the relaxation of all of the restrictions imposed by the Chief Justice's orders. The Gujarat High Court was the first in the country to formally launch live streaming of all of its Benches. During the inaugural event, Chief Justice of India NV Ramana hinted that the Supreme Court may soon begin live streaming of court proceedings from at least some of the top court's courtrooms.
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