Karnataka high court second in country to livestream proceedings | Bengaluru News – Times of India

BENGALURU: The Karnataka high court on Monday became the second HC in the country, after Gujarat, to livestream proceedings. On trial basis, the hearing in Court Hall No 1 of two PILs challenging the Karwar port expansion project was live streamed on YouTube close to an hour in the afternoon.
When the afternoon session commenced at 2.30pm, Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka, who was heading the bench, asked the counsel on both sides if they were agreeable to livestreaming of the proceedings in the case. Both sides agreed, with one of them welcoming it as a “good decision”.
The chief justice explained that the livestreaming of proceedings is being undertaken on an experimental basis in these two petitions and that he wanted to put everything on record, referring to their consent.
He said further decisions on the matter will be taken based on inputs received. Livestreaming proceedings is likely to be continued on Tuesday as well.
Livestreaming of court proceedings has been a long-standing demand of advocates. The matter had reached the Supreme Court which said in 2018 that it is up to the chief justices of respective high courts. Recent comments by new Chief Justice of India NV Ramana that the Supreme Court is actively considering the option has further strengthened the demand. With lockdowns becoming all too common in the pandemic, the judiciary has started hearing matters through video-conferencing.
Monday’s move was welcomed by the advocate fraternity. Former advocate-general Prof Ravivarma Kuma said livestreaming increases efficiency and transparency in the system and the same should be extended to other processes too.
YR Sadashiva Reddy, co-chairman of Bar Council of India, senior advocate and ex-chairman of Karnataka State Bar Council, recalled that about two decades back, the council had passed a resolution in this regard. “I’m happy it has materialised now,” he said. City advocate KV Dhananjay felt the initiative would infuse efficiency and accountability in the system and that district and trial courts should also livestream proceedings. Advocate GR Mohan said it was “bold decision”.

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