Case Comment on Swapnil Tripathi V. Supreme Court of India

Updated: Mar 14

Abstract:

The Case deals with live streaming of court proceedings for the interest of the public especially for the interns. Swapnil Tripathi, a law student filed a petition and invoked the writ jurisdiction through Article 32 of the Constitution of India in the Supreme Court demanding the live streaming of court proceedings. Along with this petition, a PIL suggesting the allowance of video recording of court proceeding and also a petition by a NGO was filed for demanding the same. Court entertained and clubbed all the three petitions.

Issue raised was whether live streaming of court proceedings should be introduced in the lower court. The petitioner argued that it should be introduced in lower court as it will enhance accountability of judiciary and will give opportunity to witness live court proceedings of matters.

The Supreme Court held that the court proceeding shall be live-streamed which initially may be started with cases that are of constitutional and national importance excluding certain cases and these cases shall have proper regulatory body to promote justice and transparency.

Title of Case: Swapnil Tripathi V. Supreme Court of India

Name of Judges: Dipak Misra J., A M Khanwilkar J. and D Y Chandrachud J.

Court: Supreme Court

Year of Judgement: 2018

Applicable Law: “The Constitution of India”

Introduction

This Case deals with live streaming of court proceedings for the interest of the public especially for the interns. The Petitioner invoked the writ jurisdiction through Article 32 of The Constitution of India.

Facts

Swapnil Tripathi, a law student studying BBA LL. B at the National Law University, Jodhpur filed a petition in the Supreme Court demanding the live streaming of court proceedings. Along with Swapnil, a PIL was filed by a senior advocate Indira Jaising suggesting the allowance of video recording of court proceedings by giving significance to the safeguards that are required to set on the video recording from being misused and also a petition was filed by an NGO named Centre for Accountability and systematic change which demanded the video recording of the court proceedings and that video shall be uploaded on the official website of the apex court. The NGO also demanded that the court proceedings should not be broadcasted on television or any other channel. All the three petitions were entertained and were clubbed by the apex court. During his internship at the Supreme Court of India under Advocate Rishabh Sancheti , Swapnil was affronted by the rules that the interns were not allowed in the court premises on certain days such as Monday and Friday and also on these days the courtrooms were overcrowded as on these days the public interest litigations are listed which are heard by the court. Disappointed by this, Swapnil discussed the aforementioned issue with his senior who suggested Swapnil to approach the court and challenge it as if he felt strongly about it and believed that it was his right to hear those important court proceedings and should not be denied for the same. The idea of approaching the court stayed in his mind and he ended up drafting & filing a petition along with four other students claiming that it is their right to attend certain court proceedings. The petitioner came up with the suggestion of live streaming of court proceedings and certain guidelines for the live streaming of court proceedings contending that it will bring transparency in judiciary and promote justice.

Questions under consideration

1. Whether Live streaming of court proceedings should be introduced in lower courts?

Arguments Submitted

1. The live streaming of court proceedings should be introduced in lower courts as it will bring open access to justice and will act as a significant instrument for enhancing the accountability of judicial institutions. It will give opportunity to witness the live court proceedings of matters which have an impact on larger sections of people.

Judgement

The Supreme Court held that the court proceedings shall be live-streamed and initially this may be started by live streaming the cases that are of constitutional and national importance and excluding marital, sexual assault cases and cases involving juveniles. The live streaming of cases shall have a proper regulatory framework. Also, the bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra asked petitioner Swapnil Tripathi to submit guidelines to the attorney general of India regarding creation of room for live streaming in the Supreme Court premises. Then, the attorney general suggested that the live streaming should be done for constitutional matters and matters relating to national importance. Also, the bench said that appropriate rules will be framed soon under Article 145 of The Constitution of India which allows the apex court to frame its own rules.

Conclusion

The Supreme Court allowed the live streaming of court proceedings which will bring transparency in the judicial system and it will reduce the reliance on information received from secondary sources which will reduce misinformation.


Authors -

Yash Talreja

Student at Amity University Chhattisgarh.

Nasimuddin Khan

Student at Amity University Chhattisgarh.

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