Support live-streaming of proceedings in the Supreme Court of India

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Dear all,

Most Indians have no idea how some of the biggest decisions that impact them are taken. I am Indira Jaising, a Senior Advocate of the Supreme Court of India, I go to argue my cases and see other cases being argued. I can understand how and why decisions were taken. But the vast majority of Indians do not have this opportunity.

The law and judicial processes play a huge role in all our lives. It governs our behavior, it protects our rights and property. I am a lawyer and I strongly believe that all Indians should be able to see and understand how the Supreme Court of India functions.

When people understand how the judiciary functions it gives them more power, it gives them the tools to protect their rights, it gives them more respect and confidence in the judiciary.

I have filed a public interest petition in the Supreme Court to live stream and video record cases of national interest that impacts each one of us. The Supreme Court has advanced the human rights jurisprudence of this country and heard pleas of citizens on environmental concerns, gender justice issues, and ensured that these rights are protected equally for all. All of us cannot be physically present in New Delhi to hear the arguments of the lawyers, or the concerns of Judges on such issues. Technology will help us bridge the gap and make it possible to access the Supreme Court and virtually enter the courtroom even when not present.

Proceedings in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha have been telecast and live streamed for over 10 years now. This has brought awareness about the functioning of Parliament, all State Assemblies and our elected representatives. The higher judiciary all over the world provides means for viewing their courtroom proceedings, which enhances the transparency in its working. Live streaming of cases of national importance would do the same for the Supreme Court of India. To give one example, you were all able to see the arguments in real time in the Kulbushan Yadav case at the International Court of Justice. Why can we not see the proceedings in our courts?

The law and judicial processes are confusing to most citizens who have no legal training. Yet the law plays a huge role in all our lives, it impacts each and everyone. That is why I strongly believe that all citizens must be given an opportunity to understand how the law functions.

If the Supreme Court approves of the prayers in my petition, it will help increase awareness and bring transparency in the decision making process. Ordinary Indians will be able to see and understand how decisions are made. It will inspire confidence in the judiciary. The people of this country, can hear first-hand arguments and concerns raised in the court. The next generation of lawyers and citizens will also gain from the immense educational and archival value of the landmark cases.

This is our chance to bring in the new era of the justice system, in which we participate by getting access to information.

Join me in this movement to strengthen democracy and watch the Supreme Court of India develop human rights jurisprudence, which impacts us all. 

All it takes is copy/paste the petition link on facebook and appeal to your friends to join you in the movement.

Thank you.

Indira Jaising