Karnataka High Court livestreams proceedings on YouTube

For the first time, the High Court of Karnataka livestreamed its proceedings for an hour through YouTube on Monday on an experimental basis.

Around 700 YouTube users watched the proceedings live at a particular point of time, and it overall registered around 2,100 views during the one-hour-long live session. Karnataka High Court is the second court to use YouTube for livestreaming proceedings on a trial basis, after the High Court of Gujarat.

The proceeds in Court Hall-1 of a Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Suraj Govindaraj were livestreamed between 3.05 p.m. and 4.05 p.m.

The court has already been using Zoom and other applications for virtual hearings since March last year in view of the pandemic, allowing only advocates and party-in-person litigants to log in for them.

The final hearing proceedings of two PIL petitions filed by Baithkol Bandaru Nirashrithara Yantrikrut Dhoni Meenugarara Sahakara Sangha Niyamitha and Uttara Kannada District Fishermen’s Association were livestreamed after the advocates were informed in advance. The petitions, filed last year, were related to the environmental impact and alleged violation of environmental laws in the approval of the proposed second stage development of the Commercial Karwar Port at Baithkol village, Karwar taluk, Uttara Kannada.

The Supreme Court’s administration has been actively considering livestreaming some of its proceedings following its 2018 judgment in the Swapnil Tripathi vs. Supreme Court of India case. In fact, a Division Bench of the Karnataka HC, headed by the Chief Justice, had in January 2020 ordered issue of notice to the State government as well as its Registry on a PIL filed by city-based advocate Dilraj Rohit Sequeira seeking audio-video recording of court proceedings and livestreaming as per the guidelines laid down by the apex court.

Recently, SC judge and chairperson of its e-committee Justice D.Y. Chandrachud had indicated that the livestreaming of court proceedings was on the brink of becoming a reality.

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