1. Keen To Start Live Streaming At Supreme Court: CJI NV Ramana At Launch Of Live Streaming At Gujarat HC
The Chief Justice of India, N. V. Ramana launched live streaming of Gujarat High Court proceedings and also released the Live Streaming Rules of the High Court. Speaking on the occasion, Chief Justice informed that he is keen to start Live Streaming in at least a few of the Courts at the Supreme Court.
Stressing upon the importance of Live Streaming of Court proceedings, CJI also said that Live streaming is important for the dissemination of information as a part of Article 19 of the Constitution.
The CJI said, "Lack of direct access could give space for misconception and so Live streaming is the best remedy for it. Judges should never shy away from public duty."
However, CJI NV Ramana further said: "At times, the live streaming mode can become a double-edged sword, however, a judge can't be swayed by popular opinion as Judge might be in the public gaze, he might become a topic of discussion. Judges cannot lose objectivity. The lawyer too should not go for publicity."
He also said that Lawyers should always uphold and maintain the dignity of the profession and the identities of parties also must be kept in mind, their privacy is also important and lawyers have to carefully calibrate rules governing live streaming.
While the Chief Justice of India, N. V. Ramana graced the occasion as the Chief Guest and inaugurated the live streaming of Court Proceedings of the High Court, Dr. Justice D. Y. Chandrachud, Judge, Supreme Court of India & Chairman, e-committee of the Supreme Court of India were also present as the Guest of Honour.
Talking about the importance of Live Streaming, Justice Chandrachud said: "Whether on not people are interested in a particular case, live streaming adds to transparency. Live Streaming is a necessity now. Even after the pandemic ends, Live streaming would demystify court proceedings for court proceedings and will convey the message that courts are for the people. People get to know that Judges are actually at work. Misconceptions are there regarding Judges' functioning, we are targeted for the Holidays we take."
Gujarat High Court's Chief Justice Vikram Nath spoke about going live. He said: "It is a challenge in itself, it required courage, confidence, and above all conviction but I am proud that all my sister brother, and judges approved the Live Streaming rules unanimously."
He also said that as he got a message from Justice Chandrachud, he decided to unanimously start live streaming of court proceedings and that he was proud of the initiative.
Source: Bar & Bench
2. Treating Ordinary Country Bomb Cases As Terrorist Offences Will Defeat Purpose Of NIA Act : Madras High Court
The Madras High Court has expressed concern about the difficulties which will be caused by sending all cases involving scheduled offences under the National Investigation Agency Act to the 'Special Courts' notified under the NIA Act.
A full bench comprising Justices P N Prakashh, V Sivagnam, RN Manjula was considering a referred question whether the rejection of bail by a Sessions Court under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) must be challenged by way of an appeal under the NIA Act, even if the case was being investigated by the state police and not the NIA. Following the Supreme Court verdict in the case Bikramjit Singh vs State of Punjab, the bench held that such orders can only be challenged by way of appeal under the NIA Act.
"In our considered opinion, the very purpose and object of the NIA Act would stand defeated if all and sundry run of the mill country bomb cases are treated as terrorist offences and sent to Special Courts/Sessions Courts for trial", the Court observed.
The Court also flagged another anomaly as follows : "That apart, we find yet another incongruity, inasmuch as when a scheduled offence is under investigation by the C.B.I., it neither falls under the category of N.I.A. nor under the category of State agency, with the result that the NIA Act would not apply to such cases. The final report of the CBI will have to be filed only before the regular jurisdictional Magistrate when it discloses a scheduled offence in the hypothetical case referred to above".
R.Sankaranarayanan, Additional Solicitor General, said that he will draw the attention of Union Ministry of Law and Justice to these aspects.
"We trust and hope that these issues would be looked at by the relevant stakeholders with the seriousness that they deserve", the High Court observed.
Source: Bar & Bench
3. Gauhati High Court Bats For Child Friendly Court To Be Made Functional In State For Dealing With POCSO Cases
Taking note of the fact that there is no child friendly Court in the State of Arunachal Pradesh, the Gauhati High Court on Friday asked the Advocate General to take up to issue with State Government so that a child friendly court is made operational at the earliest in the State for dealing with POCSO cases.
A division bench comprising of Chief Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia and Justice Manash Ranjan Pathak was dealing with a suo moto case concerning the plight of a minor rape victim after a missing report was filed by one Aka Kalung alleging that his minor domestic help was missing since 1 March this year. The victim girl, working as a domestic help, was allegedly raped and sexually abused by the house owner. She was brought from Nepal as a domestic help in the year 2017.
The development came after the Advocate General apprised the Court that there is no child friendly Court in the State of Arunachal Pradesh, which goes against the mandate of sub-rule 18 of Rule 54 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Model Rules, 2016 stating that there shall be a child-friendly Court where matters regarding POCSO are taken up.
"The learned Advocate General of Arunachal Pradesh, Mr. N Dutta appears in this matter. We request the learned Advocate General to take up this matter with the State Government so that as early as possible at least one child-friendly Court can be constructed and made functional in the State of Arunachal Pradesh, at the earliest," The Court ordered.
The Court also directed the state authority to provide police protection and also directed the concerned Deputy Commissioner to visit the CCI, and conduct an enquiry with regard to the facilities available in the CCI.
The report of the enquiry conducted revealed that the facilities at CCI were adequate and that the victim was well protected. In view of this, the Court directed that the victim will stay in the said CCI for the time being.
Source: Bar & Bench
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