Public Administration Mains 2018 : Model Question and Answer - 76

(Public Administration Paper II / Chapter: Union Government and Administration)

(Current Based) Question: Kautilya said in the Arthashastra , and during that time, when judges delivered a judgment, they did so in an open court. Comment. (15 Marks/250Words)

Model Answer:

The Indian legal system is built on the concept of open courts, which means that the proceedings are open to all members of the public, the reality is different. On any given day, only a handful of people can be physically present and are allowed in the courtroom.

While the courts are now opting for digitisation, with online records of all cases, a provision for filing FIRs online, an automated system of case rotation, etc., there is still a need to push the bar much higher.

Justice should not only be done, it should also be seen to be done. This cardinal principle is at the heart of the petition filed by senior advocate Indira Jaising.

Note that live-streaming is neither called for in all types of matters nor in all courts. The emphasis is to make those matters that are of great public importance available for all to see. Therefore, matters which have a privacy dimension, such as family matters or criminal matters, or matters with legal procedural intricacies, such as most trial court matters, are out of its scope.

The right to information, access to justice, the need to build the right perception, along with the need to educate common people on how the judiciary functions are all strong reasons in favour of allowing live-streaming of court proceedings.

It also presents a hope for the Indian legal system to finally deliver on its promise to empower the masses, not be scared of them. After all, why build walls where we can build bridges? (Total Words- 256)

Valuable inputs from The Hindu Opinion : ‘Should Supreme Court proceedings be live-streamed?’ by Avani Bansal

(Linkages: Indian Legal System and Concept of Open Courts, Courts and Digitization, Live Streaming and Case of Public Importance)

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