Bengaluru: For the first time in the state, Karnataka high court live-streamed trials of two Public Interest Litigation (PIL) petitions presided by a division bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Suraj Govindaraj were telecasted via YouTube on Monday.
“Today, we have live proceedings of two petitions….It is being done on an experimental basis. It is our duty to put members of the Bar to notice,” remarked the bench after the live stream began.
With this, Karnataka high court has become the second high court in the country to experiment with live streaming of court proceedings, the first being Gujarat high court. The HC plans to live stream another proceeding if the pilot streaming with the court hall-1 is successful.
The cases live-streamed were final hearing proceedings of two PIL petitions filed Baithkol Bandaru Nirashrithara Yantrikrut Dhoni Meenugarara Sahakara Sangha Niyamitha, and the Uttara Kannada District Fishermen Association. Various issues related to environmental impact and alleged violation of environmental laws in approval of the proposed second stage development of Commercial Karwar Port at Baithkol village.
The Supreme Court is actively considering pleas of live streaming of some of the proceedings of its proceedings as well as some proceedings of high courts. A PIL seeking live streaming of all the courts in Karnataka is pending before the high court. Supreme Court judge and chairperson of its e-committee, Justice DY Chandrachud, had recently indicated that live-streaming of court proceedings was on the brink of becoming a reality.
The Allahabad high court and the Madhya Pradesh HC are also set to hear pleas by journalists who have asked permission for the live-streaming and live-reporting of proceedings. Amid the surge in Covid-19 cases and the subsequent lockdown imposed by the Karnataka government, the High Court of Karnataka had issued guidelines to hold hearings only through videoconference.
Meanwhile, on Monday, a public interest litigation hearing on the CBI probe into the case of sex for job controversy involving former Karnataka minister Ramesh Jarkiholi was submitted before the court on Monday. The HC adjourned the matter to June 18, asking the SIT to submit a report.
The SIT also submitted a report on the probe into the abduction case by the father of the woman allegedly involved in a CD scandal with a former minister. In his complaint stating that his daughter was kidnapped from Bengaluru and was being harassed filed with the APMC police station in Belagavi and it was later transferred to R T Nagar police station in Bengaluru. The report was submitted in a sealed envelope.