The Nature of Judicial Power: Constitutional Ethos II

Courts must be open, both in physical and metaphorical sense. Citizens have a right to know about what transpires in course of proceedings. Public scrutiny is crucial to maintaining transparency and accountability.

Cases before Courts are vital sources of public information about activities of Legislature and Executive. Freedom of speech and expression extends to reporting proceedings of judicial institutions. Internet, including social media, have revolutionized means through which information is relayed. World is adapting to technology at a pace which is often difficult to catalogue, and many of our citizens are becoming digital natives from a young age. We are seeing reporting proliferate through social media forums which provide real-time updates to a much wider audience. This constitutes a virtual extension of open Court. This phenomenon is a not a cause of apprehension, but a celebration of our constitutional ethos.

We find no substance in prayer for restraining media from reporting on Court proceedings.

Hon’ble Justice Dr. D.Y. Chandrachud, Chief Election Commissioner of India v. M.R. Vijaybhaskar, [Civil Appeal No. 1767 of 2021].