In a first, SC starts live transcription of arguments to build ‘huge resource base’ | India News


NEW DELHI: In a historic stepthe Supreme Court on Tuesday began live transcription of proceedings before a five-judge Constitution bench hearing petitions filed by the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena faction.
CJI D Y Chandrachud said, “We had to do it (transcribing) in a live environment. So, it is an experiment. We will see how it works, to begin with in Constitution bench matters. It will create a permanent record of arguments. It will help the lawyers and judges. But it will also benefit law students who can analyse how matters are argued in the Supreme Court. It will build a huge resource base.”
Justice M R Shah, part of the Constitution bench, said in a lighter vein, “This also means do not interrupt each other during the arguments. All will be recorded.” Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, who hailed the move as historic, a milestone and a wonderful initiative, joined the banter to say, “Posterity will judge us what foolish arguments we made.”
Justice P S Narasimha said, “This move is in sync with the idea of the Supreme Court being a court of record. Every word said in the court will be recorded.”
Sibal said, “While practising before the New York Court in the 1970s, we had ‘examination before trial’ (EBT) proceedings. They would record everything that was said in the course of that examination. So, the lawyers knew what was going to happen.”
Solicitor general Tushar Mehta said that in e-courts, which are sessions courts, “whatever the lawyers say, even the whisperings, are recorded”. Sibal said, “That is dangerous. That is completely hazardous.”
Moving away from the banter, the CJI said “The only problem is when two or more persons speak at the same time. However, we have engaged personnel who will clean the transcription by the evening and provide a link to the counsel to go through the transcripts and suggest corrections. After it is cleaned up and corrected, the transcripts would be given to the judges.”


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