For the first time, the Supreme Court of India has been opened to the public. People can now visit the court as tourists and take a guided tour. According to Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, this is aimed at providing people some exposure to the working of the Supreme Court, even if it is an a limited way.
"This is an experiment. Limited exposure of court should be opened up in a limited way," Chief Justice Gogoi said.
As of now, only litigants, lawyers and their staff and journalists are allowed inside the Supreme Court. Entry for others was restricted through an entry pass or an electronic access card.
The top court's premises will open to the public through a guided tour from 10 am to 1 pm every Saturday, except on public holidays. The visitors will have to book their entry on the Supreme Court website. An official of the court will accompany the visitors, take them to courtrooms, inform them about the historical importance of the building and tell them about the cases being heard.
The visitors will also be shown a short film on the Supreme Court and the excursion will end with a visit to the museum in the top court's premises. The foundation stone for the Supreme Court building was laid by India's first President Dr Rajendra Prasad. The court became operational in 1958, exactly 60 years ago.