CJI to hear plea for live-streaming of Ayodhya title dispute case

Case deals with a sensitive issue, says Bench

Updated - September 06, 2019 09:58 pm IST

Published - September 06, 2019 01:46 pm IST - NEW DELHI:

NEW DELHI, 08/08/2019: A view of Supreme Court of India, in New Delhi on August 8, 2019. Photo by Shiv Kumar Pushpakar / The Hindu

NEW DELHI, 08/08/2019: A view of Supreme Court of India, in New Delhi on August 8, 2019. Photo by Shiv Kumar Pushpakar / The Hindu

A Supreme Court Bench on Friday referred to the Chief Justice of India a plea for live streaming of the ongoing Ayodhya title dispute hearings.

The Chief Justice is likely to hear the petition filed by activist K.N. Govindacharya on September 11.

The Bench led by Justice Rohinton Narimam, while hearing the petition, said the ‘open court system’ did not mean outsiders are privy to proceedings. It merely meant the court was open to litigants to attend proceedings.

The Bench asked whether it would be right to live-stream Ayodhya proceedings, as it dealt with a sensitive issue.

Senior advocate Vikas Singh said the issue was one of social and constitutional gravity. If not live-streamed, the proceedings should at least be audio-recorded and transcripts made available.

The Govindacharya petition reminded the Supreme Court of its own judgment of September 2018 that ordered live-streaming of hearings in momentous cases of national importance. The judgment is yet to be implemented.

The petitioner said the case “famously known as the Ayodhya Ram Mandir matter” had created large-scale interest across India.

“The Supreme Court has already held that sunlight is the best disinfectant. Live streaming as an extension of the principle of open courts will ensure that the interface between a court hearing with virtual reality will result in the dissemination of information in the widest possible sense, imparting transparency and accountability to the judicial process,” the petition said.

The petition said the Ayodhya case had been pending in the Supreme Court for the last nine years, and the public at large was interested in knowing the reasons behind the delay in deciding cases at the Supreme Court.

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