CJI to decide on live-streaming of Ayodhya case hearing

Supreme Court of India
Supreme Court of India, File Photo

New Delhi, Sep 6 The Supreme Court on Friday referred a plea seeking live streaming and recording of the daily hearings in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute case to a bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi.

The plea filed by former BJP leader and RSS ideologue K.N. Govindacharya seeks live streaming and audio recording of the proceedings in the court. As per the plea, if none of these can be done, the apex court should at least prepare the transcripts of the proceedings for record. The transcripts can be released online later.

However, Justices R.F. Nariman and Surya Kant referred the plea to a bench headed by CJI Gogoi. The Ayodhya land dispute case is currently being heard by a five-judge constitution bench headed by the Chief Justice.

In his plea, Govindacharya cited the Supreme Court’s September 2018 ruling that court proceedings in the country can be live streamed. The ruling came on a petition filed by the think-tank, Centre for Accountability and Systemic Change (CASC).

According to the petition, despite around a year having gone by, the implementation of the top court ruling was yet to take place.

Justices Nariman and Surya Kant told Govindacharya’s counsel that the judgement that he was citing for live streaming, excluded sensitive matters. They observed that the Ayodhya dispute was sensitive matter and asked the petitioner if it could be live streamed. To the reply of the petitioner’s counsel that it was not a sensitive matter, the court asked, “What is it then?”

Govindacharya, in his petition, said: “This case is a matter of national importance. There are crores of persons, including the petitioner, who want to witness proceedings before this court, but cannot do the same due to the present norms in the Supreme Court.”

He said that people were desperate for early justice in the Ram Temple case, as Lord Ram had been kept in a makeshift tent for the past many years.

“This matter has been pending in the Supreme Court for the last nine years, and the public at large is interested in knowing the reasons behind the delay in deciding the cases,” the petitioner further added.

Govindacharya said as a digital super power, India has the means to arrange for live streaming of the Ayodhya case hearing.

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