A petition has been moved before the Allahabad High Court seeking directions for live streaming of proceedings and allowing reporters to access courtrooms, both physically and virtually so that court proceedings can be reported. .The petitioners sought appointment of a High Powered Committee headed by a sitting or retired Judge(s) of Allahabad High Court and a panel of Experts, to work out and provide appropriate recommendations for the live streaming/telecast of Court proceedings and to facilitate easy access of media persons/Journalists..The plea invoked the fundamental right to press which is part of the right to freedom of speech in order to gain access to virtual or physical hearings and report the same as they occur."The said right corresponds with the people’s right to know and to access justice and the all-encompassing dignity of the populace," the plea stated..The plea moved by legal reporters Areeb Uddin (Bar & Bench) and Sparsh Upadhyay (Livelaw), was filed through advocates Shashwat Anand and Mohd. Kumail Haider..Referring to the dedicated media room of Supreme Court and Gujarat High Court, the petitioners prayed that a similar set up equipped with necessary technology and infrastructure be provided in Allahabad High Court as well to ensure all persons are able to view the virtual and physical proceedings of cases. The petitioners also sought a single video conference link for each courtroom to be made available publicly on the causelist like in the case of Supreme Court and some High Courts to harmonise virtual hearings..They also prayed that the links for hearing be sent to those media persons who are registered with the database of the High Court. Alternatively, they sought leave for free access to the journalists or media persons to join the virtual hearing so that arguments of counsel, parties and remarks of judges can be reported live on Twitter and other platforms.The petition also stated that easy access be granted to journalists to physically enter the court room premises by showing their IDs or special media passes..The petition was filed in the backdrop of restricted access to court proceedings during the ongoing COVID - 19 pandemic situation to litigants and media personnel. Even in the pre-COVID-19 era, Court proceedings before the Allahabad High Court were largely inaccessible to the public at large, the plea stated. For any information of constitutional and public importance, people have to rely upon second hand or hearsay sources which suffer from various flaws and inaccuracies, it was pointed out. .The petitioners contended that the concept of justice would truly be realised only when the environment has absolute transparency as per the meaning of 'open court' as discussed in Article 145(4) of the Constitution of India, Sections 153B of the Code of Civil Procedure and 327 of Code of Criminal Procedure..This is more so now because video conference hearings which are resorted to currently, militate against the principle of ‘open court’ and ‘open justice system’ by excluding access to the public, including the petitioners proliferating a system of ‘Justice behind closed doors,’ in teeth of the very basic structure and foundations of the Constitution..Disclosure: One of the petitioners, Areeb Uddin is a reporter at Bar & Bench.