Supreme Court agrees to hear application for Live Streaming of Article 370 proceedings
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Supreme Court agrees to hear application for Live Streaming of Article 370 proceedings

Shruti Mahajan

The Supreme Court today agreed to hear an application seeking the live streaming of proceedings in the batch of petitions filed in the wake of the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution, which had earlier conferred special status upon Jammu and Kashmir.

The application has been filed by the former RSS ideologue KN Govindacharya. The application was mentioned for urgent listing by Senior Counsel Vikas Singh before the Bench headed by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde and comprising Justices BR Gavai and Surya Kant.

Govindacharya had earlier moved the Court for the live streaming of case proceedings in the Ayodhya case. He has pointed out that the Supreme Court had sought the Registry’s response on the viability of streaming the case proceedings live on that plea. However, the Registry has failed to comply with the Court’s order, he has submitted.

Supreme Court has batted for transparency in a number of its judgments, the application goes on to highlight. In 2018, the Court famously remarked that “sunlight is the best disinfectant” while allowing a petition urging for the live streaming of Supreme Court proceedings.

In this backdrop, the Govindacharya has observed in his application,

“… the Supreme Court’s failure to implement its own judgment of live streaming, which was delivered in September 2018, until date, speaks for itself.”

The former RSS ideologue says that the issue concerning Article 370 is very crucial and is susceptible to “misreporting” owing to which live streaming of these proceedings becomes imperative.

“.. this matter is a momentous matter, whose proceedings can be considered to be live streamed/video recorded/ audio recorded/transcripted on a pilot basis.

… matters relating to Article 370 are very important and are covered widely by the Indian as well as the international media. In absence of accurate information being officially released by this Hon’ble Court, the proceedings may be susceptible to misreporting.”

In view of these concerns, the applicant has prayed that the Court direct the live-streaming/video or audio recording or preparation of a transcript for the case proceedings in the petitions concerning the abrogation of Article 370.  The application was filed by Advocate Virag Gupta and settled by Senior Counsel Vikas Singh.

The hearing in the batch of petitions challenging the move to abrogate Article 370 is scheduled to begin before a Constitution Bench of the Court headed by Justice NV Ramana on December 10.

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