Ayodhya Case: SC disallows live streaming, begins hearings
The Supreme Court today began hearings on the Ayodhya case, and dismissed the plea for live streaming of proceedings.
Today, the Supreme Court begins hearing the Ram Mandir-Babri Masjid case on a day-to-day basis. This came after court mandated mediation efforts failed. The hearings will be before a Constitutional Bench, headed by the Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi.
On Saturday, former Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh leader KN Govindacharya filed a petition in the Supreme Court, asking that the Court allow the proceedings in the case to be live streamed to the public. The petitioner relied on precedent from September 2018, which ordered that cases of national importance should be live-streamed to the public. The plea stated, “Live-streaming as an extension of the principle of open courts will ensure the interface between a court hearing with reality will result in the dissemination of information , imparting transparency to the judicial process”.
The plea was brought before a bench of Justices SA Bobde and BR Gavai. They refused to hear the plea asking that proceedings be recorded, but allowed that it will be considered on the administrative side in today’s hearing.
The Constitutional Bench today has just ruled, however, that it rejects the plea for live streaming the case proceedings. As such, the proceedings in the Supreme Court have begun.
The matter is being considered by a 5 judge bench, comprising of the CJI, and Justice SA Bobde, DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan, and S Abdul Nazeer. The mediation panel to resolve the dispute, as mandated by the Court, was set up in March. Led by retired Supreme Court Judge FMI Kalifulla, the mediation panel submitted a status report on the failed mediation in July 18, resulting in the day to day hearing underway now. The report stated that only one meeting could be conducted with all parties present, which was attended by 41 people. All other meetings did not have full representation.
The Ram Mandir-Babri Masjid case, also known as the Ayodhaya dispute, has been underway for decades now. It boils down to both Hindu and Muslim groups claiming their right to the land upon which the Babri Masjid stood until it was demolished by Hindutva activists in 1992. This case went to the Allahabad High Court, which ordered that the land be divided in three parts - one part for each claimant group. It is against this verdict that the Supreme Court has begun hearing an appeal today.