The Supreme Court on Monday refused urgent hearing of a plea that sought recording of the day-to-day hearings in the Ayodhya land dispute case, but said it would consider it on the administrative side, PTI reported. Last week, the top court said that court-mandated mediation efforts to resolve the dispute had failed and ordered daily hearing in the case from Tuesday.
The plea was filed in the top court by Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh ideologue KN Govindacharya. Senior advocate Vikas Singh mentioned the matter before a bench of Justices SA Bobde and BR Gavai.
“We don’t know if we have equipment for live streaming or recording of proceedings,” the bench told Singh.
Singh suggested that the proceedings can be recorded for the time being if there was difficulty live-streaming them.
The bench refused to pass any order in the case, but assured Singh that the matter would be considered on the administrative side.
In his plea filed last week, Govindacharya contended that the Ayodhya land dispute has created large-scale interest across the country, and claimed crores of people would be interested in witnessing the proceedings but that they could not do so due to the procedures of the top court.
In September 2018, the Supreme Court had allowed live-streaming of court proceedings of cases of constitutional and national importance. The court had said openness was like “sunlight” which is the “best disinfectant”. Govindacharya referred to this order in his plea, and said the right to know was a fundamental right and necessary orders be passed for live streaming of proceedings in the case.
The Ayodhya dispute has been going on for several decades, with both Hindu and Muslim groups claiming their right to the land. The Babri Masjid stood there before it was demolished in 1992 by Hindutva activists. In 2010, the Allahabad High Court had ordered the land to be divided in three equal parts between the Nirmohi Akhara, the Sunni Wakf Board and the representative for the deity Ram. The top court will hear appeals against this verdict.