The Supreme Court on Monday asked the registry if it was possible to live-stream the proceedings of the Ayodhya case, Bar and Bench reported. Counsel Vikas Singh, representing Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh ideologue KN Govindacharya, told the bench that a lot of people are unable to follow the proceedings as they are not telecast live.
Singh claimed that Govindacharya had filed the plea “in the interest of the principles of an open court”. He said that while it was not necessary to start live streaming the proceedings right now, recording may begin.
Govindacharya, in his petition filed last month, had relied on the judgement of the Supreme Court in another case, in which it had allowed live streaming of proceedings in cases of constitutional importance that take place in the court of the chief justice of India. He claimed that the case “has created large-scale interest across India”, and that crores of people would be interested in following the proceedings live.
Govindacharya also said that the Constitution of India contains pictures of Ram, so live streaming the Ayodhya case would fulfil “constitutional patriotism”. Later, the RSS ideologue wrote to Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, requesting that the proceedings be recorded on audio or video or transcripts be prepared so that they could be released to the public.
A five-judge Constitution bench of the Supreme Court is hearing the Ayodhya case, after an effort at mediation failed earlier this year. In August, the bench, also comprising Justices DY Chandrachud, SA Bobde, Ashok Bhushan and SA Abdul Nazeer, said it will hear the case five days a week.
On Friday, the Supreme Court asked Muslim parties in the case why the birthplace of the deity, Ram, cannot have legal rights like a “juristic person” and claim ownership of the property.
Lawyer Rajeev Dhavan, representing the Sunni Waqf Board, questioned how a piece of land could file cases and seek litigation like a “juristic person”. He also opposed the Hindu parties’ submissions that it was their age-old belief that the land was Ram’s birthplace.
The bench asked Dhavan how the belief of Hindu devotees could be challenged. It said whether the “sanctity of belief” that Ram was born in Ayodhya was genuine or frivolous could only be tested under Hinduism.
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