Plea seeks recording of Ayodhya case proceedings, SC says will consider it on administrative side
A plea, filed by former RSS ideologue K N Govindacharya seeking live streaming or recording of the day-to-day hearing in the Ayodhya case, was mentioned for urgent hearing before a bench comprising Justices S A Bobde and B R Gavai.Updated: Jun 10, 2020, 09:07 IST
The Supreme Court Monday said it would consider on the administrative side as to whether there would be recording of day-to-day hearing in the Ayodhya land dispute case which is scheduled to commence before a Constitution bench from Tuesday.
A plea, filed by former RSS ideologue K N Govindacharya seeking live streaming or recording of the day-to-day hearing in the Ayodhya case, was mentioned for urgent hearing before a bench comprising Justices S A Bobde and B R Gavai.
“We don’t know if we have equipment for live streaming or recording of proceedings,” the bench told senior lawyer Vikas Singh, appearing for Govindacharya.
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Singh told the bench that if there was difficulty in live-streaming of the proceedings, then recording of the hearing may be done.
The bench, while refusing to accord urgent hearing on the plea, observed that it is an issue which is “something institutional”.
The apex court said the issue would be considered on the administrative side.
On September 26, 2018, the apex court had allowed live-streaming of court proceedings of cases of constitutional and national importance, saying this openness was like “sunlight” which is the “best disinfectant”.
Govindacharya referred to the last year’s verdict and said that the right to know is a fundamental right and necessary orders be passed for live streaming of proceedings in the Ayodhya matter.
A five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi had on August 2 said it would hold day-to-day hearing from August 6 to decide the politically-sensitive Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute in Ayodhya, as the efforts to arrive at an amicable settlement through mediation have failed.
The apex court, which had taken note of the report of the three member mediation panel, headed by former apex court judge F M I Kalifulla, had said that mediation proceedings, which went on for about four months, have not resulted in any final settlement and it has to decide the matter pending before it.
Fourteen appeals have been filed in the apex court against the 2010 Allahabad High Court judgment, delivered in four civil suits, that the 2.77-acre land in Ayodhya be partitioned equally among the three parties -- the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla.
On December 6, 1992, the Babri Masjid, constructed at the disputed site in the 16th century by Shia Muslim Mir Baqi, was demolished.
The central government had on January 29 moved the apex court seeking its nod to return the 67-acre undisputed acquired land around the disputed site to original owners.
The 0.313-acre plot, on which the disputed structure stood before it was demolished by ‘kar sevaks’ on December 6, 1992, was within the 2.77-acre disputed premises, the plea said.
The government had then acquired 67.703 acres, including the 2.77-acre plot, through a legislation in 1993. The Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas (RJN) is the owner of as much as 42 acres of the acquired non-disputed land.
The Centre’s plea said that the RJN (a trust to promote construction of Ram Temple) had also sought return of excess land acquired to original owners.
The Centre claimed that only 0.313 acre of land was disputed on which the structure stood before it was demolished by ‘kar sevaks’ on December 6, 1992.
A week later, another petition was filed challenging the constitutional validity of the 1993 central law on land acquisition in Ayodhya near the disputed site, contending that Parliament has no legislative competence to acquire land belonging to the state.
(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.)