SC fixes pleas of Kashmir Times editor, others for hearing on September 16
SC fixes pleas of Kashmir Times editor, others for hearing on September 16

New Delhi: The Supreme Court Wednesday said it would hear next Monday the plea of former RSS ideologue K N Govindacharya seeking live telecast or recording of the ongoing hearing in the Ram Janmbhoomi-Babri masjid land dispute case.

A five-judge Constitution bench, headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, which was to commence the hearing in the Ayodhya case on 21st day, was told by senior advocate Vikas Singh, the counsel for Govindcharya, that the plea needed to be heard as it pertained to ongoing proceedings.

"We will hear this on September 16," said the bench, which also comprised Justices S A Bobde, D Y Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer. On September 6, a bench headed by Justices R F Nariman had referred the plea to the bench headed by the Chief Justice.

Govindacharya, in his plea filed through lawyer Virag Gupta, has said that if live telecast of the Ayodhya case proceedings was not possible then at least, audio recording or transcription of hearing should be done.

Singh referred to the September 26, 2018 verdict of the apex court which 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".

The plea has said the top court was hearing the Ayodhya matter even on miscellaneous days -- Fridays and Mondays -- which shows that it was dealing with the matter extraordinarily and therefore, audio-recording could be "started immediately".

The five-judge bench is hearing the Ayodhya case from August 6 on day-to-day basis to decide the politically-sensitive land dispute, after the efforts to arrive at an amicable settlement through mediation failed.

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