The Supreme Court on Thursday (December 5) agreed to hear former RSS ideologue KN Govindacharya’s plea seeking live streaming of the hearing of pleas challenging the abrogation of Article 370 provisions.
The abrogation of Article 370 of the Indian Constitution by the Centre on August 5 had stripped Jammu and Kashmir of its special status. The state was also bifurcated into two union territories. The move was opposed by many opposition parties and those in the erstwhile state of J&K.
Govindacharya had filed a writ petition seeking enforcement of the top court’s September 26, 2018 ruling, in which it ordered for live streaming of matters of national importance. He claimed in his plea that live streaming is an important step to ensure transparency and accountability.
Senior advocate Vikas Singh, appearing for Govindacharya, and advocate Virag Gupta said a five-judge constitution bench will hear from December 10 a batch of pleas challenge the abrogation of provisions of Article 370 of the Constitution.
A bench of Chief Justice SA Bobde and Justices BR Gavai and Surya Kant said the matter will be listed for early hearing, after advocate Singh said that despite filing of the application 15-days back, their plea has not been listed.
He had said in his plea that his first application had sought live streaming of the politically sensitive Ram Janambhoomi-Babri Masjid title dispute case but the top court on September 16, had ordered the apex court registry to submit a report to the court specifying as what time would be taken to make the system operational.
“That the Registry failed to comply with the above order of the court as it did not provide the report in time. The judgment in the Ayodhya Ram Temple case was pronounced on November 9. To the best of the knowledge of the petitioner, the Registry has not submitted a report until date,” he said in his fresh application.
Govindacharya’s plea said, “The Constitution Bench is set to hear arguments in…and other connected matters, which pertain to challenge to abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution. It is submitted that this matter is a momentous matter, whose proceedings can be considered to be live streamed/video recorded/audio recorded/transcripted on a pilot basis.”
It said that the matters relating to Article 370 are very important and are covered widely by the Indian as well as the international media. “In absence of accurate information being officially released by this court, the proceedings may be susceptible to misreporting,” he said.
(With inputs from agencies)