New Delhi, September 16
Senior advocate Indira Jaising writes to Chief Justice of India UU Lalit and other Supreme Court judges seeking live streaming of the Constitution Bench proceedings, saying freedom of information is part of the fundamental right of citizens.
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“Significant issues about what constitutes equality, substantive equality, discrimination based on caste, sex, religion, and what is secularism will be addressed and decisions which concern the interpretation of the Constitution will be taken by this Hon’ble Court,” read the letter.
She sought to highlight the fact that several important Constitution Bench matters such as EWS quota law and Citizenship Amendment Act were lined up for hearing.
Lawyers, students and the press would be deeply interested in the intricacies of the arguments and would want to report and revisit the arguments, she said. “There is no substitute for firsthand knowledge, especially in the era of what has come to be known as fake news and hence, there is an urgent need for real time information,” said Jaising. Last month, the top court telecast its proceedings on the last day of the then CJI NV Ramana in office. She suggested that the top court should have its own channel.
Acting on Jaising’s petition, the top court had in 2018 favoured live streaming of court proceedings, terming it as “need of the hour”. There has to be “promptness” in such things, it had noted during the hearing of a petition seeking a live telecast of important cases, particularly Constitution Bench matters.
Attorney general KK Venugopal had supported live streaming of court proceedings on the ground that it would bring in more transparency, benefit litigants and also reduce the rush in the court during hearing of important matters.
“We have already adopted a system of open courts… there is no reason why it should not be live streamed,” the top court had said.
“Since the judgment was pronounced, I have made repeated requests to the court to commence live streaming cases of national importance. The cases which I have mentioned above raise issues of undoubted national importance.
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