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In a letter to CJI, Indira Jaising asks for live broadcasting of cases heard by Constitution Benches

In a letter to the Chief Justice of India, U. U. Lalit, and his fellow judges, Senior Advocate Indira Jaising requests Supreme Court’s Constitution Benches hearings be live broadcast because it is a fundamental right of every person to have access to information. Jaising stated in her letter that the Supreme Court is debating, discussing, and making decisions on matters of critical national concern.

She cited examples of the issues that the Constitution benches were debating, citing, for example, the case challenging the constitutional validity of the 103rd Amendment, in which the arguments centred on issues of social and political justice for oppressed castes and whether reservations in public employment and education could be made solely on the basis of economic considerations.

Additionally, she cited cases involving the constitutionality of Section 6A of the Citizenship Act of 1955, marital rape, and the restoration of conjugal rights as instances. Important judgements regarding the interpretation of equality, substantive equality, discrimination based on caste, sex, religion, and what constitutes secularism will be made.

The letter emphasises that, given the significance of the issues, the nation as a whole has a keen interest in the legal arguments made in court and the discussions between attorneys and judges. It is part of our right to be informed, to learn from the process, and to participate if we have important things to say.

The letter claimed that she had also submitted a writ petition to the court in the case of Indira Jaising v. Secretary General of Supreme Court and Others, asking that live streaming be recognised as a component of every citizen’s right to access to justice and freedom of information.

The Attorney General of India had also come, supported her arguments, and presented guidelines to the court, and the combined guidelines were incorporated into the ruling in Swapnil Tripathi v. Supreme Court of India, she added.

She emphasized the Supreme Court’s status as a court of record under Article 129 of the Indian Constitution and asked to begin live streaming the proceedings in order to record the arguments made by the attorneys for all parties. She said that the Court ought to have its own channel but that it might begin streaming the sessions in the interim on both its website and YouTube.

The ceremonial hearings of former CJI NV Ramana were streamed, which demonstrated that the court has the necessary infrastructure and precedent for live streaming.

Ahir Mitra
Ahir Mitra
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