NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court Friday said a plea seeking live telecast or recording of the ongoing proceedings in the Ayodhya land dispute case be listed before a bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, who is presiding over a 5-judge Constitution bench hearing the matter.
The petition, filed by former RSS ideologue K N Govindacharya, came up for hearing before a bench comprising justices R F Nariman and Surya Kant.
Senior advocate Vikas Singh, representing Govindacharya, said if live telecast of Ayodhya case proceedings was not possible then at least audio recording or transcription of hearing should be done.
He referred to the apex court's last year's verdict allowing live-streaming of court proceedings of cases of constitutional and national importance to buttress his arguments.
"At the same time, it (last year verdict) also says that exclude sensitive matters," the bench told Singh.
Singh argued that the Ayodhya case was sensitive and of importance.
"We are open court but not for outsiders. We are open court for litigants only," he said, adding, "It cannot be said that this (Ayodhya) is not a matter of national or constitutional importance."
However, the bench said the matter has to be heard by a bench headed by the CJI.
Govindacharya, in his plea, has 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".
A five-judge Constitution bench is hearing the Ayodhya case from August 6 to decide the politically-sensitive Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute, after the efforts to arrive at an amicable settlement through mediation failed.