The Supreme Court today for the first time live-streamed a hearing of the Constitution bench. The top court has three Constitution benches to hear pressing matters of constitutional legislation today. The second constitution bench, headed by Justice DY Chandrachud, was hearing the matter pertaining to the Maharashtra political crisis on several petitions filed by both the factions of the Shiv Sena — led by Uddhav Thackeray and Eknath Shinde.
The Supreme Court had in August referred the case relating to the claim over Shiv Sena to a constitution bench. It framed eight questions related to defection, merger, and disqualification for the larger bench to decide in the battle between Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on claim over the party.
The court had said the batch of petitions raise important constitutional issues relating to the 10th schedule of the Constitution pertaining to disqualification, power of the Speaker and Governor, and judicial review.
The 10th Schedule of the Constitution provides for the prevention of defection of the elected and nominated members from their political party and contains stringent provisions against defections.
On Monday, a bench headed by Chief Justice of India Uday Umesh Lalit said the top court will soon have its own “platform” to live-stream its proceedings instead of having to use the YouTube.
In a unanimous decision taken at a recent full court meeting headed by the CJI, the top court decided to live-stream proceedings of all constitution bench hearings from September 27, four years after the path-breaking announcement by Justice Misra.
The Supreme Court may live-stream proceedings through YouTube and later host them on its server, sources had said. People will be able to access the proceedings on their cell phones, laptops, and computers without any hassle.
On September 27, 2018, the then Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra had delivered the landmark judgement on the live telecast or webcast of important proceedings in matters of constitutional importance, saying “sunlight is the best disinfectant”.
On August 26, for the first time since its inception, the Supreme Court live-streamed proceedings of a bench headed by then Chief Justice (since retired) NV Ramana through a webcast portal. It was a ceremonial proceeding as Justice Ramana was to demit office that day.
The debate on live-streaming of Supreme Court proceedings gained momentum in 2018 when senior advocate Indira Jaising moved the top court with such a request saying that some of the important cases should be live-streamed because people across the country cannot come to Supreme Court to see what exactly was happening in the top court of the country.