No live-streaming of Ayodhya case hearing, says Supreme Court

A five-judge bench of the Supreme Court today said that it will not allow live streaming or audio recording of the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case hearing that began this morning after the mediation attempt in the case failed.

Former BJP leader & Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) ideologue KN Govindacharya moved the Supreme Court seeking live-streaming of the upcoming day-to-day proceedings in the Ayodhya case.

“This case is a matter of national importance. There are crores of persons, including the petitioner, who want to witness the court proceedings, but cannot due to the present norms in the Supreme Court,” said Govindacharya in his petition rejected by the CJI-led Supreme Court bench.

The CJI-led bench decided to hear the Ayodhya case on day-to-day basis after going through the mediation panel’s report submitted on Thursday.

The report by the panel, comprising former Supreme Court judge FMI Kalifulla, spiritual guru & founder of Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravishankar & senior advocate Sriram Panchu, a renowned mediator, came after almost four-and-a-half month-long negotiations between Hindu & Muslim litigants to explore the possibility of an out-of-court settlement to the decades-long Ayodhya land dispute.

The Supreme Court had earlier, in response to a plea from one of the original petitioners in the case that the mediation wasn’t going anywhere, ordered the panel to “inform the Court the outcome of the mediation proceedings.” The court had made it clear that if the mediation failed, a day-to-day hearing would begin.

The panel was initially given eight weeks to explore the possibility of a settlement, but on May 10, after the panel submitted an interim report to the court, the SC granted it an extension of three months, till August 15.

Fourteen appeals have been filed in the apex court against the 2010 Allahabad High Court judgment, delivered in four civil suits, that the 2.77-acre land in Ayodhya be partitioned equally among the three parties — the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara & Ram Lalla.

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