SC adjourns plea seeking guidelines with regard to mandating the use of mic-systems in open courtrooms

Team SoOLEGAL 28 May 2020 3:27pm

SC adjourns plea seeking guidelines with regard to mandating the use of mic-systems in open courtrooms

On Wednesday i.e. 27th May 2020, the Supreme Court of India adjourned a plea until August 2020 seeking an administrative order mandating the use of microphone-systems for all judges in the Supreme Court’s open courtrooms.

The plea stated, “that non-usage of mic-system violates the fundamental right to know of the public as well as the freedom of press, ultimately affecting access to justice."

A bench comprising of Chief Justice SA Bobde, Justices AS Bopanna & Hrishikesh Roy took up the hearing of a petition lodged by a group of law students and lawyers for the preservation of media correspondents' rights while covering court proceedings.

The plea opines that the non-usage of mic-system built at the benches of justices and the position earmarked for Advocates to argue, is breaching not only the constitutional right of the media, general public, advocates, interns and litigants but is also causing a hindrance in the administration of justice.

The petitioners noted that, “Earlier, we were of the view that this difficulty was just limited to law interns. Later on, unfortunately, we faced the same problem as litigants. A litigant not being able to properly observe the proceedings of his/her own case, is nothing but a travesty of justice as their access is restricted upto the space provided in the last row.”

Emphasising on the fundamental right of "Freedom of the Press", the petitioner continued to argue against the violation of that right under Article 19(1)(a) of the Indian Constitution, as the bar and the bench are not using mic-systems. It is further stated that not being able to properly hear the exchanges may lead to severe consequences such as misreporting and even contempt of court.

With regard to “freedom of press”, the plea contented, “The non-usage of mic-system by the Justices and Advocates of this Hon'ble court puts media correspondents in great difficulty in reporting the court proceedings to the general public at large. With the rise of digital media platforms, there is a great rush to break news in real time... this might cause misreporting leading to irreparable loss to all the stakeholders involved.”  

Tagged: SC adjourns   mic-systems   open courtrooms   Supreme Court   microphone-systems   Chief Justice SA Bobde   Justice AS Bopanna   Justice Hrishikesh Roy   constitutional right  
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