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Justice should not only be seen but also heard, states a PIL filed by Lawyers in Supreme Court

Justice should not only be seen but also heard, states a PIL filed by Lawyers in Supreme Court

New Delhi: A group of young lawyers and law students have filed a PIL under the banner ‘Whistle for Public Interest’ in Supreme Court stating Justice should not only be done and seen on papers but also should be heard in Supreme Court.

The court proceedings are in-audible and inaccessible to the people sitting inside the courtrooms though there is mic installed on the Benches and this mute mic on the Benches is a violation of public’s basic fundamental right they stated in their PIL, Hindu reports.

The PIL refers to a meeting called by CJI Deepak Mishra with media persons on 11 December 2017 in which the inaudibility of Supreme Court’s proceedings on nationally important and sensitive matters was raised.

It is filed by advocates Kapildeep Agarwal, Kumar Shanu and Paras Jain has also filed a Right to Information (RTI) reply from the Supreme Court that shows the mic system installed in the Courtrooms was at the cost of Rs 91 Lakhs which the lawyers state is paid from taxpayers money.

The PIL says none of the people attending the court on nationally important sensitive cases can hear the proceedings as all the litigants, lawyers media persons covering the apex court proceedings, remain clueless to what the Judges are saying.

The PIL stated this “non-usage of the installed mic system” is violating publics constitutional rights to open court proceedings under Article 145(4) of the Constitution of India, Section 153 B of the Code of Civil Procedure and Section 327 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, which states the open court proceedings should be given access to public.

The PIL added neglecting to use the available mic system is a violation of the right to free speech and the protection of freedom of Press as it obstructs the “right of media persons to report court proceedings of the Supreme Court and the right to know of public at large, which include interns and litigants, under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution”.

“With the rise of digital media platforms, there is a great rush to break the news in real time by the media persons. This might cause misreporting leading to an irreparable loss to all. Such misreporting can also invite Contempt of Court. The chances of misreporting may easily be minimized by use of already installed mic system in the court rooms,” the PIL said.

“The Chief Justice of India assured the journalists present that he will look into the issue seriously so far as his court i.e. Court No. 1 is concerned. However, as per the Chief Justice, he cannot commit to other courts as the decision has to be unanimous,” the petition said.