SC to Stream All Hearings of Constitution Benches Live from September 27

The decision was taken at meeting of the full court, convened by Chief Justice of India U.U. Lalit, on Tuesday evening, according to reports.

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New Delhi: Following a landmark decision taken on the evening of Tuesday, September 20, the Supreme Court will stream all hearings of cases being heard by a constitution bench live, September 27 onwards.

Bar and Bench has reported that the decision was taken at meeting of the full court, convened by Chief Justice of India U.U. Lalit on Tuesday.

The legal portal has reported, based on inputs from unnamed sources, that the decision was unanimous.

It is likely that live proceedings will be streamed through YouTube first and then, through the Supreme Court’s own platform.

Out of the 70,310 cases pending in the apex court as on September 1, 2022, 493 are matters before various constitution benches. Of these, 343 are pending before five-judge benches, 15 with seven-judge benches and 135 are matters that have to be heard by nine-judge constitution benches.

Justice Lalit, who took over as the 49th Chief Justice of India on August 27, has laid particular emphasis on clearing pending cases.

Several constitution bench matters are thus being heard by the Supreme Court now, including one challenging the Constitution (103rd Amendment) Act, 2019 which provided reservation to the economically weaker sections, the challenge to WhatsApp’s privacy policy, and the issue of a parliamentarian or legislator claiming immunity from criminal prosecution for taking a bribe to give a speech or vote in the house.

The court will also decide on whether the practice of excommunication in the Dawoodi Bohra community is a “protected” practice under the constitution.

The top court will also hear the issue of granting minority status to Sikhs in Punjab, and the validity of state legislation declaring all members of the Muslim community in Andhra Pradesh as part of the Backward Classes.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday also referred to a constitution bench a suo motu case concerning the framing of uniform guidelines for the trial courts on granting “real and meaningful opportunity” on the issue of the sentence to the convicts held guilty for offences entailing capital punishment.