A law student has moved the Andhra Pradesh High Court seeking directions for live streaming of court proceedings in the Andhra Capital Trifurcation case.
The Petitioner, VL Krishna, has averred that earlier the State Government had approved formation of a single capital city in the State however later, it deviated from its original intention and decided to establish three capitals.
This, the Petitioner has submitted, seriously violate the terms of Land Pooling Scheme entered into by the farmers and the State Government, making the Court proceedings a subject matter of public importance.
Reliance is placed on Swapnil Tripathi v. Supreme Court of India, (2018) 10 SCC 639, whereby remarking that "Sunlight is the best disinfectant", the Top Court had permitted live streaming of court hearings.
"The matter would bring into limelight about the actions of the previous and the present governments and what has actually transpired in the legislative assembly and legislative counsel. The matter would also clear the cloud of confusion on many issues which are related to the State Capital.
The people of Andhra Pradesh are still not aware of the total facts of the case and can be totally misled by the media and social media with highlights which may either support or criticize the judgment of this Hon'ble Court."
He has asserted the Fundamental right to life, liberty, right to information and access to Justice guaranteed under Article 21 and Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution, to persuade the Court.
He has also requested the Court to grant such permission to prevent projection of its verdict, as a win or loss of a political party. He submitted,
"It is necessary to live stream the proceedings in the matters pertaining to Amravati Capital issue and Decentralization Act to avoid misinformation, conscious disinformation and misunderstanding the role of the Court.
The recent fake news published in few social media trying to picture this Hon'ble High Court into bad light and affiliating it to political parties is shocking and the perpetrators of the same should have to be punished in accordance with law. Also, live streaming the proceedings of this Hon'ble Court would allow the general public to form their own opinion without being deviated from the fake and false news spreading across the state."
The concept of Open Court hearing may be traced to Section 327 of CrPC and Section 153B of CPC, he further asserted.
Several writ petitions have been filed at the High Court, challenging the State Government's decision to establish executive, legislative and judicial capitals at Vishakhapatnam, Amaravati and Kurnool respectively.
It has been argued that Section 6 of the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014(Act) clearly provides that there shall be 'a capital for the State of Andhra Pradesh', hence connoting that there shall be only a single capital city.
The pleas also challenge the provisions of the Andhra Pradesh (Decentralisation and Inclusive Development of All Regions) Act 2020 and the Capital Region Development Authority (Repeal) Act 2020.
The Andhra Government's decision to establish three capitals was stayed by the High Court last month. The same came to be challenged before the Top Court by the state Government. It was argued that the High Court Order defies principles of law whereby the constitutionality of a statute is presumed to be upheld until proven otherwise.
However, the bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, R. Subhash Reddy & MR Shah stated that they were not inclined to interfere in the interim order. It observed that the matter should be heard by the High Court itself as day-to-day hearings have already been fixed. Court also observed that the matter required an "early decision".