The petition filed through Advocate Manu Maheshwari has been moved by the journalists, Nupur Thapliyal, Sparsh Upadhyay, Areeb Uddin Ahmed and Rahul Dubey have challenged the MP Video Conferencing & Audio-Visual Electronic Linkage Rules, 2020.
Sheel Nagu and GS Ahluwalia: Division of justices will be hearing the matter.
The petitioners urged the Court to allow the livestreaming of all the matters relating to COVID-19 crisis for the general public.
The following rules of the High Court of Madhya Pradesh Video Conferencing and Audio- Visual Electronic Linkage Rules, 2020 have been challenged:
- Rule 2(xv), states only Advocates engaged in the case, are allowed to appear and plead before the Court when hearing is done through video conferencing. Any other person, who doesn’t fall within the definition of ‘required person’ or has no direct relation with the case, is completely barred from attending the VC proceedings.
- Rule 3(vi), which states, “Unless expressly permitted, no person or entity.. shall be permitted to record visual electronic linkage. In case of violation it will be punishable in accordance with law.”
- Rule 16 of the impugned Rules prescribe that Third parties will be allowed to remain present during video conferencing upon a “specific order” being issued by the concerned Court.
The petitioners relied on the Supreme Court’s recent ruling in Chief Election Commission of India v. M.R. Vijayabhaskar & Ors, wherein the top Court had declined to bar the media from reporting live on court proceedings, including oral observations made in open Court.