The central government has opposed the live-streaming of the hearing on legalizing same-sex marriages in the country’s LGBTQIA+ community.
In its response to the Delhi High Court, the government argued that it violated fundamental rights and served no national meaning or purpose.
“A matter must be decided by the party in substance and by the court on the basis of law and fact and must not attract or provoke public attention. The complainant seeks to create unnecessary hype around the matter being considered by this court,” argued the response.
The live stream petition was submitted by three professionals from Mumbai and Karnataka.
The first petition filed by Abhijit Iyer Mitra seeks permission to register marriages of LGBTQIA+ couples under the Hindu Marriage Law. The notice in the application, which was issued in November 2021, says a significant number of people (7% to 8% of the population) wish to follow the court case.
However, due to lesser space and technology limitations, they cannot participate in the negotiation.
The second petition is Swapnil Tripathi v. Supreme Court of India. The Centre’s response asks that the application be dismissed as live streaming can only be allowed after a comprehensive framework of regulations, including data protection, is in place.
“The present matter is not an appropriate case where live streaming of the proceedings is desirable as it concerns the administration of justice. An appropriate regulatory framework needs to be put in place before allowing the proceedings to be streamed live. It is further submitted that since the present affidavit is in a limited time available to the Respondent was filed,” the response reads.
The reply argues that a majority of the Indian population is not overwhelmed by the case and that the complainant is trying to “create a dramatic impression in court and win the case”.
“The applicant’s whole argument is to create an illusion and sensationalize and attract worldwide attention,” Center writes in his argument.
“The value of a matter in court and its outcome does not depend on melodrama, and the motions propose it be brought, and therefore the motions are with an ulterior motive. The complainant attempts to use the legal forum to arouse public sympathy and attract unwanted attention to the matter. This honorable court requires no greater reach or audience than what is already available for the proceedings, which are conducted in a day-to-day procedure,” read the center’s response.