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The Calcutta High Court on 12 February, allowed the hearing of a case in live streaming on YouTube, stating that the proceedings would have ramifications for the community across the country. The case before the High Court was, whether children of a Parsi woman married to a non-Parsi, can pray in a Parsi fire temple. Reportedly, it has become the first case in the country to be live-streamed.

A division bench comprising of Justices Sanjib Banerjee and Kaushik Chandra while upholding an appeal made by the Parsi Zoroastrian Association, allowed to hear the proceedings in live streaming.

Earlier, in 2018, the honorable apex court passed a judgment enabling to hear certain proceedings in live feed stating that a specified category of cases, especially those of constitutional and national importance being argued for final hearing before the Constitution Bench can be live streamed as a pilot project. Thus, the present case became the first-ever case to be heard in this regard.

Prochy N Mehta, a Kolkata resident, filed a suit complaining that the Zoroastrian Anjuman Atash Adaran Trust was not allowing her daughter’s children to enter the temple as their father is not a Parsi. The appeal mentioned that the grandchildren were initiated into the Zoroastrian faith through the Navjote ceremony.

Meanwhile, the president of the Parsi Zoroastrian Association, Darayas Jamshed Bapooji, prayed for live-steaming of the court proceedings, citing that it represents the interests of a majority of members of the Zoroastrian community who are beneficiaries of the trust. But the application was rejected by the trial court comprising of Justice Soumen Sen.

Subsequently, the association appealed to the rejection before the present divisional bench. Advocate Phiroze Edulji, appearing for the association stated the division bench that, since the proceedings are extremely important for the nation’s Parsi community, they should be allowed to hear the case in live streaming, so as to allow all the members of the community to witness it.

Allowing the above contention of live streaming by the association’s counsel, the division bench returned the case to the single bench. The case will now be heard by Justice Debangshu Basak.

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