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Supreme Court favours installation of CCTV cameras to record audio, video of all court proceedings

New Delhi: In a major bid to ensure transparency, the Supreme Court on Monday favoured the installation of CCTV cameras with audio recording of all court proceedings, including in its own complex along with those of the high courts and tribunals.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

The top court observed that the constitutional courts in other countries have audio and video recording, as it is not a matter of privacy of judges.

A bench of justices Adarsh Kumar Goel and UU Lalit directed the Centre to submit a feasibility of installation of CCTV cameras with audio recordings in courts and tribunals.

"Constitutional courts in other countries have audio and video recording. It is not a matter of privacy of judges," the bench said, giving examples of the proceedings of the US Supreme Court which are available even on the YouTube.

Additional Solicitor General Maninder Singh, appearing for Centre, pointed out that there was a decision of the e-committee of the apex court that does not allow recording of Supreme Court's proceedings.

The bench said that order was on the administrative side only and a Court of Record means that each and everything should be recorded as long as it does not obstruct the proceedings.

The top court said it is open for the high courts to decide on the issue of installation of CCTVs with audio recording in as many courts as they considered appropriate.

During the hearing, Additional Solicitor General Maninder Singh submitted reports received from various high courts on the issue of installation of CCTV cameras.

He said that 12 high courts had already implemented the 28 March directions and installed CCTV cameras in two districts each, while some other high courts were yet to comply.

Singh contended that the process should not only be limited to only video recording as directed earlier by the court and suggested that audio recording should also be done.

The bench said audio recording will also be done along with video recording.

The apex court, however, made it clear that the footage of the CCTV camera or the audio recording will not be made available under the Right To Information Act and not supplied to anyone without permission of the concerned high court.

It included tribunals for the first time, besides the courts,for installation of CCTV cameras with audio recordings.

The apex court was hearing a plea filed by one Pradyuman Bisht seeking audio and video recording of court proceedings in order to bring transparency.


Updated Date: Aug 14, 2017 20:39 PM

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