SC orders 24 States High Courts to take initiative to install CCTV cameras inside courtrooms [Read Order]

Team SoOLEGAL 17 Aug 2017 10:13am

SC orders 24 States High Courts to take initiative to install CCTV cameras inside courtrooms [Read Order]

The Supreme Court on Monday directed High Courts to place Close Circuit Cameras (CCTV) inside all subordinate courts in at least two districts in every State and Union Territory within the next three months. Also, SC has provided a month to Union Ministry of Information and Technology and Department of Justice to establish new technology standards and the prices of these CCTV cameras.

The Supreme Court requested High Court to devise modalities and complete the process as quickly as possible.

The issue came into existence after a petition filed by Pradyuman Bisht demanding Supreme Court to take initiatives in audio/video recording of court proceedings to ensure fair trial and transparency.

The Court proceeding are heavily guarded affairs, completely unreachable for individuals who are not related to the case. The hearing neither recorded through audio or video, unlike the Parliament, Lok Sabha, and Rajya Sabha wherein the entire process is recorded and displayed. The Judges In India never thought of recording court proceedings due to inconvenience unlike in some other countries and International courts. 

It is a small step in providing transparency by opening up new corridors for the public to access judicial proceedings as a positive approach to dispel opacity. The bench comprising Justices Adarsh Kumar Goel and U.U. Lalit on Monday directed 24 States High Court to take initiatives to install CCTV cameras without audio recording “within the court complexes at important places like witness box, the bench, etc.”

 The Supreme Court gave the High Courts absolute freedom to finalize the locations inside the courtroom where CCTV cameras will be installed. The person appointed to keep tracks of recordings should be located in the chambers of the district and session Judge concerned. 

The bench observed that CCTV cameras are essential to achieving an objective of the transparent judicial system. All the proceeding and every word should be recorded. In the other hand, no unauthorized person is allowed to record or access the recording without the consent of High Court. Also, after a specific time period, these recordings will be deleted from the archive.

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