Lawstreet Journal

Trial Will Not Become 'In Camera' Unless Witnesses are Provided with a Comfortable Atmosphere to Depose Freely: Kerala HC

Lawstreet Journal 24 Nov 2020 8:10pm

Image courtesy: Lawstreet Journal Judiciary Trial Will Not Become 'In Camera' Unless Witnesses are Provided with a Comfortable Atmosphere to Depose Freely: Kerala HC

For a trial to become an ‘in camera trial’, the witnesses have to be provided with a comfortable atmosphere to depose freely and is not merely an ‘in camera trial’ because it is held inside a closed court hall, the Kerela High Court observed in an order dismissing the applications filed by the prosecution and the victim seeking to change the judge holding trial in the sensational actor sexual assault case of 2017.

Contentions were raised as in a case stating that the very purpose of ‘in camera’ trial was defeated, a battery of defence lawyers were permitted inside the court hall during the cross examination of the victim, while derogatory questions were asked by the counsel for the accused, with reference to the video recording of the incident.

Explaining the meaning of ‘in camera’ trial, Justice VG Arun observed: “On the issue of “in camera” proceedings, it would be profitable to know the genesis of the term. The term “in camera” is of Latin origin and means “in private”. As per the Oxford English Reference Dictionary, the term“in camera”is defined as “in a judge’s private room”. In the Major Law Lexicon, the term is defined as ‘in chambers; in private; in the judge’s private room; not in open court’. Therefore, by mere trial held inside a closed court hall, it does not become ‘in camera’ trial, unless the purpose of providing a comfortable atmosphere for the witnesses to depose freely is maintained. These are aspects to be bprne in mind while… Continue Reading...

Tagged: kerala high court  
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