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Don't delay installing CCTV cameras in courts: SC to Centre

Ashish Tripathi, New Delhi, DH News Service, Nov 21 2017, 19:18 IST
Supreme Court

Supreme Court

The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the Centre to spell out steps taken for installing CCTV cameras inside courtrooms across the country, saying there is no issue of privacy involved in it.

A bench of Justices Adarsh Kumar Goel and U U Lalit told Additional Solicitor General Pinky Anand not to "prolong" it as installing cameras in trial courts and tribunals would result in "discipline and security".

Appearing for the Centre, Anand submitted that the sanction of funds in terms of the apex court's judicial directions were under way. She said the Department of Justice was working on its modalities. She sought time to file a status report by Thursday.

Dealing with a plea by Pradyuman Bisht, the bench said, "This is not a case of privacy. We don't need privacy here. Judges don't need privacy in court proceedings. Nothing private is happening here. We all are sitting in front of you."

"Don't delay it. This step is in larger public interest, discipline and security. You file the report by November 23," the bench said. The court also cited a recent sting operation in Patna, purportedly showing staff in Patna courts assuring orders on payment of money.

The top court had in August ordered for initiating the process for installing CCTV cameras in trial courts and tribunals across the country. This would be useful to achieve the objective of a transparent judicial system, it had said.

It is time that every word uttered during the proceedings could be recorded, the court said.

The court had asked all 24 high courts to initiate the process of installing CCTV cameras inside courtrooms. It also noted that the proceedings in the US courts were recorded and were available on YouTube.

However, the court said the recordings would not be available under the Right to Information Act.

Out of 24 high courts, 12 are complying with the directions, the Centre had earlier said.

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