Govt mulls recording facilities in trial courts

Govt mulls recording facilities in trial courts

The government is discussing with different stakeholders the possibility of recording proceedings in a trial court in audio, Law Minister Kapil Sibal said on Friday.

The new initiative, aimed to bring transparency, however, could be implemented only after the approval of the high courts, he added.

“We want that to bring transparency, at least the proceedings are audio recorded but the government cannot do this on its own. We will discuss it with judiciary (and) chief justices, because trial courts fall under high courts and till they approve it can not be implemented. But our talks will continue,” Sibal told reporters here.

Despite being public places, people have virtually no idea of court proceedings without recording facilities, besides which installing the facility will help check unwarranted remarks or observations during the hearings.

“In other countries, proceedings of the trial court are audio recorded but not in India. What the judge is saying, witness is saying, what is being transpired during cross examination, how work is taking place, nobody knows although the courts are public places,” Sibal said.

The law minister, who also holds the telecom portfolio, is also working on a video conferencing facility to remain in touch with the law officers posted in the Supreme Court and 24 high courts across the country. The minister wants the facility to be used for real-time consultations.

Video conferencing facility is available for top bureaucrats to interact with officials while seated in their own desks.