Taking the historic step, the Supreme Court has ordered the installation of CCTV cameras in all states and union territories to record proceedings in trial courts and tribunals across the country. “Installation of CCTV cameras is useful to achieve objective of transparent judicial system,” said a bench of Justices Adarsh K Goel and Uday U Lalit. The Court observed it was time that every word uttered during the proceedings should be recorded.
“We are a court of records. Every word should be recorded. We don’t see any problem with this,” remarked the bench, as it asked all 24 high courts to initiate the process of installing CCTV cameras inside courtrooms and also in the court precincts.
The Court, which had in March started the exercise on a trial basis, gave its go ahead to expand it to courts as well as tribunals in the country. While only video recording was to be done in pursuant to the previous order, the bench on Monday said audio will also be recorded henceforth. The Court asked high courts to devise modalities and complete the exercise as soon as possible. It gave one month to the Union Ministry of Information Technology and Department of Justice to come up with standards of technical specifications and pricing of these CCTV cameras.
“We however make it clear nobody will record the proceedings without authorisation from the high court concerned,” said the bench. It added that third party will not be given such recordings and that these recordings will be deleted after a specific time period. The judicial order on cameras inside courtrooms has come following several rounds of deliberations between the Central government and the top judiciary on the issue of audio-video recording of court proceedings