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SC agrees to courtroom video recording in 24 HCs (sans audio, RTI rights)

It’s perhaps not enough of the transparency that the systems needs, but it’s an important step in that direction: once judges get used to a camera staring at them without adverse repercussions (and possibly even benefits, in stop the worst of lawyer theatrics and occasional riot-like behaviour in court rooms), we may even get audio recording, and, eventually maybe, full access to live feeds from courts...

(Here’s our detailed look at some of the pros, cons and battles surrounding the issue of cameras in courtrooms, and advocates such as Deepak Khosla have managed to convince a court on an ad hoc basis to video record proceedings).

Scroll.in reported:

The Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to the Centre’s request to install CCTV cameras in courtrooms, but without audio recording. After years of hesitance, the bench of Justices A Goel and UU Lalit passed the order after considering the views of the government, which had been pushing for CCTV cameras in courtrooms for enhanced transparency, The Telegraph reported.

To begin with, the top court has directed all 24 high courts in the country to oversee the installation of CCTV cameras – without audio recording – in at least two districts in each state and Union Territory. Only small states and Union Territories where the high court felt installing cameras was not plausible currently will be exempt from the order.

The direction comes with a notable caveat – the recording will not be available to the public under the Right to Information Act. “We make it clear that the footage of the CCTV cameras will not be available under the RTI Act and will not be supplied to anyone without permission of the concerned high court,” the bench asserted, according to The Indian Express.

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