Batting for transparency, the Supreme Court on Tuesday said installation of close circuit television cameras in courtrooms for video-recording the proceedings would be a step in larger public interest, discipline and security. “What privacy? 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,” a bench of Justices A K Goel and U U Lalit observed while hearing a plea filed by one Pradyuman Bisht, seeking audio and video recording of court proceedings.
The bench sought a report from the Centre on the progress made in complying with its earlier direction, seeking a feasibility report on the installation of CCTV cameras with audio-recording facility in courts and tribunals across the country. Additional Solicitor General Pinky Anand, appearing for the Centre, said the Ministry of Law and Justice has to sanction a proposal for financial outlay, which could be accorded any time soon.
She said that installation of CCTVs and video recording of court proceedings “is important” and would be beneficial for all. “Don’t delay it. This step is in larger public interest, discipline and security. You file the report by November 23,” the bench said and posted the matter for further hearing.
Hearing the petition on August 14, the bench had favoured video recording, referring to the practice in Constitutional courts in other countries. Additional Solicitor General Maninder Singh told the bench that there was a decision of the E-committee of the apex court against recording. Justice Goel was quick to point that “it was a decision on the administrative side”.