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NRI files plea to record court proceedings,HC says no

A law professor from the US had a heated argument with a judge in the Delhi High Court on Friday.

New Delhi |
March 16, 2013 12:46:17 am

A law professor from the US had a heated argument with a judge in the Delhi High Court on Friday. The professor walked out of the courtroom and created a ruckus after security personnel attempted to escort him back inside.

Dr Adarsh Kant Kapoor,who said he was a professor of law at Des Moine College in Iowa,USA,had filed an appeal before the High Court,asking for a declaration that he be allowed to make audio and video recordings of court proceedings.

Kapoor is a US citizen and is in India for legal proceedings in a criminal court. Kapoor’s petition states that recording of court proceedings would help a litigant “capture and preserve evidence of what happens inside the courtroom”.

He had earlier made a similar plea before the District Court,which was dismissed. In his petition,Kapoor said litigants have the right to record proceedings since there is no express provision banning it and under common law,“everything that is not expressly prohibited is deemed to be permitted”.

“I am not asking the court to create some new law. I already have the right to record proceedings since there is no law denying that right,” Kapoor said.

However,the hearing on Friday degenerated into an argument after Kapoor insisted on voice recording the proceeding .

Justice V K Shali,who was to hear Kapoor’s petition asked him to refrain from using the recorder,and then ordered confiscation of the recorder. Kapoor began to argue with the judge. The judge asked the security personnel to take Kapoor into custody and adjourned proceedings.

However,when proceedings resumed,Kapoor asked the judge to recuse himself from the case. He said: “The judge has shown his bias by making it clear that he will not allow me to record the proceedings. The court is now incompetent to hear this case.”

Kapoor shouted at the judge,asking that the confiscated tape recorder be returned to him. He left the courtroom after this.

Following this,the judge asked police personnel to bring Kapoor back to the courtroom. Kapoor said the judge did not have the right to call him back to the courtroom without proper summons. Security personnel were forced to allow him to leave in the absence of written orders from the court.

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