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Legal reforms: Government for video recording of court proceedings

Kapil Sibal said the plan is to begin with video recording of the proceedings of the trial court.

Written by PTI | New Delhi |
Updated: February 18, 2014 12:50:50 pm

With an aim of enhancing transparency in functioning of the judiciary,the government is pushing for video recording of court proceedings as part of reforms in the legal system.

Law Minister Kapil Sibal said the issue was discussed recently at a meeting of an advisory committee of his ministry and it unanimously made the recommendation in this regard.

“The Advisory Council met here. Unanimously the council believed that court proceedings must be videographed and that the technology (for the same) must be put in place now,” he told PTI here.

Explaining the reason behind the move,Sibal said the processes of the law must be “as transparent” like the processes of the government.

Sibal said the plan is to begin with video recording of the proceedings of the trial court.

“…start with the trial courts as it is the foundation of the justice system,” he said.

The Minister said the judiciary will be taken on board on the issue.

“We’ll have to discuss it with the judiciary as this is not something on which the government can decide on its own,” he said.

The Advisory Council of the National Committee for Justice Delivery and Legal Reforms,chaired by Sibal,decided to seek the views of the higher judiciary as trial courts fall under High Courts and it cannot be implemented without their consent.

Members of the Council discussed the case in other countries where the facility is available to record what the judges,witnesses and the prosecutors say during a court proceeding.

The Advisory Council includes Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia,Attorney General G E Vahanvati,National Innovation Council chief Sam Pitroda and chairman of Parliamentary Committee on Law and Personnel Shantaram Naik.

During the meeting,the issue of pendency in subordinate courts also came up with members expressing concern over the annual rising trend in pendency.

The meeting was told that since the last two years the increasing trend has been reversed,and the total pendency has come down to 2.68 crore cases.

Referring to the use of modern technology and IT in judiciary and legal system,Sibal said there was a need to put in place a “comprehensive technical plan” for the future.

He said technology should not remain limited to videographing court proceedings and “we should integrate it with the jails and the investigating process.”

Sibal said the process would not be an “very expensive” affair with the availability of fiber optic connectivity.

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