The Supreme Court Monday declined to entertain a plea for video recording of court proceedings in all courts. A bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and Prafulla C Pant passed the order on a plea by Sunil Shantisarup Gupta against the January 7, 2016 decision of the Bombay High Court which too had refused to give him such a relief.
The appeal had contended that video recording of court proceedings was a fundamental right of a citizen to know the judicial procedures and happenings during hearings of cases. In the plea moved through advocate Mathews J Nedumpara, the petitioner had sought directions allowing all copies of records to be issued to the public on demand and on payment of costs, apart from telecast of the proceedings by the media and on the internet.
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While denying the relief, the High Court had said, “ensuring that the right to a fair and impartial hearing or a trial is never compromised, is the paramount responsibility of a court.
“That responsibility is entirely compromised, and those essential rights threatened and curtailed by allowing televising of our proceedings. The impact on parties, witnesses and judges is bound to be severe.”
The High Court had also said “we just do not support these proposals for absolute and compulsory recording; and we most resolutely do not approve of any ‘live’ telecast. In a given case, a video recording for that particular case, or for one particular day, may be necessary.
“There is no need to fear the technology itself. But it requires the consent of all, lawyers, litigants and the Judge. Each one has a complete veto.”