The lower and districts courts of Surat have become the first in the state to install a well organised network of close circuit television cameras inside the courtrooms. A total of 57 cameras have been installed which became operational from Tuesday.
In March last year, the Supreme Court had directed all the High Courts across the country to install CCTVs in the courtrooms of at least two districts of the state to bring in transparency. A bench of Justice A K Goel and Justice U U Lalit had said that installation of CCTV cameras in the courts would be in larger public interest, discipline and security.
Acting on the apex court’s order, the Gujarat High court had directed district courts of Surat and Mehsana to install CCTVs in their courtrooms. In Surat district, there are 57 courts, including 13 fast-track courts and 44 lower courts.
“We acted as per the instructions passed on to us. The work on installing CCTV network in Mehsana courts is still under progress. Once results are seen, all the courts in the state will have CCTVs in the coming months,” said a Surat district court official on condition of anonymity.
The CCTV cameras have been installed in such a way that it gets wide coverage of the judge, lawyers and litigants. The video footage of such CCTV cameras can be seen with no audio facility. Access to view the video footage has been barred to the public.
Surat district government pleader Nayan Sukhadwala said, “This is good for the judiciary, lawyers and the litigants. It will definitely benefit all.”