Courtroom No. 13 of the Delhi High Court witnessed high drama on Thursday when a businessman recorded the proceedings using a mini tape recorder.
Fifty-year-old Deepak Khosla had succeeded in taping at least 100 minutes of hearing before judge Justice S. Muralidhar ordered its seizure after lawyers objected. Ironically, the court was hearing a petition filed by him seeking audio recording of court proceedings to ensure “more transparency in the working of judiciary”. Khosla was arguing the matter himself as his lawyer K.V. Dhananjay was out of station.
As the hearing began at 12:30, Khosla placed his recorder on the desk before him. As shocked lawyers and the judge looked on, he sought permission to record the proceedings so that he could “share what transpired in the court with his lawyer”.
The judge did not object. After 15 minutes, the court deferred the hearing to 2:15 pm. The judge told him not to bring his recorder. But post-lunch, a defiant Khosla was back with his tape recorder . Rajiv Bansal, the lawyer representing the Delhi HC protested and termed it “clear contempt of court”. Judge Muralidhar ordered seizure of the devise after Additional Solicitor General A.S. Chandiok too objected.
Justifying his plea, Dhananjay says, “It will make court proceedings more transparent. All parties can be made accountable and they shall not go back on their words. Human memory is fallible”.